Graffiti art was used to be associated with hooligans and troublemakers. But gone are the days when this art form was shunned as mere vandalisms. Today, they’ve become a vibrant part of street scenes. Many artists use the medium to create and share their art. Travelers who find them in their wanderings will be amazed by the breathtaking quality of the artworks. Some of the cities that boast of amazing works include:
Berlin is an art lover’s haven. It also has many great graffiti created by artists not just from the country but also from around the world. The reconstructed Berlin Wall has served as a big canvas for artists. Imagine a long stretch of wall teeming with diverse and splendid artworks. It is certainly worth a side trip if you ever come to Berlin.
Street art thrives in London. In fact, there are so many graffiti artworks from well-known and anonymous artists that draw tourists and locals alike. Banksy is a trailblazer in the London graffiti art scene. His satirical artworks have attracted a lot of attention and created a huge following in and outside the city. Many other mesmerizing artworks from artists like AliCè, Cityzen Kane, and Sweet Toof among many others make the urban art culture in London pulsating with life.
Los Angeles, California
There has been a spike of graffiti artworks in Los Angeles in the past months. Most of the pieces are a mix of local and international artists. British artist D*Face is one of the many artists who have left their mark in the streets of LA.
New York City
Graffti has transformed many places in New York City. The city has long been home to some of the most amazing street artworks in the world. Some of the many must-sees are the art pieces found along Johnson Avenue where eye-catching murals by artists like Tones One have left their mark. East Harlem is likewise a great destination for art lovers with its Graffiti Hall of Fame featuring works of many artists. The Bowery Graffiti Wall is also a crowd drawer. Its huge Popeye wall art is a sight to behold.
Watching animation films sparks emotions in us. It makes us feel, think, and connect with the characters we see. But most of all, the best works in the industry transport us into the characters’ world. Thinking about the process of creating such films leaves us in awe. A lot of creativity is involved in every animation that we see. We have watched several of these films over the years. We have a long list of the ones we like that spans decades. Here are some of our favorites:
1. Spirited Away
Hayao Miyazaki’s Spirited Away was a runaway success when it was released in 2001. It is the story of a young girl named Chihiro who was “spirited away” into a different world where she was separated from her parents. Her character is far from the sweet innocent child that we often see in some films. In the beginning of the film, she behaved like a typical rebellious teen. But as the story unfolds, we can see how Chihiro developed humility and overcame the challenges she faced in a world so different from her own.
2. My Neighbor Totoro
This Hayao Miyazaki 1988 masterpiece has captured the hearts of many people around the world. Here we follow the story of Satsuki and Mei who together with their father Tatsuo Kusakabe moved to a house near the hospital where their mother was staying because of an illness. The film is a delightful story of two girls who met and became friends with woodland creatures. It is a sweet and hopeful story about family, friendship, and love.
3. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs was released in 1937 which makes it fairly old. It has touched the lives of many children around the world who grew up chanting “…mirror on the wall”. Apart from being a hit, one of the things that we love about this film was the huge gamble its producers made to make it come to life. A lot of money was spent creating the film which took several years to finish. There were doubts that it would draw a crowd. But it turned out to be a success and the timeless piece has delighted many viewers over the years.
Many say that this 1988 animation film is the best one in all time. Akira is unsettling to watch. It tells of a teen who developed psychic powers. The film is violent set against a backdrop of destruction and ruin.
5. Grave of the Fireflies
This film released in 1988 is beautiful and yet painful to watch. It is about siblings Seita and Setsuko who were forced to survive on their own after losing their mother in a bombing raid. Set during World War II. It is a heartbreaking story of the despair war brings.
Everyone has the capacity to create something. You just have to observe children to know this to be true. Left to their own devices, kids come up with all kinds of things. They can weave stories, play pretend, make materials for an imaginary house when they play pretend, and more. Children seem to have an inexhaustible source of ideas. They imagine. They do things. They make things. They have fun. Artists, in many ways, are like children. They never stopped creating. But what happened to everyone else? Does talent alone define who should create? We think not. Creativity should be nurtured regardless of talent. It is when we tap into our creative side that we experience its many positive effects.
1. Fuels creative thinking
Clichés like thinking outside the box happens in the creative plane. Creating something fuels creative thinking. It teaches us to explore ideas without fear. It develops our abilities to view the world through different lenses. It broadens our perspectives. And the more we practice it, the more we hone our ability to think beyond the usual.
2. Promotes self-expression
No art is the same regardless of how similar they look at first glance. Every piece we create is unique. Every moment spent in making something is an expression of the self. Creating is a form of genuine self-expression. It draws from the deepest recesses of our minds that we may be aware of.
3. Experience the “Flow”
Wikipedia defines flow as “the mental state of operation in which a person performing an activity is fully immersed in a feeling of energized focus, full involvement, and enjoyment in the process of the activity.” Artists also often refer to it as “the zone”. Only those who have experienced it fully understand how it feels. Creativity allows us to experience the flow and benefit from the positive feelings it brings.
4. Relieves stress
Art is an excellent stress reliever. It reduces stress regardless if we are creating or simply appreciating it. Many studies have shown the correlation between art and positivity. It dispels negative feelings and improves our outlook in life.
Art can be a tool or a process for self-empowerment. Making art gives us a sense of accomplishment. It boosts our confidence. It encourages us to explore our creative side more thus making us more courageous to make things we did not think possible.