Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Seasons Sketches

Here are some christmas presents for some of the people who comment on my blog.
Merry Christmas.






There is more to come so if your name isn't here just wait.

Sunday, December 18, 2005


As everyone else celebrates christmas I celebrate easter. The use of the birth of christ (an entirely selfless man) to propigate greed makes me sick every year. Our society celebrates Jesus' birthday by giving each other gifts and not giving him much. But every year I thank God that he uses this event to bring people to church, feed the homeless and bring the focus back to him. I don't celebrate christmas because I like presents. I celebrate christmas because it points to the (in my opinion) bigger holiday - easter. Jesus came to the world as an innocent and stayed that way, knowing that he would have to be a living sacrifice for 30 years and then suffer and die because he cared.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Sketches 2



boys (copied from J1)

Jesus Cares

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Sketches 1




king of kings

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

The Meeting

I met with the owner (Robby) of the downtown building today for pizza to discuss the use of his building as a canvas. And as I ordered a panzerotti from the waitress Robby asked if he knew her from somewhere... a pause... oh that's right, The Forum (a London strip club) and reached out to touch her hand. A slightly awkward situation for me and maybe for the waitress. He asked if he could ask me some quetions (ironically) and the second was "Why are you so adament about doing this?" a straght forward question deserves a straight forward answer. I told him I believed in God and showed him the religious theme within the sketch I had previously sent him. We didn't talk too much about Graffiti an hour later I was still trying to answer some of his questions about God and theology. He had a question I had never exactly herd before. Why as a loving God did he send Jesus to suffer and die? I've herd "If God loves us why don't all our problms go away?" I explained in a few different ways that the avoidance of pain isn't the most important thing in life and that in Jesus' situation there were more important things than not dying himself (the salvation of the world). I also said that it was Jesus' choice in the end. Anyways, we had a long talk and kinda liked what I had to say but could not tear himself away from his decades old ideologies in that conversation. I think he hates christians less which I think is a good thing. Tacked on to the end of our discussion was a little chat about the wall. He's on board for doing it when the weather warms up. He also paid for lunch.
Win, Win, Win!

Sunday, December 04, 2005

A Time to Sketch

I've been talking to J.one asking him questions and getting advise. He said that I should spend more time sketching. I didn't really listen and spent a little more time sketching but mostly just kept doing what I was doing. J.one has given me advise on the foundtions of letters, what kind of paint to use, how to practise, how to do fill ins etc. Basically everthing I've learned about technique he taught me, I listened and it worked. But this time I didn't listen when he told me
1."sketch something out on paper"
2."My question is, do you spend, or have you spent, much time just sketching out letters? If not, that's important to do."
3."Again, make sure you keep sketching letters dude. "
4." Also, spend more time sketching in your book, rather than painting"
5."and if nothing else, we'll sketch"
6."Paint sprays in funny ways when it's cold out"
The last quote seems out of place but it's all coming together for me. It's cold out and I tried even just painting inside with the window open and as it turns out, paint sprays funny when it's cold out, who knew? My point is that I don't think I'll be painting too much in the winter. So now is a great time to finally take J. one's advise. The moral of the story is... if someone who knows what the're talking about gives you advise - take it.

Friday, December 02, 2005


On a walk I steped into an urban clothing store and asked if they sold spraypaint expecting "No" which I herd, but following that were directions to a record store... hmm... Tucked away in the corner of Grooves beside Dr.Disc is a spraypaint section! They have peach and greens and blues. It's my new favorite store. Well actually it's a tie - Upper Room and now Grooves. On the way to Gooves I was casually traveling downtown and noticed some bad looking graffiti so I called up the owner of the building today and talked to him about letting me paint it. He isn't opposed to the idea but he wants somthing - as he put it "Historic London". So I got off the phone with him and I thought to myself

"idontwanna do this...its not my style... its so boring...and what am i gonna do anyways? historic london? well God if you want me to do this i will, but you gotta help me out"

I prayed while I drew and He helped me come up with a nice mural idea that I think the owner will like and that I can find satisfaction in aswell. I realized once again that graffiti to me isn't about the art or the pride. It's about spreading around God and I think that even just drawing this sketch has helped me realize this again. God's working on me and pride is something that is a theme in my walk right now.

*This is the message I got on my answering machine the next night

"Hi, uh, it's Robby Smink calling for Richard. Uh, Richard thank you for the sketch. I think we've got something here that we can basically work with here. And uh, I'd like to get together with you and maybe discuss it a little more. uh if you wanna gve me a call..."

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Piece #2

"the joy of the LORD is your strength" Nehemiah 8:10

pleasing you God
knowing that you are happy with my life
with the choices I make
gives me motivation to do anything
it refreshes me
makes life seem easy
and the most difficult undertakings
enjoyable, if it's done for you

Monday, November 28, 2005


I've been thinking and I need a name. How would people find me if I was nameless? How would they really understand what the art is without knowing where it's coming from? When I was doing the battleground records thing I thought about using the name battle briefly but I wrote it off because I was working on it and I didn't want to be entirely associated with the record company. I opened up my Bible and the word battle was the second word I read (the first being "and"). I think that was the comfirmation. Just so you know it wasn't my idea.


