I met Shaine Claiborne the other day, I wouldn't usually mention it but he had an interesting quote.
Speaker-"wait, wait, so you actually let children draw on your walls?"
Shaine-"well of course! Thats what walls are for"
After which it was quiet with only a few people chuckling quietly to themselves and one young man in the audience shouting "Yes! Amen!" loud enough to be herd across the small stadium filled with about 5000 men. That was fun.
Saturday, November 01, 2008
The other day I received a phone call from a church that asked me to paint a couple of masonite boards for their youth group. One for their senior high (momentum) and junior high (vertical)respectively (below). Huge church, nice people and they support the arts which is nice within modern churches. A long time ago the church and people of faith were major benefactors of art and played a major role in the arts especially the visual arts of sculpture, architecture, and painting (especially murals). But now the modern church doesn't really invest in the visual arts and we've seen a big divide between the quality of secular art versus religious art with generally speaking religious art coming up way short. As a side note I should also say lack of visual arts is certainly not the most important thing the modern church is missing but, it's nice to see a church who recognizes the value of art, they have murals in a lot of the different rooms and it makes the church look like less of a warehouse it's really quite amazing. The murals were done by Mural FX, I met the woman (above) as she was painting and we had a good talk and was eager to answer some of my many questions.
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Friday, October 24, 2008
A long time ago in a post called motivations I talked about a gay bar I was going to paint, I didn't say anything but 2 weeks after I finished they closed down the gay bar. A few weeks ago I had a post that I was painting a satanic metal bar after I had finished painting it they started tearing the whole building down. I honestly don't know what this is about but something strange is happening.
Monday, October 20, 2008
A few weeks ago before the coke thing, I went looking for a Halloween costume for my wife at the local magic trick and costume store. As I was walking in I noticed that the outside sign had faded over the years from the weather, I looked around and since I had the supplies in my car and it would only take a matter of minutes to repair I offered to fix their sign in exchange for a costume. I've done things like this before where for free or for in exchange for food I've fixed a sign that looks rundown and ugly. I don't believe advertising or decoration is necessarily wrong I do however make a distinction between a barter exchange for the sign of Mom and Pop independently owned costume store that i actually go to and buy magic tricks from and a big fat paycheck for just another out of place billboard advertisement for a corporation that I don't like that advertises so much it has become an eyesore. Just so everyone is clear. I also make no judgments on people in advertising unless they use their talents to advertise something evil (like consumerism, greed, lust, dissatisfaction, unthankfulness, alcohol, degradation of women or anything else that makes up 90% of advertising).
This message brought to you by overwhelming reader response (2) and Tinkerbell.
This message brought to you by overwhelming reader response (2) and Tinkerbell.
Saturday, October 18, 2008
I got a call from a store owner early this morning who has been in contact with Coca-cola the largest distributor of the caffeinated beverage Kola in the world. Coke wanted to pay me to put their logo on the side of a building. I told the owner to call back coke and tell them I would not do it. I'm sure there was a large pay check attached that would have paid me handsomely which makes me curious to think how much is my talent worth to them but we know what curiosity did to the cat so, I didn't ask. I personally don't drink coke, I don't like the sugar and I don't like how fidgety and sick I feel after drinking it. It has a drug that can make you physically dependant on it. It's bad for you. There has also been a string of coke union reps in Columbia who keep dying... mysteriously.... from guns. On the other hand let me tell you about something I endorse regularly. Jesus! He gave us words to live by, He showed us a radical way to live that brings us not just happiness but Joy, He plans our steps, gives us all good gifts and when things are tough and relatives die and we seem to have no hope, we have hope, and we have peace. Not because were crazy or living in denial but because the God who lives with us each day and knows all our hurts and pains and well everything in the universe said "I have a plan for you, a plan to give you a future and a hope". It's ours, it's a secret, it's just between God and us and we look crazy to everybody else like we're talking to an imaginary friend but we know that there really is a God who talks to us and does miracles in our lives and He said it'd be alright. It's the real thing.
I'm Battle and I endorse this message.
