What Is Moss Graffiti: How To Make Moss Graffiti
By: Anne Baley
Imagine walking down a city street and, instead of paint tags, you find a spread of creative artwork growing in moss on a wall or building. You’ve found the latest in ecological guerrilla garden art — moss graffiti art. Artists and green taggers create graffiti using moss, which is completely harmless to buildings. These creative artists create a paint-like mixture of moss and other ingredients and paint it on vertical surfaces using stencils or creating art freehand. Learn how to make moss graffiti on your own and you can decorate your home with words of inspiration or your garden wall with plant names and pictures.
Information About Graffiti Using Moss
What is moss graffiti? It’s green and ecological artwork designed to create an emotional response, just like other graffiti, but it doesn’t do any damage to the underlying structures. Making a moss graffiti painting can be much simpler than conventional tagging, since it usually begins with a stencil.
Make a stencil of your chosen design with stiff poster board. Make it large enough to stand out, but use simplified shapes. When creating art with living plants, the edges of shapes may grow fuzzy, so use large, blocky images.
Mix the moss “paint” in a blender and pour it into a bucket. Hold the stencil up against your chosen wall, or have a helper hold it for you. Use a sponge brush to apply a thick layer of the moss paint to the wall, filling in all the spaces in the stencil. Remove the stencil carefully and allow the moss paint to dry.
Mist the area with clear water and a spray bottle once a week to give the growing plants some moisture. You’ll begin to see greenery in a few weeks, but the complete beauty of your work may not be visible until a month or so has passed.
Moss Graffiti Recipe
In order to create the moss graffiti recipe, you’ll need an ordinary blender. There are a number of different recipes online, but this one creates a nice, thick gel that is easy to apply and that will stick well to both wood and brick surfaces.
Tear up three handfuls of moss and put them in a blender cup. Add 3 cups of water. Top this with 2 tablespoons of water-retention gel, which you can find in gardening stores. Add ½ cup of buttermilk or plain yogurt and place the lid on top.
Mix the ingredients together for two to five minutes, until a thick gel forms. Pour the gel into a bucket and you’re ready to create some green art of your own.
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How to Make Moss Graffiti
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Creating living, breathing moss graffiti is an eco-friendly and exciting way to make art! Also called eco-graffiti or green graffiti, moss graffiti replaces spray paint, paint-markers or other such toxic chemicals. You can create outdoor moss graffiti on concrete, stone, or brick walls. Just don’t graffiti walls that you don’t own because doing so is illegal, even if it’s just moss. You’ll need to know how to mix the moss paint, apply it, and take care of it so your moss art can grow and thrive.
What is Moss Graffiti
Image Source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/fanega/11850788344
Long gone are the days when graffiti were considered a mere act of vandalism or an “eyesore.” Street art has established itself as a legitimate form of art, which has received the nod of the art community and is welcomed to bring colour to dull cityscapes. And it now has a green touch to it as well in the form of moss graffiti. Green graffiti and reverse graffiti convey messages and trigger emotional reactions in the same way as traditional spray paint street art, but do so without harming the buildings in any way.
Moss Graffiti Makes Eco-Friendly Street Art (PHOTOS)
Graffiti -- some still consider it urban blight, but it's a well-established art form. And now, it's gone green.
In recent years, a handful of artists around the world have advanced the dialogue of the medium by using eco-friendly materials like moss to make their statements, and their work has inspired a cross-section of society, from crafty moms to street culture bloggers.
While it might seem like a small adjustment in materials, the implications of green graffiti are revitalizing. If graffiti at its root seeks to confront and transform an urban canvas, then there is perhaps no act more subversive than using living, breathing organisms to change a bleak landscape into a verdant one.
SCROLL DOWN FOR PHOTOS
Moss can be applied to surfaces using an organic adhesive, or blended into an all-natural (albeit unsavory) "paint" including ingredients like yogurt, sugar and beer. Either way, it has a very small ecological footprint compared to the aerosol paints traditionally used in making graffiti.
Artists that have become known for their green art include Anna Garforth, whose "moss typography" and outdoor installations draw attention to the restorative and healing properties of its principle material. According to her website, Garforth has a client list that includes international banks, design schools and galleries, but she's not above sneaking "behind locked gates" to draw attention to a "small wilderness."
Edina Tokodi, a Hungarian-born, New York-based artist also takes her work directly to the public, having adorned subways and other high-traffic areas with moss and grass stencils of animals. She is the founder of Mosstika Urban Greenery, "a collective of eco-minded street artists dedicated to green guerilla tactics and inspired public art."
In a sense, each artist is creating on a personal scale what Patrick Blanc, inventor of the "green wall," and numerous architects working with green roofs have popularized on a grand scale.
"If everyone had a garden of their own to cultivate, we would have a much more balanced relation to our territories," Mosstika's website states.
In addition to working with moss, both artists also work with other organic materials. The Huffington Post contacted both Garforth and Tokodi via e-mail for comment, but neither returned comment before press time.
How to Prepare Moss Paint
To stir up your own moss mixtures, you will need:
- 3 cups of clean moss
- 2 cups plain yogurt or buttermilk
- 2 cups water (or beer)
- 1-2 tsp of sugar
- optional: a dollop of corn syrup.
You can either collect the moss from your garden or any other place you can find, or buy some. Wash as much of the soil and plant matter off the moss as possible and place the broken clumps in a blender (preferably, an old one). Then add the sugar and the buttermilk or yogurt. Blend to a thick consistency. Add some water if it gets too sticky. You can replace the sugar with a water-retention gel, which you can find in gardening stores, to give the mixture a thick, gel-like consistency, making it easy to apply and help the moss graffiti stick to wood and brick. Pour the mixture into a container with a lid.