To respond to the Do Now, you can comment below or tweet your response. Be sure to begin your tweet with @KQEDEdspace and end it with #DoNowGraffiti

For more info on how to use Twitter, click here.

Do Now

Describe the graffiti you see in your community. What stands out to you about it? Take a picture of graffiti art in your town and tweet it to us with your thoughts. Is it valuable? Do you want to see more or less graffiti in your neighborhood? What makes graffiti “good” or “bad”?


Graffiti artist Banksy wrote in his book, Wall and Piece, “Some people become cops because they want to make the world a better place. Some people become vandals because they want to make the world a better looking place.”

The newest episode of KQED Art School covers the early years of Bay Area graffiti in the 1980s, featuring rarely-seen archival photographs and an interview with graffiti writer Neon. He discusses the pioneers of Bay Area graffiti, the most popular places to paint (including school yards), and the styles that originated in Northern California.

He also talks about the PBS graffiti documentary film Style Wars, which had a big impact on artists around the country, and encouraged them to practice the art form.

As graffiti spread from the East Coast to the West coast, regional styles and techniques were adapted and remixed. As graffiti artist Neon explains, most graffiti in New York was on trains, while Bay Area artists focused on outdoor walls. Graffiti also has a relationship to music as one of the four elements of hip hop, and is part of the cultural fabric of many communities.

While graffiti is still a controversial art form, it has gained respect and value from the global art community over the last three decades, and many graffiti artists now show their work in international galleries and museums.

How do you feel about graffiti? Do you appreciate the boldness and vibrancy it adds to urban and suburban landscapes? Or do you see it as vandalism? Find some graffiti in your neighborhood, snap a photo and Tweet it to us with a few words about your thoughts on that particular piece of graffiti.


KQED Art School video Bay Area Graffiti: The Early Years
In this episode of Art School, graffiti writer Neon discusses the pioneers of Bay Area graffiti, the most popular places to paint, and the styles that originated locally. The video contains rarely seen images of Bay Area graffiti in the 1980s.

To respond to the Do Now, you can comment below or tweet your response. Be sure to begin your tweet with @KQEDedspace and end it with #DoNowGraffiti

For more info on how to use Twitter, click here.

We encourage students to reply to other people’s tweets to foster more of a conversation. Also, if students tweet their personal opinions, ask them to support their ideas with links to interesting/credible articles online (adding a nice research component) or retweet other people’s ideas that they agree/disagree/find amusing. We also value student-produced media linked to their tweets. You can visit our video tutorials that showcase how to use several web-based production tools. Of course, do as you can… and any contribution is most welcomed.

More Resources

KQED Arts video Scape Martinez, Mixing Paint with Positivity
Edward Martinez admits that when he was a boy growing up in Newark, N.J., the inside of his bedroom closet may not have been the best place to begin experimenting with graffiti. But the experience lit a spark.

KQED Art School video Making Stencils with Mike Shine
Mike Shine’s interests range from surfing to carnivals and his dynamic approach to art-making manifests as immersive installations. Shine has recently been working on large-scale, multi-layered stencils to create murals in the Tenderloin.

KQED Gallery Crawl video “Summer/Selections” Works by Margaret Kilgallen
Margaret Kilgallen (1967 – 2001) came to prominence, along with Barry McGee, Chris Johanson and Alicia McCarthy, in the late 1990s as part of a movement that became known as the “Mission School.” Drawing from folk and historical art influences, Kilgallen was significantly inspired by letter forms, typography, and DIY culture.

KQED Spark video Crude
©rude is a tag artist whose mark is recognizable as an African mask, which was influenced by his research into outsider art as well as American folk art.

What Does Graffiti Look Like in Your Neighborhood? 8 March,2017Kristin Farr

  • Brock Miller

    @KQEDEdspace I think that graffiti is okay when someone does it on their own property. I don’t think it’s okay if they do it on someone else’s property. Although the art form can be creative but some people don’t appreciate it when it’s on their property. #DoNowGraffiti

    • chance

      Graffiti is writing or drawings that have been scribbled, scratched, or sprayed illicitly on a wall or other surface, often in a public place. Graffiti ranges from simple written words to elaborate wall paintings. So that what graffiti is so it cannot be on your property. #davisss


        Yes but i think that if you go and put graffiti on old cars in a junk yard or a wall of your own property then you can do it and it is more civilized

    • Alexia Johnson

      I also agree with you, if someone were to graffiti on my property I wouldn’t be to happy.

