The very basic building block of street art is the tag. Although most people find them ugly, i just think that every artist needs to start somewhere, for street artists, its the tag. Firstly the tag is basicly writing your name, or whatever name you use for your art on a wall in a simple style. (although some tags can be quite complicated) The first step of a good tag is the marker that you will use to write it with. Tags can be sharp and clean, drippy and messy, thick, thin, simple or very eleborate, just depending on what brand and variety of marker that you use.
The first marker that im going to talk about is the old standard, the pilot wide and broad super-color marker. This marker is one of the oldest tagging markers and was used by some of the first street artists in the early seventies. The pilot ink is super permanent and the marker itself has a nib tha lets you make extremely sharp and clean tags. Its refillable and not messy. I recomend this for beginners who are just coming into the urban art scene Because of its low price (5.00) and the pick up and go simplicity. The pilot is best used on metal (electric boxes, street signs, etc.) glass, and polished wood. It also works great on canvas, if you're into the gallery side of street art or just want to hang an elaborate tag on your wall. The downsides to this marker is that the nib is not very durable and will be eaten away by rough surfaces like wood, brick, or textured walls and it comes in a very limited amount of colors, all of which (except black) don't cover dark surfaces very well.
The next marker is one of my favorites. The Krink K-60 mop, and in my opinion, the best mop on the market. First let me explain what i mean by mop. A mop style marker is a marker that when squeezed while writing on a wall your tag will drip and ooze. A style favoured by many street artists and pioneered by Krinks CEO and founder KR. For a few examples of mop tags check out the gallery at the bottom. The K-60 produces amazing tags when used correctly, and is incredibly hard to remove from any surface. It's very easily refillable if you know what your doing, but can be messy as hell if you muck it up. The K-60 comes in a vareity of colors and can be filled with almost any kind of ink which makes it popular amongst people who manufactor there own inks. I highly recommend this marker to artists who feel the have enough expeirence to handle it properly. The downsides, as i said, are that its really messy and pretty expensive at 10.99 a pop with 1.99 replacement nibs. However once you get your hands on it, the K-60 will last a long time if maintained.
The third marker is one of the most popular markers on the market. It can write on virtually any material and comes in about a dozen diffrent colors, including a glow in the dark version. The sakura solid paint marker is one of the key weapons in the war to bring art to the streets. It can be used to doodle on walls as well a doing simple thin tags that are incredibly hard to remove and show through layers of white-wash. The vareity of colors are one of the main reasons behind this markers popularity. The sakura solid marker is essentally a stick of solid paint incased in a plastic tube so when u write on a wall it slowly shaves away at the marker leaving a thick trail of brightly colored super permenant paint behind. To see what i mean by this check out the gallery at the bottom of the page. I highly recomend these markers for pros and ametures alike. They are cheap (2.00), durable and the small size and neatness of the sakura makes it easy to conceal in your pocket without get your pants all mucked up. The downside is that if you press down too hard while tagging or you use it on textured walls it will run out faster than you can say "wonderhowto".
The final marker i want to talk about is widely renowned as the most durable marker on the market. It will write in the rain, on metal, on wood, on textured walls, even rust. You name it, it will draw all over it! The grog "metal head" steel tip mop marker. Essentially its a huge ball point marker that when used on anything will leave a beautiful drippy tag. These markers are very hard o make look good but once you get the hang of it you can create some of the best tags around. The grog ink is also a personal favorite of mine, and is made and bottled in italy. I would only recomend this marker for use by vetrens of public art, or for extremly ambitious novices. This is a very permanent marker, so your tags are there to stay when you use this baby. The main downside of ths marker is the amount of time it takes to get a really good looking tag. It took me a month just to get the hang of using this thing. The K-66 is also pretty pricey. It sells for about 10.99 and although you will never need to buy another nib, the ink is about 14.99 for a container that has four or five refills.
Part two coming soon.