I'm Battle and I endorse this message.
Sunday, October 12, 2008
When I was in NY bam bam the liquid robot, suggested that I come out with a Graff DVD and sell it to all the writers in my town and when I go around, but you know that's not how I roll. So, instead I'm gonna make a graffiti video and give it away for free. So right now I'm painting alot trying to come out with some good footage for the DVD which I'll be painting mostly and also talking a bit about the artform you know and the pieces I do. However I don't want it to be about me I wanna take the focus away from me and really just direct it to the message. My man Dj ex-o is working on the sound track and I've been getting people to help film. Don't expect it anytime soon, this is a longer project that I don't wanna rush.
Wednesday, October 08, 2008
I've been hitting the streets recently downtown trying to network and free up some more diverse walls for me to paint on outside of the spots that have already been thoroughly transformed. You know trying to spread his dominion outside of a few walls and mark the whole city for His fame. I have been blessed again with another wall, this time it's as one of the staff put it "A Satanic Metal Bar". Apparently they have a lot of satanic metal bands come and play there, I could tell he wasn't a fan of Jesus and as he looked through my sketchbook he was not happy about the amount of religious content but he did find something he liked. I'm excited about this. First a bar, then a hells angels owned tattoo parlor, then a gay bar now, a satanic metal bar! I love spreading the message of Jesus Christ to the people who don't always get the chance to come in contact with it.
Saturday, October 04, 2008
Though seeing, they do not see; though hearing, they do not hear or understand. In them is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah: You will be ever hearing but never understanding; you will be ever seeing but never perceiving. For this people's heart has become calloused; they hardly hear with their ears, and they have closed their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts and turn, and I would heal them.
Tuesday, September 30, 2008
Friday, September 26, 2008
You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Monday, September 22, 2008
In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.
Thursday, September 18, 2008
Saturday, September 13, 2008
Friday, September 12, 2008
We talked with the event coordinator some more, checked out some of the local building that were covered with hot graffiti murals, drove around town taking pictures, hit the highway, stopped for lunch, joked around alot, wstopped in buffalo and went to the museum there ($2) and then headed back home. On the way Me and Suposes freestyled uplifting each other and then we started freestyling about God and then we started praying while freestyling it was real spiritual and we went on for hours it was fun. I also stopped at a legal wall and did a couple of quick throw ups.
Thursday, September 11, 2008
We got to the place and met up with everybody, I also got a chance to meet Weese who, I've been talking with on the Gospel Graffiti Forum, he was there with his band and he also got to paint that day. There was a ton of other writers: Game, Oz, Sno, Cruk, Akon and a bunch of other guys. The event said they would supply paint but I was glad I brought my own, there was a major shortage of black and I had to mix flat black and glossy black to finish my piece. Everyone was asking to borrow my cans and I lent them out freely. One guy (who will remain nameless) was supposed to get the honored center spot, came to paint, started painting his piece. I lent him like 4-10 cans and he didn't finish! He took off because he didn't like that he didn't have the right cans, he complained to the event co-coordinator that it wasn't fair that "Battle got all the cans". The event guy was like "he brought all his own paint we didn't give him anything". Awesome break dancers, dope MC's, an awesome freestyle battle contest where the competitors had to compliment their opponent and then the police showed up and shut us down. The best part was talking to Weese and teaching him about letter structure and painting techniques super nice guy, really teachable and a heart for the lord, I hope to see him again. We stayed at the event coordinators house and we talked about spiritual things and next years event till late into the night. It was cool 'cuz he was a real fan of graffiti and a good brother.
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
Well I got this invitation to the Gospel hip hop fest to be a featured artist (my face was on the posters and everything). I asked my wife because all good husbands should check with thier wives first before taking off to a different country when they had agreed to spend time together on weekends. My wife had a vocal coaching seminar someplace that she wanted to attend the same day so we agreed to go separate ways for the weekend. I find out that my old friend Just Isaac is going to be at this show!!! At 12:30 am I called up my man and aspiring rapper, MC Suposes and he agreed to come with. We took off driving, rapping, free styling, and joking around until my eyes got real heavy and we pulled off to the side of the road and slept for 5 hours.