  • Tony Boutwell

    I believe that graffiti is a form of art that if used in the right way in the right places can be very powerful towards peoples life.

    • Alexia Johnson

      I agree with you 100% . I don’t consider this graffiti at all. Its a very powerful and positive way to express art.

    • corrina cowden

      @KQEDed I agree with you. Graffiti is very powerful. Some people just don’t see it like other people do. Everyone sees every thing different and most people see graffiti as vandalism but then you have other people who see it as art .
      #DoNowGraffiti #davisss

  • Kalei Groberg

    Graffiti is a form of art if drawn or writin right. Some forms of graffiti are just vandalism, it all depends on the drawing. If it is just a gang sign that is vandalism, but if it were a picture with a bigger meaning I would consider it art.

    • chance

      I don’t agree with you. I think all graffiti is a way of expressing yourself so look at this picture. Look how that person express their self through the graffiti.

  • chance

    Graffiti is how you express yourself by drawing pictures, In Ohio there are a lot of people who express yourself. check it out #davisss

  • Alexia Johnson

    I believe that graffiti is another way to express ones self in a positive way. I feel that not all graffiti is vandalism , but there are some that are considered vandalism like for example gang signs .

    • Brock Miller

      I agree with you. Some graffiti can be good in the sense of expressing ones self. I also agree that gang signs are definatly vandalism.

  • corrina cowden

    @KQEDedspace I believe that graffiti is a big part of community. Most graffiti is found on the side of trains or under bridges. The people that create the graffiti are very talented and are very creative. #DoNowgraffite #davisss

    • TFackrell

      I wonder what kind of other talents graffiti artists have. I feel like there are certain parts of town where the graffiti is a trademark and removing it would be removing a part of the community.


    I think graffiti is okay as long as it’s street art. If people just spray paint their names on walls it’s stupid. Graffiti is cool of its art on something that they can do it on. This is writing on a fence in my neighborhood and it’s just tagging so it’s just dumb.

    • swannigan Christian

      yes I completely agree with you

  • Alton Barnhart

    I believe that graffiti is a great way to express yourself but only if it’s used in an art style. If they only use it as tagging, then it’s no longer used for expression

    • swannigan Christian

      yes I feel I like when it is used as tagging it will destroy the beauty of graffiti

    • Isaac Scarborough

      Yah I agree, if used with wrong intentions it just looks really bad and honestly isn’t art at all, just vandalism.

  • Landon Gregory

    I think graffiti looks awesome and can liven up boring cities. It is just cool and colorful art but it can be taken too far. So once you start making inappropriate things, that’s when it looks trashy.


      yes but some people think that inappropriate things are cool. I’m not saying i do but others will do it and think it’s a work of art that is great. like some people think that if they just put like a square and a circle on a paper and make them different colors that it’s art and other people buy this art.

    • corrina cowden

      @KQEDedspace I agree with you that people who graffiti should become artists. when gangs go and spray paint all over parks and peoples property it is destruction.
      #DoNowGraffiti #davisss


  • SnodonStudents

    @KQEDEdspace Graffiti is a form of art, where individuals get to express themselves to everyone to see what they are capable of. Although, they may do it in the wrong places, I don’t think graffiti artist do it to vandalize property. #DONOWGRAFFITI

  • SnodonStudents

    @KQEDEdspace Most graffiti can send a powerful message to the people. Artists try to express how they feel about the current situations going on around them. When they pick up that spray I don’t think they want to intentionally want to vandalize peoples property.#DONOWGRAFFITI

  • JayWolf

    I like graffiti as an art but if it is done without consent of property owner or promotes gang activity (It’s a form of communication between gangs,) It’s a bad influence.

