Project 1

My Stencil Graffiti


My original idea for the stencil graffiti project began with just Tinkerbell. I really wanted to incorporate Tinkerbell into my stencil graffiti because this Disney character is very important to me. When I was a little girl, my mother began giving me Tink memorabilia and now I am a collector. Though I had an idea of what my image would be, I had no idea what my text was going to be about or what the problem was that I would be trying to address. When I searched for pictures of Tinkerbell, there were many pictures that said “believe” on them. One of my favorite songs is Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin’,” and since it had the word “believe” in it, I thought that it would go well with my image of Tink. Then I began thinking about what Tinkerbell as a character represents, and the concepts that came to mind were youth and innocence. I thought about how there has been a loss of innocence in the world today due to the loose control of sex, drugs, and violence in the media, and thought that this would be a good problem to address with my chosen image and text.

I then decided that my image of Tinkerbell should be a close up, showing her youth and beauty. I chose to use the colors pink and black, not only because they were the primary colors used in my original image, but also because pink is a color of innocence and black is a color of darkness. I also used lime green cardboard to paint the stencil on because it is the actual color of her dress. I originally thought that I would be able to cut out each line of my stencil, but I soon realized that some of them were too small and intricate, so I edited my stencil to only include the parts of my Tink image that were necessary to recognize the image and to see the similarity between my stencil and the original image that I traced.

I executed my ideas by taping the photo-shopped image of Tink to a piece of white cardboard paper. Then I used my exacto-knife to cut out all of the black portions of the stencil. At first, it only cut through the paper, so I had to cut harder which was difficult and actually resulted in a callus on my finger. Making the entire cardboard Tinkerbell stencil took me approximately three hours. After making the stencil, I then drew the “Don’t Stop Believin’” stencil by hand right on the white cardboard and then cut that out in the same way as the Tink stencil. Then, I taped the Tink image and the text onto the lime green cardboard and dabbed the stencil with the pink and black acrylic paint. After I peeled the stencil off, my project was complete, and I was able to complete it in one try.

I think that the class may have enjoyed my graffiti, but I know that my friends thought that it was pretty cool. My final thoughts on the project is that it was fun and interesting, though difficult to complete. It turned out well and I am very happy with my final project for project one.


When looking at the world today and the many problems that face it, one problem seemed to speak to me. This problem is the loss of innocence among young children today. I attempted to solve this problem via stencil graffiti. My stencil graffiti is a picture of Tinkerbell, a fairy featured in Peter Pan and first animated in 1953 by Walt Disney. She is the “unofficial” mascot of Walt Disney. My stencil graffiti also says “Don’t Stop Believin’,” which is the title of a very popular Journey song from 1981. As previously stated, the “problem” that I see facing the world today is a loss of innocence. With more mature content being featured via television and internet, children of the world are being exposed to things such as sex and drugs at a much younger age. They are also beginning to lose their belief in imaginary things such as Santa Claus and the Tooth fairy. With this stencil graffiti, I am trying to solve this problem by portraying a message of innocence. Since Tinkerbell is the “unofficial” mascot of a company that continuously promotes innocence and imagination, I felt that it would be a good image to portray. In addition to this, the slogan “Don’t Stop Believin” will encourage children to continue to believe in not only fairies, but in their imaginations and innocence. In addition to this, my message can also speak to adults who have forgotten what it was like to be young. It may help them to regain their sense of innocence and imagination, showing them that being more “child-like” can truly benefit their lives. This stencil graffiti would be best displayed on a t-shirt. It could be sold as children’s clothing stores or even at amusement parks. By displaying this message on a t-shirt, an array of people will have the opportunity to view this message and ponder its meaning with the hope of bringing back the imagination and belief in both young children and adults.

My stencil graffiti is a great example of remediation as explained in the Bolter and Grusin readings. I have taken a well-known image and remade it into something new and modern. I have also changed the typical message, adding more power behind it and expanding the typical audience from just children to adults as well. The text that I have chosen to use in this stencil graffiti also provides leverage in the same way that language does according to the Drucker reading. It challenges anyone who views this graffiti to reanalyze or reevaluate the typical thoughts associated with this well known character, expressing a deeper meaning beyond the ones classically associated with this universal animation. By combining this specific and recognized graphic picture with this famous song title, anyone who views this will question why two seemingly unrelated topics have been molded together. Though the combination may seem odd, I feel that upon further analysis, this pairing can be inspirational and truly help to bring back an age of innocence in the world.

Stencil Graffiti Analysis

I decided to pick one of Greg’s examples of stencil graffiti to analyze.  This piece of artwork is a clear form of remediation.  It is taking a classic American icon (featured below) and using it to change the message from, “I want you to join the army,” which was the government’s slogan to help gather troops, to “OBEY” what the government says.

Therefore, the audience for this piece of stencil graffiti could be anyone really, either U.S. citizens, or perhaps a warning to other countries to follow the lead of the U.S. Though my initial reaction was negative, I believe that this may have been due to my interpretation that this was meant for U.S. citizens. If the audience were to actually be meant for enemy countries, I feel that my negative attitude may be altered a bit, though I do not feel that telling anyone just to “OBEY” will get much of anything accomplished.

On the other hand, it can be mocking the intense control that the government is trying to have on the citizens of America or on other countries. The pistol makes the image forceful and almost scary, making the message instill fear and bad feelings toward the U.S. government.

Regardless of where this graffiti were to be found, the message would most likely still get the point across. If it were to be found on a government building of some sort, though, it may have more of an impact then if it were to be found in a park or something.


One response

9 02 2010
Hilary Hatton

Your stencil graffiti is beautiful! That makes me want to get the word “believe” tattooed on me. What a moving piece of art–I’m sure it took forever to complete.

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