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The 8 Best Cities for Stunning Street Art | From NYC to Berlin

From international cities like London, to those closer to home like New York, street art has become a reputed form of creativity. If you’re interested in visual arts, check out a few of these inspiring locations in this guest post by New York, NY tutor Lauren P

 

While almost every city in the world has street art, the following cities stand out because their art is physically impossible to miss. Whether visiting specific installations by famous artists or enjoying the unintentional encounter with a breathtaking mural, the below cities have something for everyone.

London, England

London

The work of London street artists became legal and popularized after the Tate Modern hosted an exhibit of six world-renowned street artists. Now the city government has sponsored and even protected in plastic various murals and sculptures throughout the city. Tourists will find the most famous works by Banksy, Stik, Eine, and Jonesy in the East End, Shoreditch, and Spitalfields. Graffiti depicting London’s past wrongdoings, along with modern, unidentifiable abstract designs stir the imagination and social conscience of tourists and locals alike.

Mexico City, Mexico

Mexico City

Mexico City street art is as educational as it is decorative. Pedestrians cannot help but learn about the political and social history of the country from art dating back to Diego Rivera’s murals of the 1920s. More recently, the city commissioned local artists to convert bleak city walls into images that inspire. For example, contemporary artists, like Roa and El Mac transformed some of the cities most recognizable buildings during the All City Canvas Festival. Any visitor to Mexico City will learn a great deal about the social struggles and hopes of its people.

New York, NY, USA

New York City

New York street art is among the best, with the largest amount and variety in the world, as well as having the oldest tradition of street art. While new graffiti springs up every day, it all started in the 1960s and 1970s. Thanks to Brooklyn-born Basquiat, graffiti became recognized as a respected art form in international museums. For commercial feats, Midtown boasts billboards in Times Square, window displays on Fifth Avenue, rotating sculptures on Madison, and mosaics in the subway. Spanish Harlem, Chelsea, and Bushwick have the most elaborate murals and an array of graffiti. Tourists who only have time for one borough should not miss the Graffiti Hall of Fame on 106th and Park. Otherwise, tags and posters can be enjoyed on every street corner.

Buenos Aires, Argentina

Buenos Aires

With the government and home owners’ permission, Buenos Aires has become one of the most beautiful locations for street art in the world. The must-see district of Caminito claims to be the first outdoor pedestrian museum. Famous artists, such as Martin Ron, have created fantastical 2-D and 3-D works around the city. Like art around the globe, the street murals offer social commentary on historical and current events. On the other hand, wildly painted buildings and imaginative sculptures bring life to once dreary streets.

Berlin, Germany

Berlin

Since the building of the Berlin Wall in 1961, artists have been adding color and cries for freedom. The history of the wall itself inspires the 105 murals along the .8-mile stretch of the East Side Gallery. Original art is preserved while contemporary artists include Os Gemeos and Blu. The wall is not the only place in Berlin for street art; the neighboring town of Kreuzberg is home to the largest stencil in the world, while new and old work can also be found in the central Mitte district, where the former store, Tacheles, is now completely covered in art.

Cape Town, South Africa

Cape Town

Most of the artwork remembers South Africa’s Apartheid past or celebrates their hard-won freedom and equality. Local youth groups and community-improvement organizations collaborate to honor their citizens and beautify their city. In the heart of Cape Town city-center, the buildings lining long street are covered in murals representative of Cape Town’s blended culture. However, images of Mandela and racial segregation are not the only art in Cape Town’s streets; the traditionally Indian district Bo Kaap is known for its side-by-side homes painted in a vibrant palette of lime green, purple, magenta, and orange.

Philadelphia, PA, USA

Philadelphia

Philadelphia is home to the largest public arts program in the United States — Philadelphia’s Mural Arts Program. Ironically, it began as a government-funded effort to reduce unattractive graffiti. Graffiti artists, including Shepard Fairey and Get Up, were recruited to paint government-approved murals. Evidence of the effort’s success can be found along “Mural Mile” and the more than 3,600 full-sized murals spread throughout the city.