  • Meghan Mills

    My opinion on graffiti is an expression of art. Graffiti is a great way to express yourself, but only if it’s not used for tagging, or on a new building. It’s cool to see graffiti downtown were there’s a whole bunch of it. Especially suicide rock, or places dedicated to graffiti.

  • Collin Park

    I think street art is a much better way to express yourself and your opinions. Graffiti is cool, but street art seems to send more of a message and is more symbolic then graffiti.

  • Matt Mitchell

    Graffiti is just as much of art as any other kind of art, its a way to express yourself. The problem comes with the artist not the art style. Artists can offend people with with graffiti or any other kind of art.

  • Jon Wallace

    I believe that the graffiti that people actually spend time on and do a good job is incredible. i am amazed with the talent these people have. in a small ski city near my home there is an incredible piece of art by banksy that must have taken forever. if these pieces of art were framed, they would sell for hundreds of thousands. i respect street artist.

  • Porter Yates

    I don’t mind graffiti but it definitely has to be In the right place. I hate seeing it on a city building or a wall next to the road. If people really want to keep painting objects, then we should give them a place to do it. They should not be doing it on public properties unless given permission. People always have their own ways to express themselves, which is fine, but it’s needs to be legal. @KqedEdSpace #donowgraffiti

  • Landon Hamren

    I don’t like graffiti. I don’t think it looks very nice most of the time. The graffiti I have seen tends to be pretty trashy looking. I picture art as paintings on canvas and sculptures of things. Not spray painting someone’s building.

    • Stephen Jarman

      Graffiti is cool dude. You have to respect that it is hard to be good at.

    • LMcDermott

      Art doesn’t have to be a picture on paper.. it could be on a cement wall, like graffiti! Some of it may be trash but other is pure skill! Think you could do better?

  • David Phinney

    I believe that graffiti is a respectable art form and If you’re not ruining private property and have permission, it is a way to express your voice!! If it is a portrait or picture I highly welcome those, however small tags or gang signs are unnecessary and ruin property!!

  • msittler

    I actually really like graffiti because it’s a form of self expression and art in my opinion. It’s interesting to look at and see in places downtown. San Francisco is a really cool place with lots of graffiti. When I don’t think graffiti is okay, is when people tag houses or graffiti on new buildings or businesses because it took a lot of time and money to build them. There isn’t any graffiti in my neighborhood.

  • Allee Dietrich-Kelloff

    @kqededspace Graffiti, an expression of art, is okay. It’s the tagging that’s not. Color is better than the blandness of cement.

    • Stephen Jarman

      I agree. As long as it doesn’t hurt anyone or cost someone money to fix.

    • LMcDermott

      Amen! I like the pop of color and life it gives gray cement walls.

  • Stephen Jarman

    I think that graffiti is the a form of art that is hugely underrated. It is very difficult to do it well and is harder than many other forms of art. There has never been graffiti in my area but I think it looks beautiful.

  • TFackrell

    I think graffiti is a cool form of art, but I don’t think it’s cool to vandalize someone else’s property. I think it only belongs in the city though- not the suburbs.

  • DHall

    I think that graffiti is a good way to express your ideas through art, but there is a time and a place for it though. If it gets in the way of someone else’s art or is done just to annoy someone then it isn’t art anymore

    • Olivia

      I agree with your statement. However, every piece of graffiti is going to annoy at least one person. Attached below is a piece of graffiti in my town. It was made to annoy whoever removes the graffiti, but is very humorous to many people.

  • LMcDermott

    I consider some graffiti as a form of art and love how it can have hidden meaning and symbols. I love bright graffiti because I think it gives the city color, however I don’t consider demeaning and disrespectful forms of graffiti to be cool in any way.

  • MKimball

    I’ve always thought it was awesome how someone could take a can of spastically spurting paint and create stunning artwork with it. I don’t have that amount of control. Graffiti is a unique way to express oneself and add a bit of colour to otherwise monotonous city life. As long as no one’s vandalizing or painting worthless or demeaning images or words, it’s cool. I haven’t noticed graffiti in my neighbourhood, but I see graffiti whenever I drive past a train car or the rock at the mouth of Parley’s Canyon. Most of those I consider to be tagging, but there are a few images on the rock that are colourful enough to be considered artwork.