Tuesday, September 09, 2008
Blazefest was over, but before we hit the road we invited Ray and his family out for breakfast. My wife locked the keys in the car and I had to bend a coat hanger to get them out. Ray came up looking for us just as I got the car open. We went to breakfast and Ray and I talked about next year, plans and an up coming hip hop event in Rochester. We drove back home without any problems.
A few people may be interested to know that I've been contacted by an outreach worker from the limberlost community for a meeting to try and bring some positive art into a community that is in disrepair. I was amazed to see how bad it was, there was piles of garbage and it wasn't even garbage day, the garbage guys just don't take it away. The place was full of Graffiti and garbage, broken stuff all over the place I thought I was back in the slums of New York again I couldn't believe this was my city. I talked with the london housing people and they just didn't see anything wrong. There was a guy in charge of maintenence walking around while there was garbage all over the place! I couldn't believe it, the place isn't that big and here were 3 people paid to make the place better and we're standing in front of piles of garbage not doing anything. It was crazy to me. I've herd bad things about london housing over the years of being a social worker but this was in my eyes, pathetic. The person who I met with was not from london housing but was governed by London Housing. She genuinely wanted to make a difference, but it seemed like every initive that was made had to be passed through LH and no one liked to sign off on anything. They had a center that they worked out of that they wanted the interior painted but LH would not send a contractor so they volunteered to do it themselves, they said no. I came up with a battle plan for the proposals and some wording and a few ideas for positive murals then left it for the lady to write the proposals and get approval from London Housing, now I wait and hope that they see that thier neighborhood needs to be cleaned up and there are people who want to do it for free.
Monday, September 08, 2008
Saturday, we didn't have camp in the morning and we got to sleep in instead. In the afternoon we went to the park and had a big show. I met with a local writer, drew a piece in his book and prayed for him. There was something different about him after prayer and he said that he felt uplifted. We handed out the awards, had a demonstration of the elements, I finished the backdrop, my wife gave her testimony which was... deep and amazing and I've herd it before I was still on the edge of my seat. Jaz performed, and Ray gave an alter call. About 13 people came forward for the alter call, Jaz finished up with a song and there was this feeling like everybody there was part of one big happy family it was weird lots of hugs and smiles ad there was a real sense of community and unity.
Sunday, August 31, 2008
I woke up with these two ideas of what I can do with my art that God had blessed me with in my sleep. It was the last day of day camp I had Fall write the test and he passed. We handed out tshirts. The theme this week was "he got love for you" everyday Ray and others had been sharing about how much God loves you, that he loves you so much that even when we were far away from God, sinning doing our own thing that God came down to earth lowered himself to our level and gave up his up in heaven for a life of pain, so he could be with us humans for his time on earth instead of living like the king he was he served and didn't ask for stuff for himself but tried to help us out. So much so that he took the rap for us, the punishment for all the bad stuff we've ever done and died for us in our place. He did all that and all he asks is that we accept that. All he asks is for us to accept that we screwed up and to accept his sacrifice. Love the poet and Ray spoke and asked if anyone wanted to accept Jesus as thier saviour. 23 kids accepted his love and asked God into thier lives. The evening went well and we continued painting the back drop.
Saturday, August 30, 2008
For my class in the morning I broke out the cans and had them do some painting. I taught them all about can control, how to get smooth lines without drips, fill in and cutting. In the evening I was asked to rap again but this time it was different, I think I let those compliments from yesterday get to me and I just had this attitude of I'm gonna show them what I've got. I spit a few bars and I forgot my lines, my mind went blank, it's a song I knew very well, I couldn't explain it. I honestly think it was God saying to me "check yourself". I kept painting the backdrop and we packed up and went to sleep humbled.
