Tag Archives: stickers & wheatpastes


So I’ve become a little bit of a sticker stalker… I’ve seen numerous stickers from our friend from yesterday all over town. I was beginning to think he/she was a West Oakland neighbor, but today I found one by Grand/Lake when I had to go to the hardware store.

This design is similar to larger ones I’ve seen that seem to have been reproduced in glossier more finished applications than his hand-drawn postal stickers. I like this one particularly because of the way it is cut out… nice touch. See the underlying same wide nose and thick lips from his faces on yesterday’s post?


On the newspaper stand next to this one I spotted this sweet little post-it that someone had left as well… If you can’t read it, it says “Meta… to love, feel & appreciate everything to your fullest capacity without expectation or attachment”


It’s entirely different of course, but in essence, it’s still a piece of sticker art, because it is, in fact, stuck.

Part of what got me started on this whole art blog idea was a book a girlfriend gave me for my birthday earlier this summer… a great little creative project guide called The Guerilla Art Kit by Keri Smith. It’s a nice primer on guerilla art for the novice… discussing philosophy, various techniques, and loads of exercises to get you inspired to put your art out into the world.

In her section on stickers, she includes recipes for making your own out of simple household items, including a lick-n-stick recipe made out of gelatin; info about pre-made stickers and labels (she mentions the post office labels too… no wonder they’re going broke!); and great tips about weather-proofing your stickers with packing tape, acrylic medium, and spray enamel.

One of the most adorable tips she gives is the following:

Quickest Stickers in the World
Materials: post-it notes, a pen
1. Do a drawing
2. Stick it up

And this is precisely what someone did outside the Grand Avenue Ace Hardware, which incidentally is a great store, even though the guy gave me a hard time about returning my hose.


I saw this artist’s first sticker just outside my house… the same speedbump signpost as our “remember: shame is a 4 letter word” sticker from Monday.  Recognize it? (Note yellow house in background.)

Since seeing this first one, I’ve seen other works by this artist all around West Oakland and Uptown.  I saw one the night of Art Murmur on the front of a stop sign (people more often slap stickers on the backs of traffic signs).  I saw several the other day on my ride down the Mandela Parkway greenbelt.

What’s cool about this artist’s stuff is that many of them are individual, original pieces of art.  He/she has a whole slew of stickers around that are hand drawn on various United States Postal Service labels (this one’s actually two), and then slapped up.  A unique little work of art with no reproduction involved.  I think this is so cool.

What’s also neat is to recognize an artist’s work as you move about town… I recognized other pieces by this same person after seeing only one because his/her style is very distinctive and he does a lot of faces similar to this one, with a wide square nose, oblong head, and various hats or hair.


The use of thick lines and USPS labels also seems to be trademark.  Here’s the one I saw the night of Art Murmur


And for those of you who’ve made it this far and are twisted enough to notice or care, I’m fairly certain that’s chocolate frosting dripping off the stop sign, and not poo.

Sticker Kick-off!

So last week I focused on murals, and believe me, there are many more to come… we haven’t even scratched the surface.  But I want to take a 180 this week and talk about the very different world of small-scale Sticker Art.

While murals can be produced by individual artists, more often they are the products of collaborative efforts, with students and community members coming together to contribute to large scale efforts under the direction of one or a few professional artists. They can take months or more in the planning & production, and often live on in the public space for years, even decades… note our “Oceanus” entry from last week, first produced over 30 years ago and still beautifying Claremont Avenue (with help from a restoration in 2003).

Stickers, on the other hand, are fast and inexpensive to produce… perfectly bite-sized projects for the solo artist.  They’re also easy to transport and affix in any number of places.  And compared to large scale murals, they have rather limited permanence (depending upon the materials used), and will often fade, disintegrate, or simply be removed within a relatively short period of time.

We’ll delve into more details as the week continues… how to make ’em, where to stick ’em, famous sticker artists, and more.  But for now, here’s my first entry:

Someone graced the speed bump signpost outside my home with this one…  I love it!

It shows “2:AM” in the lower right-hand corner… don’t know if this signifies the artist somehow… these things are usually anonymous.