  • Olivia

    I think graffiti is most definitely an art form, to a certain extent. When artists are expressing themselves through pictures and inspiring words, it’s art. But when all they are doing is tagging, it’s no longer considered art. Here is a local article about graffiti:

  • swannigan Christian

    I think that graffiti should be legal to an extent of it not be gang related, but if it caught be gang related I think it should still have a punishment i found this site explain others belief on the subject

  • Meagan Tu

    @KQEDedspace I believe that graffiti is a way for people to express themselves and it is art, but if it is used as tag then it’s not art any more, it’s annoying and those people just do it to be cool and they get those who use it as an emotional outlet in trouble. #DoNowGraffiti

    • Tateeana Ibarra

      I think graffiti can be a bad thing but over all I think it is a good way to express their feelings. Also its a way to show their talent because it is a very hard thing to do. Not a lot of people can spray paint the way you see it on the streets and I think its just a good way to show your emotions.

  • John Diep

    #DonowGraffiti/ The type of graffiti in my community is very symbolic of the historical events that occurred. Personally I`m not a advocate for graffiti but I do like the creativity it brings to the community.

    • Teacher

      Hello Mr. Diep, could you please tweet a picture of the graffiti you are talking about. How is it symbolic of events that occurred

    • Guest

      This picture depicts the arrival of Asian Americans to San Francisco, which is found in the heart and soul of San Francisco`s Chinatown.

    • John Diep

      This picture depicts the arrival of Asian Americans to San Francisco in the 1940, which is found in the heart and soul of San Francisco`s Chinatown.

  • SnodonStudents

    ”Some people become cops because they want to make the world a better place. Some people become vandals because they want to make the world a better looking place.” -Banksy, Wall and Piece.
    People who are using graffiti are making the world a better place. An example of this would be Scape Martinez. He’s a Graffiti artist from California, who paints murals throughout his city. He’s also a role model for the youth who are interested in art, and seek positivity through graffiti. He teaches actual hands on graffiti workshops for the youth. Below is a picture of martinex and the youth he teaches in these workshops.

  • SnodonStudents

    Graffiti is indeed a form of art , People express their art form using graffiti Some people look at it as vandalism Because they don’t understand How important it is to other people , And also some great graffiti artist get paid a large amount of money to get their art works put in cities and all . One person that got paid To put his Great graffiti work in the cities was Edward Martinez . Graffiti artist are not criminals to me , they are just people expressing their talents and artwork on a bigger piece than on a piece of paper . So yes They are role models in my mind because for them to have the patients that they have and the wonderful eye of artworkr and the skill to make the graffiti work has feeling is more than a role model to me .

  • SnodonStudents

    ​-Some Graffiti is a valuable art form. Like the cadillac ranch. people that drive by it enjoy it. they call it art. We shouldn’t be trying to get rid of graffiti, it is a form of valuable art. Some people don’t like it because they don’t know what art is like. They don’t like this kind of art. Graffiti artists are criminals to some people and role models to another. people who like art usually like graffiti. People who understand why they do graffiti dont think of them as criminals.

