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Spray Paint Art: History and Origins

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Published: Wed, 02 May 2018

Would you consider yourself artistic? You may think that you cannot draw anything, but being artistic does not mean that you have to be able to pick up a pencil and draw a masterpiece.

According to Dictionary.com, the term ‘artist’ means “a person whose work exhibits exceptional skill.” Being said, professional athletes have ‘exceptional skill’, highly paid actors and actresses have ‘exceptional skill’, surgeon doctors are exceptionally skilled at what they do, because they have gone to school and are skilled to do so. Being skilled at anything is a kind of art, because you are passionate about the project or process of learning how to do it. Anyone can be an artist, and I will help you figure out how you can become one easily. In this introduction, you will explore the world of spray paint and how to correctly take advantage of this art.

Have you ever wondered how certain things are made, or who invented certain objects? Ed Seymour of Sycamore, Illinois, founded his company ‘The Seymour of Sycamore’ in 1949, and also discovered a “novelty spray gun to demonstrate an aluminum paint” that would be able to be used to paint on steam radiators. In a nutshell, he was the inventor of spray paint.

The origin of spray paint continued with Seymour’s idea. Seymour’s “humble creation” skyrocketed after people understood how to use it, and he started making more and personalizing his equipment, and enlarged his trade. In 2010, “the U.S. spray paint manufacturers produced 412 million cans”, stated Hilary Greenbaum. Now, Seymour Paint makes spray paint, automotive paint, and industrial paints. With each type of object that you can paint, there is a category of different types of paints for a certain object, like in the automotive, there is paint for farm equipment, eighteen wheelers, and of course primers for the objects (Seymour Does Spray Paint, Automotive Paint & Industrial Paint).

The origin of aerosol paints goes back to the early eighteenth century. In France, pressurized carbonated beverages were introduced and in 1837, a man by the name of Perpigna invented the valve that provided for an easier way of filling your cup (Weide). That is where the concept of aerosol came from. “As early as 1862, aerosol technology was being incorporated into metal cans for the first time, but they were far too large and bulky to be of any practical use (Weide).” … “In 1927 a Norwegian engineer by the name of Erik Rotheim patented the first aerosol can and valve that could hold products and dispense them with the use of propellants (Weide).” “In 1947, a 27 year old name Robert H. Abplanalp invented the last part of the valve which is called the crimp. The crimp lets you remove, and replace the nozzles on the cans, so now you can control where you are spraying (Weide).”

“While industrial spray painting relies on special air compressions that break the paint particles into a fine mist, commercial spray paints are self contained aerosol cans that use liquefied gasses to atomize the paint (How Products Are Made).” “The Krylon Company is gearing future marketing efforts in…new areas. One product line is aimed toward women and children with paints that offer bright new colors, enhanced washability, and a new fresh fragrance (How Products Are Made).”

The majority of people who do not know about art, think that graffiti and spray paint art are the same, but they are not. Kelly Bryant writes, “Graffiti and Street Art are not the same thing. While graffiti artists only work with spray paint and pride themselves on knowing their way around a can of the stuff, street artists use other media to create their pieces.” “Graffiti artists aim for visibility to impress others within their community, not for the likes of you.” “While graffiti artists place their work in public, generally speaking they are not interested in the public understanding their work; they want to speak to other graffiti artists. Street artists want everyone to view and be engaged by their work. They are trying to make a statement,” says Jill C. Weisberg.

Before you start your masterpiece, there needs to be some ground rules. What materials do you need? Which spray paint brand should I use? Can I paint on any surfaces? How do I correctly hold the can? Easily, these things will come in handy and you will know everything about this art and you yourself can teach other people.

Brainstorm! Ask yourself, “what should I paint?” Having a picture in mind is very beneficial, because you know what you want to do. Make sure you have these materials with you or you can get them easily at your local hardware store. Spray paint is essential, obviously. Some of these materials are optional like a hair cap or a apron, but a lot of people use posterboard, knives or scrapers, newspaper or magazines, lids or bowls, and rubber gloves (you don’t want paint all over your hands).