Friday, August 29, 2008
I taught the kids 3D, fluff and bits. I gave my star student a name, we opened up the bible and he put his finger down on the word "Fall" he drew a nice fall piece. The big back drop started to arrive and I started painting the backdrop in the evening while the show was going on. They got a cypher started and people started rapping and Ray asked me to spit something I've never rapped for an audience before (just in the shower or for my wife). It was amazing the energy from the crowd, their reaction at the end of a well delivered line, the oohhs and everything was intoxicating I remember just being in a different place like I was outside my body, after I finished people kept coming up to me with compliments. I can understand why people love it so much. Usually at the end of the night the team cleans up and gets dinner together and unwind from the day. I decided to skip out on dinner and go back to the citylife centre and paint instead.
Thursday, August 28, 2008
The second day of camp kicked off and when I got to class there was nobody in my class. Ray came around to the different classes to see if anybody needed anything and there was nobody in my class I was half ashamed and half confused. Which is really stupid 'cuz I can't make people sign up for my class. But again more people trickled in until I got about 6 again. I taught a review for the the new kids and moved on to 3D for the one repeat student who is showing a lot of promise. One of the staff has a car that he lets people sign if they give him a dollar it's to raise money for a new car. Ray paid him $40 so that we each paint a piece on either side of his car. I painted one side real quick and then me and Ray painted the other side together.
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
We got up at 6:30 to be at devotions early, finished up and the kids started to arrive for the first part of blazefest which is like a summer camp in the morning. When I got to my class there was one kid. In previous years Graffiti was by far the most popular class, so when I got there I was totally shocked but we started up and I started teaching the class and more people trickled in until I had about 6 in my class but I felt real nervous when it was just one kid. I taught them about bars and letter structure etc. In the evening time we go to an inner city park and have a kind of outreach-show-performance thing. They set up speakers, a DJ booth, tables and chairs, they had a prayer table, and they put a trailer in the center and me and Ray started painting it.
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
Well it was the first day of work at blazefest Ray set the tone by calling this an urban missionary week and eluding to the bible verse that we come to serve not to be served. We started by cleaning up the centre where we would be holding the summer camp part of the week. Then I got to painting, setting the theme for the building I was drawing graffiti all over the building which transformed the old church into a hip hop training ground. The other artists arrived and I got to meet Bam Bam the liquid robot who was our breakdance instructor, Jaz our MCing (rapping) instructor and also DJ Exo and B-boy B-bop from last year who were back from the previous year to teach DJing and help teach break dancing.
Monday, August 25, 2008
Annother year of Blazefest and Ray the director of Blazefest invited me again to teach the instructional area of Graffiti for my third year. I took my wife along and we arrived in Schenectady NY late. We called up Rayski and he took us out for dinner and took us to a hotel. At the hotel they only had smoking rooms available, so they said we could check it out before we paid. We go over to the room and there's some strange looking woman wandering the hall and coming from the next room are VERY loud sounds of a woman. We all looked at each other with a confused look and then with a look of embarrassment as we realized what the sounds were. We quickly left and headed to the holiday inn. I guess it should be noted that my wife is an extrovert and struck up conversations with two of the toughest looking bikers as well as every fast food worker she could find.
Sunday, July 13, 2008
I just got back from church where I was asked to speak about my graffiti, they had the communion table laid out with the wine and grape juice glasses and bread, a nice sash and... a can of spraypaint. It was fun just like I thought it would be. The speak is available here and for those ubber curious and I've posted my notes in the comment section. After, I took some members of a walking tour of the downtown alleys which they seemed to enjoy. I also went to Gateway church where I have donated some canvases which the church is now selling for $30 a pop with all proceeds going to overseas missions. If you show up next week at sir fredrick banting highschool by the Auquatic centre you can probably pick one up. That's about all, I'll be going to NY again this year so stay tuned for that. Peace!
Friday, July 04, 2008
Sunday, June 29, 2008
I was in a Christian newspaper years ago and ever since I have received each edition by email and I usually read through it. I read about a new church blah blah blah saw a website and decided to check it out. I went to their facebook site and looked at some pictures and I saw some of my artwork that had been posted by this church. So I went to the church that sunday to check it out. It was cool and I met an ex-graffiti artist there and I had a good conversation with her and stuck around after to talk to the pastor. Well a few months later I saw that the church was doing a series on the arts and since I like art I decided to check it out. The topic was interesting and I talked to the pastor and he asked if I'd like to speak at the church about my christian graffiti and so, some time in the future I'll be speaking at a church. I think it'll be fun.
