I've done your stencil workshop - what now?
I thought it would be a great idea to pop a few follow-on projects and opportunities into a blog post for those who have been lucky enough to attend one of my stencil workshops. I run a few 'open to the public' workshops each year and a number of stencil workshops in high schools and community centres. At the end of the workshops we are normally running around trying to spray a few more quick stencils in a couple more colours and I rarely get to conclude the workshop with the below information. So here we go...
You participated in a stencil workshop and really loved it. Great. But what do you do now?
Build up your supplies
Spray paint can be costly ($8 - $25AUD/can), so I suggest getting 3-4 colours in similar shades. ie. light purple, mid purple and dark purple. These colours look great when creating multi-layer stencils. I'd also suggest buying white and black spray cans to play with. The brands I use in the workshops are: Montana MTN94, Montana Blacks and One Take. I would suggest purchasing MTN94 from Montana directly or Amazon - Officeworks also stocks spray cans (Liquitex and Ironlak). Some art shops and paint shops stock spray paints, but your most reliable and largest range is from the manufacturers directly. If you are under 18 years of age, you will need an adult to purchase the cans for you.
Don't forget to grab some caps at the same time if you want to play with different sizes and flow.
I also suggest purchasing gloves. Rather than buying the latex gloves that were used in the workshop, I suggest you buy a pair of gardening gloves so you can reuse them.
Design your own stencil
During the workshop you may have been shown how to create your own multi-layer stencil from your photos. If you have a Adobe Photoshop you can try the techniques you were taught. Otherwise you can use an online stencil creator such as this one.
Research other Stencil Artists and their techniques
You have only learned from one stencil artist (that's me!). It's time to expand your knowledge. Research other stencil artists. Look up You tube videos on stencil art. Learn more about the tips and techniques other artists use. A few artists I strongly suggest you research are:
Build a portfolio
If you are really enjoying creating stencil art, I suggest developing your own portfolio of work. Remember to photograph all the works you create. Pop them up on social media so everyone can see how talented you are. Think about setting up a Behance profile where you can upload your portfolio.
Put your work out into the world
Once you have a portfolio, look at putting your work into art shows, or submitting your folio to street art festivals. I have listed a few Australian Street Art Festivals over here. A couple of exhibitions and street art festivals you should look at are below:
Push your creativity
Expand your skills by pushing the boundaries. Stencil different mediums - up-cycled furniture, spray cans, cardboard. Try an insane amount of layers. Oh please show me if you attempt a ten layer stencil artwork! Try up-scaling your work to include murals. Push yourself out of your stencil comfort zone.
I hope these ideas inspire you to keep spraying stencils. Remember, I also love seeing what you create after the workshops, so please send me all the photos of your amazing work!
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