How to Secretly Give Art Away

Headshot a.k.a. Guerrilla Art

Hopefully you’re spending your summer learning something new with a book like Living Into Art, or a Cloth Paper Scissors DVD Workshop(TM). If you’ve read your July/August issue of Cloth Paper Scissors already, then you’ve already been introduced to Guerrilla Art in Fred Free’s fantastic article. For those of you who haven’t read it yet because you’re planning on reading it on your upcoming vacation, let me give you the shorthand version of Fred’s article.

Guerrilla Art Is…

  • Rebellious: Guerrilla art can be as rebellious as the simple act of putting your art in a space without asking permission.
  • Collaborative: Guerrilla art can be made and re-made by one or many artists.
  • Transformative: Guerrilla art can create a surprise for those who come upon it.
  • Ego less: Guerrilla art is about caring less that you not getting paid—making art for art’s sake.
  • Free for all.

GuerillaAre you intrigued? I was. I have been a friend of Fred’s for some time now and while I always talk a big game when the subject of guerilla art came up, I never actually followed through on my bravado. After asking Fred to write this insightful article, I knew I had to really put my cards on the table and try it.

At first it was easy, I started some fun collages on small 6" x 6" canvas boards. So far, very little investment. Then I decided to be brave and go in a different colorway than I normally used. I mean, really, no one was going to know who made them so even if I didn’t like them, it wouldn’t be a waste. But then, I decided I liked them. I wasn’t sure I was going to be able to part with them. Thankfully, I brought the pieces into work and told the team I was going to do some guerrilla art of my own—no backing out now!

Guerrilla-art-in-windowThe plan was to take the four piece of art and leave them behind on my cruise to the Caribbean. And I’m happy to say, I met my objective. Click on the video above to see my “report” from the Carribean.

Jenn’s Guide to Guerrilla Art

  1. Make art. Try something new, be brave. Be inspired by a book, video, new supply or a workshop.
  2. Think small. Little art is easier to hide. For those of you who have read Harry Potter books, you don’t want the Muggles to see.
  3. Leave quickly. Try to leave your art just as you’re leaving so there is less of a chance that someone will see you leave it there.
  4. Leave a note. I was worried that someone would turn the art in to a lost and found where it would sit and then be thrown out so I left a little note on the back that said—This is yours now! Enjoy!
  5. Lather, Rinse, Repeat. Once you try it, you’ll want to do it again and again. Consider having a Guerrilla Art Party where you and your arty friends spend a day making art to leave around town. Or have a show where all the art is free. Be spontaneous.

If you think you have some great guerrilla art ideas let me know here on the blog and if you’re coming to the CREATE retreat in August, keep your eyes peeled, I may be leaving some art around there, too.






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