  • SnodonStudents

    Graffiti artist, Banksy, once said “Some people become cops because they want to make the world a better place. Some people become vandals because they want to make the world a better looking place.” An article “Mixing paint with positivity” by Cynthia Stone, talks about a man named Edward Martinez, also known as “Scape.” Martinez started his hobby of graffiti in his closet of his bedroom when he was younger. Scape states “Grafitti art allows you to leave the everyday life and go out and wear that cape, if you will.” Martinez now has a successful career with graffiti. He does public art commissions for murals across the bay area. He also does speaking arrangements, workshops, gallery exhibits, and has four books on graffiti art. Martinez recently worked with stanford law students in a graffiti workshop aimed at examining whether art forms that push societal boundaries, like graffiti, can provide a vital role promoting awareness and social change. In this article graffiti is a valuable art form because it is his career. The cities Martinez visited and spoke to were interested in the art of graffiti.
    Another article from hub time, “Graffiti downtown Hudson brings out colorful reader reaction” by Tim Troglen. A graffiti artist, Banksy quoted “The greatest crimes in the world are not committed by people breaking the rules but by people following the rules. It’s people who follow orders that drop bombs and massacre villages.” This article is about the seniors of the local high school graffiting ‘seniors 2014’ on the railroad overpass. Railroads are private property. The city has to go through what they need to, to contact the railroad company and inform them. Also to see if the railroad wanted the city to pay for the paint to cover it up. A resident from Hudson, Linda Johnson, posted on facebook “We have good kids in this town, let them have their fun with this one little spot.” On the other hand, another resident of Hudson, did not agree. Another resident pointed out that the exact same thing has been going on for generations. She doesn’t see why its an issue because it is all in fun, no vandalism. Multiple residents believe it is just kids being kids and this is a truly harmless prank. There is also multiple people who think that makes the city look bad when it has been happening for many years. One resident said “If the residents of Hudson have a problem with it, they can paint over it themselves. Worrying about drugs and texting and driving cost life and a lot more than paint.”


  • SnodonStudents

    Graffiti, by most people is viewed as a crime or something destructive. But when you look around at train’s or building side’s what harm is it really causing? Official people like cop’s and judge’s get confused with graffiti and vandalism. Vandalism is destruction or breaking something. Graffiti is only creating art. It’s making a surface or area look colorful and creative. If we took graffiti away our street’s would just be plain and dull. When people or artist do graffiti on the street’s it is no different than creating a mural which is just putting art on a wall.

  • SnodonStudents

    Graffiti is a form of art; it all depends on how you use it. If you are going around just tagging your initials, it could be against the law. Graffiti is a valuable form of art because of how creative the taggers are and how they put it on places that you wouldn’t think they could get to, such as a highway overpass , up high on a building, or wherever they can put it to be admired. The art can also take people back to a time in history or a time in their life. As I said before, if people are tagging their initials everywhere and putting it in places it shouldn’t be, then there should be a problem with them doing graffiti,but if they just tag in places that they own or asks permission before they do it then there should be no problem.Taggers like to be creative and want everyone to see their work so they can be known for their artistic abilities. Honestly, by everyone trying to get rid of it is just wasting a lot of money on nothing because taggers will keep tagging all they can and everywhere they can, different states all around the United States spends millions of dollars every year just to cover up art (

  • SnodonStudents

    ​Graffiti is very awesome looking. It just pops out and says wow. Graffiti is a very valuable art. It shows people to be confident and to keep trying their hardest at art, and graffiti adds a lot of character to very bland things. All cities, states, counties, etc should respect the fact that there’s people out there that are artistic and want to use their own time to add character to the area. Most people look at graffiti artists as criminals, but they’re not; they are artists.

  • SnodonStudents

    Graffiti is a an art form, most people do not understand that. The definition of art is “the expression or application of human creative skill and imagination, typically in a visual form such as painting or sculpture, producing works to be appreciated primarily for their beauty or emotional power.” which means that very much like art, graffiti is the same thing, just not on a canvas or in an enclosed area. People can use graffiti as a way to express themselves, but others use it to tag gang related phrases or signs, or just to have their name somewhere for the public to see which is not at all fair or right to the people that own or have to pay to cover up the graffiti. According to ( in 2006, approximately twenty eight million dollars were spent on covering up graffiti in Los angeles, alone. But think of it like this, how much of that was really needed to be covered up? Did they really have to cover up all graffiti in the area? Probably not. Under certain circumstances, the cover up is needed but not in all cases. Let’s say there was a toy store for kids located in a small town and someone came in the middle of the night and “bombed” it, but they actually put something that grabs attention and makes people look at it and go wow! i want to go in there and get my toys, then the stores will have more customers which is more income for the company. Graffiti should not be considered a crime, unless it’s on federal property and even at that, they should not be locked up for it because it would end up making the government pay even more money for incarceration, they should just have to pay the cost to cover the “tag” up.