Friday, June 13, 2008
Well ladies and gentlemen you witnessed it here first the biggest opportuunity of my mural career. The opportunity of maybe a lifetime, my chance to leave a substantial mark on the landscape of London for maybe decades to come. The chance to have respect as an artist and not only that but complete possibly London's biggest work of art. Oh and the money, thousands apon thousands of dollars are at my fingertips waiting for me to reach out and grab it. I have the connections, I have the skill, I have the stamina, I have the knowledge and I have the presentation. It doesn't feel right though, it's not a ministry opportunity and I'd have to sacrifice things to get it. Sacrifice time with my wife durring our first year of marriage. Sacrifice annother outreach ministry that I already promised I'd attend. Sacrifice time at my new job working and making a difference in peoples lives. I can't say it'll never happen but although the window is small for this opportunity I'm letting it pass until something is revealed to me.
Sunday, June 01, 2008
I went to the walls downtown 'cuz every once in a while they get tagged or messed up. I fixed a lot of work over the last two days. I forgot how easy this stuff is to fix. A years worth of other peoples tags cleaned up in a few hours. I was just finishing up my last piece when a guy named Tyrone came over and gave me a few complements and then asked for some change to buy his way back home to Windsor. Maybe 'cuz I'm jaded I don't give people money but I offered to buy him a bus ticket, we got to talking and he asked me to pray for him, and he laid out some troubles he's dealing with. He said "I feel like ending it all, you know getting on that road and windin' up dead. Is'nt there anything you can say?"
I said "sometimes I get depressed too and at those times it helps for me to remember my purpose in life the things I'm supposed to do on this earth and it helps and gives me hope for the future. So, what's good about your life?"
He said "I'm breathing, and I can still get it up without viagra"
I asked him what his purpose was in life, what he was living for and he told me that he lives for himself and then I asked how that was working out for him
staring at the ground he said "not too good" we kept talking about God and stuff until he said he had to leave to go complete a drug deal. He wanted to keep talking to me but he wanted to finish up some business first I said I wasn't gonna wait for him but, he could call me and I gave him my number.
Tuesday, May 27, 2008
If I glorify myself, my glory means nothing. John 8:54
For what was glorious has no glory now in comparison with the surpassing glory. 2 Corinthians 3:10
all men are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field; the grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of the Lord stands forever 1 Peter 1:24-25
Thursday, May 15, 2008
So I start my new job, they take me on a tour of the teen challenge facility, meet lots of nice people and get acquainted with the different departments. And I'm sitting in an office waiting for someone to finish up a phone call and I see something out of the corner of my eye on the computer monitor. It's a painting I had done that someone had downloaded as a desktop. My work on a complete strangers computer. I knew I was where I was supposed to be. I love my new job.
Saturday, April 12, 2008
Third year social work students from Kings College put on a graffiti forum last night in Labatt hall. I had been in contact with a lot of different people who all suggested I attend and show some work. There was a DJ, break dancers, a lavish spread of free food, skateboarders, undercover police and a ton of graffiti writers. It seemed to me like everybody from London was there, I recognized a few writers and met most of the rest of them. I got to meet my two favorite writers from London who are not only accomplished artists but nice down to earth guys, a lot of respect for Distinct and Sickoe. I got to clear some tension up with some of the writers. But the crazy thing about it all was how students from the college had noticed my work wrote summaries on some of my pieces and totally missed the whole point of everything that was going on, one had included in their project a conversation between me and her (little creepy). I think the one thing I took away from it all was to be more blunt about my work because I have a feeling most people don't realize the subtlety. They researched Babylon because of a reference I made and thought I was an anarchist, they thought I was a girl because I used the colour pink, they thought I worked for the city, they thought a lot of different things and thought a lot of it was done by different people.