Sao Paulo, Brazil

Sao Paulo

The art of Sao Paulo can be found on lesser-frequented side streets, abandoned building, and even an open-air museum; MAAU displays murals by more than 60 artists. Colorful work by one artist, Eduardo Kobra, conceals entire buildings. Even the highways leading into the city are flanked by murals and city-condoned graffiti.

 

Each of the above eight cities has a perfect balance of art that is politically relevant and refreshingly irrelevant in its childlike imaginativeness. From Berlin to London to New York, street art has become so integral to the culture of these cities that they have become works of art in their own right.

LaurenPLauren tutors various subjects in New York, NY. She has her Master’s Degree in Education (with a concentration in students with learning disabilities), and is a certified NYC Special Education teacher. Learn more about Lauren here!

 

 

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Arts and Crafts Ideas for Kids: 3 Simple Steps to Get Started

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Ready to get those creative gears moving? Grab your kids and check out these fun arts and crafts ideas, courtesy of Virginia Beach, VA teacher Jenn E

 

Art allows children to explore their imagination, plan, reason, and express their thoughts and feelings. Children who regularly participate in arts and crafts are more likely to be creative, innovative, and resilient. While it is common for adults to feel apprehensive about doing art — since most stop once it’s no longer a required course in school — adults and kids alike can take pride in their products by following these three simple steps.

• Start off small. Do not try to imitate the most elaborate arts and crafts ideas you see on Pinterest. Instead, stick with small projects by creatively using things around the house. For example, try making masks out of paper plates, create noise makers with empty cans and bottles, or cut up old cardboard or cereal boxes to create any type of structure.

• Stick to one medium. It can get very overwhelming in the craft aisle — so many fun things to imagine putting together to make your work of art. But remember, art is about the process, not the product. Your creation probably won’t look like a van Gogh, and that is OK; take pride in the completed effort, even if it’s not something show-worthy. Choose one medium, whether that’s paint, glitter, appliqué, crayon, or something else, and stick with it. When you flood yourself with options, a mess is the only thing you will end of creating.

• Keep it simple. Look at teaching websites for creative crafts for kids. Make sure you are staying within your child’s developmental level. For kids under five, keep it to them scribbling with crayons; school-aged children can advance to other arts and crafts ideas that include cutting and gluing materials. If you have multiple children at different ages, a great tip is to get a kit and cater the projects to each level. I like getting wood picture frames (or making my own from cardboard — it can be used for everything crafting) and have the children paint it, then do a photo shoot for the children to take more ownership and have more pride in their piece.

There are a thousand crafts ideas you can do with your kids, and it can get very overwhelming for a novice. Stick with these simple ideas to build your comfort level. As you and your child succeed, you will be excited to try more and get more complex. And as you and your child engage in creativity you will find both of your minds expanding as you look at the world from a newer view.

Looking for additional guidance? Get one-on-one help from one of our arts and crafts teachers, in subjects including sewing, jewelry design, and scrapbooking!

JennEJenn E. teaches painting, cooking, photography, and more in Virginia Beach, VA. Jennifer studied Psychology, Art, Biology, and Chemistry in undergrad at Florida State University, and later got her graduate degree in Art Therapy from Eastern Virginia Medical School. Check out her blog, or book lessons with Jenn here!

 

 

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How to Draw Caricatures: Pointers From a Professional Artist

Learning How To Draw Caricatures From A Professional As a student of art, you can explore everything from watercolors to sculpting to photography and more! If you’re interested in learning how to draw caricatures (and how to improve your overall creative skills), take a look at these pointers and FAQs from full-time artist Mike V., who teaches in Bridgeport, CT:  

1) What are the steps for drawing caricatures? How does it differ from other types of drawing?