  • SnodonStudents

    Graffiti is an art. Graffiti takes time and talent to do and years of practice. Edward Martinez admits that when he was a boy growing up in Newark, N.J., the inside of his bedroom closet may not have been the best place to begin experimenting with graffiti. But the experience lit a spark. “It was like magic,” the artist remembers. “For me, graffiti art was the vehicle to give me my voice. Not so much to spread a political message — the message was that I was alive.” By Cynthia Stone | Jan 30, 2014. The artists don’t see what they do as vandalism they see it as expressing themselves and doing what they love. There should be rules that graffiti is allowed some places, but these rules should also respect people who have different views and their property. Some people think that graffiti is trashy looking and degrades the buildings they are on. But don’t you think people may have thought that about Jackson Pollock when he used the splatter painting method.

  • SnodonStudents

    The Great & Powerful Trixie has admired graffiti that the fans has made of her, but at least they can do is ask before they spray. Trixie means that the basics of graffiti isn’t all about just painting. Its about painting your emotions, putting them out to show the world who you are, and to show them that you’re alive. Trixie has seen it all, but you must ask before you spray. Many young graffiti artist has went to jail without asking, and this is acts of vandalism they might say.Trixie never done graffiti but to let you on the same note, graffiti isn’t vandalism, its just art of the youth.

  • SnodonStudents

    Cadillac Ranch Author Cadillac Ranch in Amarillo Texas an aristocracy of roadside attraction has been raised over the years glorified in photo essays calendar blogs and tweets spotlighted in the video and film instantly recognized a icons standing along route 66 west of Amarillo Texas cadillac ranch was invented and built by a group of art hippies imported from san-francisco these artist are known for going out to the desert it looks like and doing graffiti on old cars they should have competitions on their graffiti on the cars it says here tourist are always welcome at cadillac ranch if you bring spray paint make sure to also bring a camera because whatever you create at cadillac ranch will probably only last a few hours before its created over by someone else Despite its exposed location in an empty field, Cadillac Ranch seems to give its art-anarchists a sense of privacy and anonymity, like a urinal stall in a men’s room. Individual painters take a stance facing one of the cars, then let it fly. Surrounding visitors keep their distance, perhaps less out of courtesy than from a desire to stay clear of the spray cloud. The Europeans really seemed to enjoy attacking the cars during our visit, maybe because they’ve lacked a good graffiti canvas since the toppling of the Berlin Wall Graffiti is a valuable atr because thats how some people express themselves and show their talent it may be wrong on some things but its how they are expressing themselves and they are trying to make the world a better place and also giving the city and country some style to this boring world

  • SnodonStudents

    When you step back and look at graffiti on a bridge or tall building do you think wow what a bunch of gang bangers in this area and leave or does your mind wonder off and you ask questions to yourself like “ How did they get up there? “ or “ did they have to hang over the side of the bridge and paint it upside down? “ When i see real graffiti like huge pictures on sides of building i think that takes a lot of time and creation. Thats a talent not a crime.
    Should we be trying to get rid of it?:To answer that question it takes a lot of factors into play. Mainly the location of the graffiti. If you are trying to expand your city and bring more people into it and build it up, maybe graffiti on city halls wall isnt a great idea. What if you held a meeting for the city and brought all off the “Vandals” into the meeting and hired them to paint beautiful graffiti over parts of the town or cover up old graffiti and have a picture representing the town in a good way? Its just a thought but it couldn’t hurt to try.

  • SnodonStudents

    @KQEDEdspace Graffiti costs the government up to $1,000 per offense, generally it will take up to 1 million dollars to repair all the tags around the area. Taggers don’t understand that they are costing the government millions of dollars for them just trying to express themselves. Although graffiti is very pretty to look at, it’s still wrong. #DONOWGRAFFITI

  • SnodonStudents

    Is graffiti a valuable art form? Yes it is. It takes a lot of talent and time and not everybody can do it. It is also a good way for people to express themselves and not have to worry about what a lot of people say. A good bit of people get in trouble for spray painting walls where they don’t have permission which is wrong, but they need places to paint. There should be parks or places where they could just go and paint for as long as they want and not get in trouble. They have a lot of talent that is being wasted because they are in trouble for showing their talent. The only reason they should get in any trouble would be if the piece was inappropriate or gang related or related to any other illegal activity.