If you are questioning what kind of brand to use, here is a list of the top fifteen spray paint brands. It starts with Montana, then MTN follows at second, Belton/Molotow, Ironlak, Rustoleum, Fresh Paint, Kilz, Sabotaz, Class/Beat, Flame, Evolve, All City, Kobra, Plutonium, and lastly, Krylon (Complex).

When you are about ready to paint, first you need to know what surfaces you can actually paint on. Most people paint on paper or posterboard, but you can also paint on wood furniture, upholstery, ceramics, fabric-as in curtains, and metal (Burger).

Techniques are important. The best way to start out is to warm up your paint. Also make sure that you do not use primer if you are painting on a posterboard. Clear the tips of your valve, and do not mix your paints together. Always start out with white and do not change direction of the way you are spraying. Use stencil tricks, use truck bed liner. Do not use clear coat on dry paint. Lastly, Do NOT blow yourself up (YouTube)! Spray paint is flammable and it can be dangerous. So make sure you keep it away from a flame or high pressure. Irritation of the eyes may occur as well as the nose, throat and respretory tract. You may also get some visual disturbances, headaches, nausea, lightheadedness, dizziness, fatigue, loss of coordination, and memory impairment (Falcon).

Now, the moment that you all have been waiting for: How to paint an amazing space scene. Get out the object that you want to paint on. For this example, I will be using normal posterboard. Choose the colors that you want, then spray them on the posterboard. Making the pattern is essential, and can determine your finished product. Make the sky, usually you would use darker colors like black or blue. Make the stars with your fingers, by spraying white paint onto your pointer finger, then flicking the paint onto the painting, in spots where you think that the stars should go. Finally, you can reveal your planets (Suzll). The masterpiece is complete and stunning.

From start to finish, being an artist does not require a lot of work or skill. When you are ready, you can certainly become one easily, and efficiently, you just have to know how to be guided correctly and use your skill to the fullest ability that you can. Show off your skills, so that one day, you may get paid exceptionally and be more talented than you thought that you were.

Works Cited

Artist.” Dictionary.com. Dictionary.com, N.d. Web. 15 Feb. 2017.

The Inventor of Aerosol Spray Paint.Seymour of Sycamore. 2017. Web. 9 Feb. 2017.

Greenbaum, Hilary, Rubinstein, Dana. “The Origin of Spray Paint.The New York Times Magazine. 4 Nov. 2011. Web. 9 Feb. 2017.

Seymour Does Spray Paint, Automotive Paint & Industrial Paint.” Seymour of Sycamore. N.p., 2017. Web. 16 Feb. 2017.

Weide, Robert. “How and Object Became an Object and a Subculture. Objects, Consumption and Desire. N.d. Web. 9 Feb. 2017. (2-3,5)

How Products Are Made. Advameg, (Inc.), 2017. Web. 12 Feb. 2017.

Bryant, Kelly. “12 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Street Art.Mental Floss (Inc.), 2016. 3 Feb. 2015. Web. 9 Feb. 2017.

Weisberg, Jill C. “The Difference Between Street Art and Graffiti.Schrift & Fabre Design Group. 16 May. Web. 12 Feb. 2017.

“What Is The Best Spray Paint Art Supplies.Spray Paint Art. 7 July 2013. Web. 10 Feb. 2017.

Copmlex. “The 15 Best Spray Paint Brands Available In America.” Complex Media (Inc.), 4 Jun. 2012. Web. 12 Feb. 2017.

Burger, Jenna. “5 Surfaces To Spray Paint.” Jenna Burger Design. 5 March 2015. Web. 10 Feb. 2017.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UKzyZVHvP1c. Designs, Commando. “Top 10 Spray Paint Tricks HD.” YouTube. 25 April 2015. Web. 10 Feb. 2017.

Falcon, Delialah. “The Dangers of Paint Fumes.” IAC Publishing, LLC. 7 May 2016. Web. 10 Feb. 2017.

Suzll. “How To Paint An Amazing Space Scene.” Autodesk (Inc.), 2016. Web. 12 Feb. 2017.


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