Blackbook Series, Part I
I’ve been contemplating the writing of my second book, the follow up to An Unusual Journey for just a bit about 35 years now. Let me ‘splain. Every graffiti artist starts with his blackbook. A hardcover sketchbook that has become synonymous to graffiti aspirers even as of today. Way back around 1981 I had several of these books where I experimented, played with and toyed with my lettering style. My blackbooks were crucial to me in shaping the way I was to stand out among my peers and luckily, I was able to keep a lot of these pieces. About 160 that are more valuable to me today than if I had written a journal. These drawing are my journal because graffiti was that important to me starting out and although puberty gave it a good run, graffiti was what shaped and made me the artist I am today.
I always envisioned seeing all these drawings as a book but after self publishing my first book, editing and writing and re-editing and all that blah blah stuff, well my procrastination bug is just owning me.
Now that I am reinvesting my personal time to the written word, the pen being mightier than the sword but a picture is worth thousands well the paint brush must be, oh you get it. It’s a blog! A blog about my thoughts and ideas reflecting back to those days from the beginnings. Keep in mind that I was just about 16 when I started these drawings and my memories will be more in depth than the purity in which I drew these pieces initially so I hope you appreciate this new journey we will be sharing.
For the first entry I wanted to show the inner cover of one of my blackbooks, its probably the best thing anyone ever stole from me, I hope they enjoy it as much as I did and I’m happy I got a scan of it. The inner covers were kind of a sign in page where people could see who you were able to get “tag” your book and some would be legends, some would become legends, I think I masterminded one of the best inner covers, which even included a pic of myself that I didn’t look completely geeky teen! The 80s weren’t kind to everyone!
This cover has many legends, Lady Pink, Carl (Mare 139), Python, Fabel, Doze and several more and that was just from HS of Art and Design posse, the rest, Crash, Noc 167, Daze, Cey and Freedom came from GPI (Graffiti Prod. Inc.) the first gallery I was a part of at the same time so I was super lucky to have such a colorful, pun intended, sign in page for this book.
This series of blogs will go into what I was thinking about the style of graffiti at the time as well as try to break down the graffiti words I drew from today’s point of view. Looking back on these drawings I’m proud to say that some of my pieces have enough style that I could paint them today.