  • SnodonStudents

    Graffiti is a valuable art form because it allows people to express themselves on current issues in their surroundings. It allows us as artists to express opinions on things such as politics and scandals in our surroundings . But some people do trashy graffiti and in a way, they swindle the positive attitudes about it away from people. They see the trashy tags everywhere and they assume all graffiti is done by vandalous people. We should let graffiti happen in certain places like parks, walls and trains that are open for the public. I believe that some people that graffiti things are role models because they try to open our eyes and make us conscious of our surroundings and what’s going on in our environment. But some others do it to make themselves and their gangs known and that is what gives graffiti a bad reputation.

  • SnodonStudents

    Graffiti is a valuable art form because many people have done it before and because of the colors. We shouldn’t get rid of graffiti because some people are really good at it and the government shouldn’t make them throw away that gift. Graffiti is a real talent for role models.
    The government should let people express themselves through graffiti because expressing yourself is a good thing, not a bad thing.

  • SnodonStudents

    Graffiti is not a crime; it is an art. The people that create this form of art do it not to vandalize but to give personality to the canvas they use . Yes, graffiti is consider vandalization in the eyes of the law, but when you see a train go by with graffiti on the cars, it adds flavor to them instead of boring train cars. Graffiti is as American as it gets; it was borin in New York on subway cars, then spread across the US and is still growing. Graffiti is more of a beautiful art than it is a crime.

  • Tateeana Ibarra

    I think that graffiti can be a positive and negative thing. Usually when people see graffiti they automatically assume that its all bad. If they would actually look at it and see what its really all about then maybe they would realize that it could be supporting something. People need to actually look at it and not just judge it by the way its written.

  • Samantha Wojcik

    I don’t see graffiti where I live. I think that graffiti is a great way to express art. I like to see graffiti in the bigger cites and seeing broken down building or rusted train cars and then you see the bright colorful graffiti on the side. To me it like they brought life back to those broken down images. I think it is a great way to express life.

  • Cole Reinhold

    I think that graffiti is ok in some ways. It can be accepted if its actually pretty and sends a good message, but if its just some guy writing some ugly letter or something tagging the area for a gang then its useless and annoying to see.

    • Samantha Wojcik

      I agree. Graffiti can be a art, but if it just something totally random or profanity related its just annoying.

  • Clay

    I find graffiti as a whole to be destructive, distracting, and useless. If you’re that passionate about what you’re drawing that you have to deface public property, then do it on something you own. Stop being a narcissistic, “aspiring artist”.

  • Kyle Williams

    Graffiti can be nice, but most of the time it is not. Many things of graffiti do not have the greatest meanings behind them, and it is really not the matter of if it looks right. Most of the time, it is illegal.

  • Arthur Clemons

    Most of the graffiti around town is amateur and not well done. I think that more graffiti artists would really lighten the town up. It would add more to the plain blank walls, and the very bland looking buildings.

    • Arthur Clemons

      I like this

  • Wesley Seidelmann

    I’m not really sure about the graffiti around here because I’ve never really seen any.

    • Kyle Williams

      I wish I could see some fun stuff around here, we get nothing like this!

  • Isaac Scarborough

    I haven’t seen much graffiti around my area, but when I’ve traveled to larger cities, I have seen quite a bit and I must say it looks amazing. It must take a lot of skill and creativity to pull off what some of these people do. I think it’s perfectly fine to make graffiti as long as you have the right purpose. If you are making graffiti just to vandalize you shouldn’t be doing it.

    • Guest


  • Liz Powley

    Yes I agree Graffiti is a way to express someone’s way of art and life! it is really cool and colors the world around us. but I believe if graffiti is used a vulgar mean way on things that should not have graffiti on it then it can be a bad thing! But all in all if its at the right place I the right situation its really cool and amazing form of art.