Saturday, November 26, 2005

Hammering Away

I've been hard at work developing my technique, getting rid of those pesky drips and getting to understand how this medium differs from pen and paper. I'm trying to get better so that if and when I do more public pieces I won't be as limited in what I can say with a spray paint can. I've got different ideas rolling around in my head and occationally one comes up and I think cool... but I can't do that cuz it won't look like a hand, it'll look like a cloud or something. I've also been thinking about a name and how alot of graffiti artists have names. I don't really want one right now for two reasons 1. I'll probibly look back one day when I get better and someone will be like "you're _____?" That guy who did that killer picture of that cloud with the wristwatch? 2.It's not about me it's about the message and if people spend time looking at my name it detracts from what I want them to look at. When asked what people thought my name should be here were a few responces:

Isaac said "Rich in christ"

Joel said "I dunno... joy boy... hahaha!"

Just as a fun comment builder, what do you think?

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Battleground Records (part 2)

God is on our side the battle is won
there is nothing that can't be done
only the holy priests following God's path
will be the ones free from his wrath
dressed for war in robes of white
armed for battle and ready to fight
never going to slow down or cease
engaged in combat by bringing peace
immortal warriors who never tire
casting out those from the fire
nothing they can do only fear it
dropping bombs of the holy spirit
lead by the greatest general our Lord
an uncountable multitude draw thier sword
we are the legions turning the table
stand against our army? who is able?

*This is a logo for battleground records
"Dats hot...i like it.." and "Brilliant...!!!" - Just Isaac

Friday, November 18, 2005

The medium is the message

I showed my Dad this Christ sketch. He's been looking for art recently for his house and inquired if I'd like to do something like that on a real canvas in acrilic. I thought about it and I didn't like the idea. I realized that I liked Graffiti. The idea of just maybe 30 people seeing the message was disconcerting it would be like giving the greatest sermon of your life to just one person who really didn't need it. I want the messages of the bible seen by everyone. Not just hidden away and kept for only those who read latin or visit my Dad's house. I can't thank God enough he has blessed me so much. He gave me a parking lot in downtown London, I feel like I've been given so much I didn't even realize until now. Like the skydome full of people, a microphone, and a message to speak. Not even as passing as words spoken and then forgotten days or at most years later, it's perminent. That message may be there for years as a public witness.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Drywall Piece

"You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven."

*free to a good home

Monday, November 14, 2005

Piece #1

Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowd. After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone, but the boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it. During the fourth watch of the night Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. "It's a ghost," they said, and cried out in fear. But Jesus immediately said to them: "Take courage! It is I. Don't be afraid." "Lord, if it's you," Peter replied, "tell me to come to you on the water." "Come," he said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, "Lord, save me!" Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Lots of Prayer and Little Talent

What a night! Joel and I went to 920 to practice our technique, use up the last of the bad paint and maybe paint the wall black after we were done fooling around - if we had time. What came next was a miracle and as both of us started to paint we felt good. And not from the fumes good, not even from the pride good. Yesterday I turned out the worst work of my life and I did it on my own. Christ showed up and he used me to paint better than I can on my own. When we stood back and saw what God had done we said to each other that we couldn't ignore it and paint over it. So we took our two different parts and worked them together, started using the real paint. I stoped, sat down and looked at it. It was good but, it needed a message. So I prayed sat down with my bible and the message came, I told it to Joel and he agreed. We are almost done. We were smiling jumping up and down, shouting and laughing the rest of the night excited about God and his work through us.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Inspired and on Fire

Joel has been getting truely inspired by the task ahead. He is a true artist. The peice is becomeing a more powerful statement on the christian life than originally invisioned. And he wants things from me that will push my artistic ability (which is a good thing I hope). We plan to start practicing and laying down the base coat tomorrow. I've been gearing up by painting a christian skatepark in brantford today. Hats off to Sheriff Steve for the canvas. I encountered some problems and I didn't even sign my name to it because I was being overly critical. I might go back this week again to reclaim some of my dignity - there's alot to paint at CSR. I've taken J1's advise and didn't cheat and ordered some caps.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Interview with a genius

R - why do you paint?
J1- i do graffiti because it's something I grew up seeing in NYC and because it's an outlet to share my faith and express myself creatively, and using graffiti is an unorthodox way to do that as well. I get a lot of pleasure out of learning how to get better technically and making pieces look hot.

