A crew of Family Fostercare's artiest tweens and teens went on a Graffiti mission at our Graffiti Workshop recently, producing some very impressive and colourful pieces!
The crew of 7 children aged between 10 and 14 years took part in an inspiring Graffiti workshop held by Neil from Auniqueart - a creative collaboration of urban artists who, among other services, offer workshops to excite, inspire and maximise potential in young people through modern artforms like grafitti, break dancing and DJing.
Under Neil's patient guidance the children were introduced to many of the techniques of creating a piece of graffiti, such as creating a stencil and using it as a background filler, drawing 3D effects, and how to give letters and words a distinctive graffiti style.
Although the children were taught many skills during the workshop, they were fully and enthusiastically encouraged at every step to experiment and play around in order to find their own distinctive style and preferences. What was even better for the children is that they were whole-heartedly and positively encouraged to make a mess - something most children rarely have the opportunity to do! (What parent/guardian/foster carer doesn't, just for a moment, hear a tiny little internal groan in their head when the kids suggest doing a bit of painting at home??!! Come on, you can admit it! I certainly do!)
Once the background stencils had been created and stuck to the canvas ready for the really fun stuff - the spray painting! - it was time to take a short break and have some cake - one of the children was celebrating their birthday that day, and two more had birthdays coming up within the next couple of days, so it was Birthday cake all round!
After everyone was kitted out with safety masks and gloves and had listented to a briefing from Neil about how to work safely with spray paints, the children were given a demonstration of various techniques and the different effects that can be achieved. And then it was over to the crew to spray paint to their creative hearts' desires to create their own background for their pieces.
Once the canvasses were dry it was time to go back inside and finish the masterpieces, using paint pens and markers to fill in the foreground and add detail, depth and colour to their creations. All the children were delighted with what they had created and were keen to get home and find a prime spot on their bedroom walls to display their works of art.
Graffiti may not be to everyone's taste, but it would be hard for even the most staunch detractors to deny that, for this group of children, the workshop was a hugely positive and valuable experience. Being taught new skills and encouraged to explore their own ideas and make as much of a mess doing it as they liked not only inspired their creative expression but also encouraged their social development, creating a relaxed and inspiring environment in which to socialise, chat and laugh together. Every member of the group left at the end of the day with an impressive piece of art and some very happy memories to hang on their wall. We couldn't be prouder of them.