  • Lea

    I think the picture of the graffiti that I have is considered good. It does not represent anything bad, it shows that our “city (is) by the bay.” It does not have any bad connotations and it is clear and colorful, whereas other types of graffiti are unreadable. I think the type of graffiti that should be allowed should have a positive and bigger meaning behind it. I think the amount of graffiti in my neighborhood is just enough.

  • Dakota Brooke

    The graffiti around my area is mostly on trains that go by. There is such a variety of graffiti on trains, my favorite works are ones with more than one color and a unique idea.

    • Dakota Brooke

      I like this work.

  • john

    We don’t have graffiti where i live. When we do, its always on stop signs and its clever sayings.

  • E C

    I think that graffiti is a healthy and non-violent way to express our point of views in an artistic way. The amount of graffiti in my neighborhood is enough. Even if I don’t know what my picture says, the colors and how it’s written is good.

  • Lindsay Tong

    The graffiti in my community is amazing. I would even call it art. I see it as a great feature in my community. It stands out to me because it is a way to express yourself and to express what you have a passion for. As well as the artistic ability these people have is incredible. The art shows character and individuality. This graffiti I see all over my community is valuable because they are as original as the paintings in museums. These images cannot not be replicated or rethought. It is what makes our city known for; for being able to speak out and express who we are as people. I would not mind seeing more graffiti in my neighborhood although it is not very common where I live. Graffiti can only be “bad’ when it is on private property or if it is promoting a negative message. Other than that, graffiti is seen as a form of art to me. #cossey459

  • Shirley Mei

    To me, graffiti is a type of art form and a means of creative expression for artists. It can also be seen as a representation of culture in some places, depending on the image portrayed. As long as it doesn’t devalue or deface property and contributes to society in a creative manner, graffiti is good to have.

  • Rosa Chea

    I feel that graffiti is a safe way to observe people showing their expressions through creative and artistic stuff . Even though when I don’t comprehend what the art is talking and meaning about, I feel like it still brings back good and positive side to it for the neighborhood. When it comes to seeing graffiti, it just puts me in a good mood that brings me so much excitement.


    I personally do not wish to see any more graffiti in my neighborhood. Creative graffiti may make great works of art, but it is still an act of vandalism that is no different than the tagging seen in my neighborhood. Graffiti ruins the beauty of structures and it costs cites alot of money to remove it.

  • Here is the storify bu the students at URJC in Spain after having been twittering on graffiti:

  • Beezer Kitty

    In the community that I live in I never see any graffiti. I live in Petoskey, MI and it is a beautiful area(in the summer, I mean.) During the winter it’s mind-numbingly cold and bitter. The snow is absolutely breathtaking on the bay.

  • Beatriz Vargas

    MOST of the graffiti in my community, has to do with either “THE” famous Carnaval(Parade) that takes place in the Mission, or famous activist’s, such as Cesar Chavez. This particular painting reminds me of the amusement of Carnaval! I enjoy most of the art in my community because its what makes the Mission “THE MISSION”. I don’t mind graffiti, and don’t think is bad as long as you’re respecting one’s property and are willing to take into consideration others. #GraffittiDoNow #Cossey459

  • kyla

    Graffiti in my neighborhood looks like a bunch of words people use to express there selves. It shows how they feel.

  • Briar

    The type of graffiti I see is more signatures, people marking there place, showing where and what they rule. what stands out is the fact that to me personally its not really art, its not really beautiful, its just letters sprayed on a wall. I don’t quiet like it, but i’m sure the people who put it there do. if the graffiti were more visual, more explosive, more something else I would love to see more of it everywhere. a tiny town, with boring walls needs some new patterns and colors.



Kristin Farr

Kristin Farr is KQED's Arts Education Manager. She is the creator and producer of the Emmy Award-winning video series, Art School, which brings audiences into artists' studios to learn about contemporary art, and engages learners with ideas for new ways to get creative. She is also an artist and a contributing editor for Juxtapoz Magazine.

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