R-How do you do a peice? do you draw it then tape it out first, use chalk, grab an overhead projector or just do it free hand?
J1-Bro, you never, NEVER tape anything out or use anything like chalk or an overhead projector. In the graf world, that's considered HIGHLY taboo: basically cheating. Now, I understand that this idea is from a sort of worldly perspective, but if you were to be seen diong that, you get no love for your art. Part of doing graf is that there's a level of satisfaction that you get from using a tool like a can of spray paint and painting something sharp and clean. On that tip, there are many techniques that people use to make sharp lines and clean fill-ins (the fill-in is the inside part of the piece, the colorful area; the outline is basically the thin line around each letter and such). Anyway, all of this idea is summed up in two words: can control. If you have it, it means you paint and don't get drips, your lines and straight and sharp when they're supposed to be, you can make the effects that you want with a can, etc. it takes a long time and lots of practice, but it's fun learning and doing it. Basically, to do a piece though, you sketch something out on paper, then take a can and throw the letters up on the wall first, then you fill the letters in with your fill-in, then you do the final outline after all of that around the fill-in. The good thing about graf, though, is that you can always fix your mistakes just by going back over a mistake with the original color.

R - How do you get the building owners to let you paint?
J1 - You just ask them! Show them some of your work on paper first if they ask. Or show them other pictures of pieces that you've painted.

R - What kind of paint do you use gloss, apoxy, enamel, tremclad, primer?
J1 - The best spray paint to use, for me, is Krylon (2.50$ at walmart). rustoleum is also good, also at wal-mart or anywhere else. Montana is a high end paint with dope colors, but that's only available via the internet. Start with Krylon.

R - How are the messages of the murals recieved?
J1 - Almost always in a positive way; even people who don't believe in Christ like seeing the walls, at least.My advise is that you build a little wall to practice on; you can buy like two or three 4 x 8 planks of wood and put them together. Also, you need to use caps on the spray cans; they make the paint come out in different ways (thinner or fatter). You can buy them at www.artcrimes.com in their store (look for caps). New York thins and new York fat caps are good.

Powerful and Passionate

I've been talking to a professional Christian graffiti artist from the Bronx. Why he's decided to waste his time on a young upstart like me is quite the quandary. At first when I saw his work I was blown away, he is an artist like I've never seen. Powerful and passionate with entire messages poured into one singular picture. I was like "wow, someone is doing what I'm trying to do" and then I thought "who do I think I am?" I'm no artist, this guy is an artist! might as well give up now. My passion died and for an entire day I didn't have the urge to paint. When I should have been encouraged I was discouraged. I’ll need to know that I’m not alone in this ministry and I’ll need to know that God uses graffiti to convey his message.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Belshazzar is dead

I started this blog with the idea that it wouldn't be annother self serving attention device but within a week I was posting junk. But it's all over now! I've read the writing on the wall and my time is up, my kingdom will be divided and given to annother (Dan 5) Belshazzar is dead. The holy goblets from the temple will not be used to get prostitutes drunk anymore. I'm going to use the things God has given me to advance his kingdom not to fall into a selfish trap. I'm sorry for all of you who want to know about me and what I'm thinking but this blog isn't gonna be about me anymore.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Battleground Records (part 1)

I've been doing some logo art for a small christian urban record label - battleground records. I've learned how to do some stencils as it relates to graffitti and it came out it the logo ideas. I want to paint so badly last week I went out and bought a big 4x8 peice of drywall and some spraypaint and carried it all out to a bush by the railroad tracks and spraypainted it. My Dad saw it and he said that he had seen it before in a dream or something.

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Graffitti Treat

This is my first peice of art in the wonderful medium of spraypaint. My first Creation a nun in habit covering her face intwined with a legged serpent and I called it Eve and it was good. I only had blue and a little white at the time and I thought that I couldn't do much with it but spraypaint surprised me. It's like a really easy to use giant pen that shrinks and grows on a whim. Above eve you can see a candle I did the same day after I bought $30 worth of paint. I got an email today from the pastor of a church downtown today. I have permission to start painting the back of 920 dundas st. Joel Terry and I have already dreamed up a concept and we are both excited about how our different styles will fuse on this peice to create a spiritual work of art while at the same time getting rid of some old graff and blessing a church that has blessed us both. Plus it wont be illegal!

Friday, October 28, 2005

Famous Hypocrite

Everyone now a days wants to be famous in some way or annother. Some seek fame without any thought to thier own identity and jump in front of a camera yelling hey Mom while the news journalist tries to do a story about the local psycheatric ward. Others seek fame on thier own terms. That is where the bulk of society now rests wanting recognition for thier own peticular talent. Graffitti is real popular and you can find local thugs geting up all over trains, bridges, windows and alley ways signing thier tag to let everyone know who they are. The only reason sometimes being for being recognized in the comunity. In the same way the popularity of Blogging. People wanting recognition for the work they have done and for others to read and recognize thier own peticular brand of accomplishment. So this week I have taken up both new rages of society and denounced both as being a selfish pursuit with a negative outcome.

Like a sheep

Hey, I'm annother sheep
thinking that I lead an interesting enough life that people will acctually want to read about it. And Jamie (www.jagrant.blogspot.com) I hate your guts. Yes annother friend you've sucked into your world. Well, welcome to the daily mundane life of annother want to be - Richard Phillips.