The first thing to do is to familiarize yourself with human anatomy, especially facial anatomy. I usually start my students out drawing the skull in front view, 3/4 view, and profile. You’ll need to learn to draw the human face realistically first, in order to then exaggerate facial features. Once you are familiar with facial construction, then you’ll practice drawing both male and female heads at different ages.

The way to then turn the realistic interpretation into a caricature is by first using observation. Study how large the eyes are, compared to other features. Everybody is different. The things to look for are shape, size, distance between the eyes, and color. Even if you are working in black and white, you should study if that person has light or dark eyes; for instance, light blue, green, or grey would be represented in black and white renderings as having the iris just shaded, and not darkened in. The pupils will show more. Dark eyes in black and white drawings are done by coloring in the iris, as the pupil does not show nearly as clearly. Other things to consider are the shape and direction of eyelids, as well as length of eyelashes.

Next, compare the features to one another. Again, everyone is different. If the eyes are prominent, draw them larger. If the nose is on the smaller side, then play it down, or draw it smaller. The same for the lips, ears, forehead, etc. The outer shape of the face is very important. Also the shape and texture of the hair.

DO NOT fall into the misguided ideas that the average person has about how to draw caricatures! This is very important! I have heard: “All you have to capture is the eyes” or  “All you have to do is make the nose big,” for example. These individuals have NO idea what they are talking about. A good caricature plays UP the prominent features, and plays DOWN the non-prominent features. It is a balance between the two, in order to achieve a good likeness.

2.  What kind of jobs can you get as a caricaturist, and how do you find these jobs?

The popularity and entertainment value of caricature is growing. Over the years caricaturists have been hired to work at private and corporate parties and many other events. The types of events where caricaturists are normally hired are: college events, Bar and Bat Mitzvahs, weddings, store/mall promotions, high school proms/post proms, graduation parties, holiday parties, communion parties, and many other types of events. Also, there are full-time and seasonal jobs for caricaturists, for both professionals and students. These jobs are normally found at theme parks. This is an excellent way to gain experience. There are also opportunities working at fairs and carnivals. The fair jobs sometimes ask for a fee to set up, and you would work retail, charging by the person. The theme park concession companies often have the artists work on commission. At events such as parties, the artists are paid by the hour, just like other party entertainment.

My best career advice is don’t rush into the field. Get your training in how to draw caricatures first. Then apply for a theme park job or other public venue, where you will be constantly drawing people from life, and start to develop your skills. Private art lessons are great, because one-on-one attention from the instructor is the best way to learn. Also, very important to note: Caricatures are published in a wide variety of magazines and other publications, so follow the artwork of an artist that you admire. Get inspiration from accomplished professionals whose work you really like, and keep a collection of samples of their work.

Larry King caricature 23) How can I tell if I’m a good artist?

How do you tell if you have artistic skill? First, start drawing. Practice constantly. Compare your work to other artists’ work. If you meet a professional artist, ask them to take a look at your work and ask for an evaluation. I have been teaching for many years and I often have to evaluate students’ work at the first lesson. There have been many students that I see that do have the potential, and with my instruction and hard work, they have greatly improved. Many have gone on to art careers. Also, you are never too old to learn. I teach ALL ages, from young children to seniors. Many have become accomplished. Hard work and the right attitude are key.

4) What will I learn in one-on-one art lessons? How do they differ from taking classes with a group?

One-on-one lessons give you a unique advantage. I draw detailed demonstrations that you can watch me draw close-up. You can also keep each sketch I do, which is not the case with group lessons. More time is given to the individual to observe a professional at work. Seeing the finished product, then observing me working and having the student draw along with me is a unique opportunity to learn.

Mike V

With 38 years of experience, Mike V. teaches private lessons in cartooning, drawing , watercolor, acrylic, and oil painting. He worked as a caricaturist at two of the Disney theme parks. He has also created numerous syndicated comic strips and comic books, and has drawn for DC comics. Learn more about Mike here!

 

 

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