Cyril, a French artist from France joined us to paint our library bus. He has been travelling for last three years, working with different communities and kids around the world.
“Graffiti” on the day 1 was the key word where we began! For many of us this word was new and we naturally began with few questions – What is Graffiti? How it is different from writing on the walls? Why writing names on the walls was/is illegal, but the art of Graffiti is acceptable?
Do Graffiti artist play with letters only? . Can one can also play with image and other graphics?
Now the next question was where to start? We began with letters we wanted to play with – Athena is the name of our library, hence we began to choose the words and images related to Athena – The goddess of wisdom, inspiration, courage, art and craft. The images of snakes, owl, spear and helmet came as choices of images associated with Athena.
Next question how to make designs?It was cool to see those spray paints, designs and painted walls. But the question was how to start? We began to learn about Graffitti through lines, curves, and play with words. It was not about one design, but making many designs with the same letters – we call it play.Just when some of us thought “oh, so much to do, why not getting it as cool designs as his”, he shared his design journey. He stared when he was 12yrs old, no Google to find more images, no money to buy books. But doing, observing, doing, trying, imagining, observing and playing helped him to get going.
Day 2 was full of excitement and anxiety to start a big project, selecting paint and seeing our designs coming alive. The twist in the tale came when we came to know that Cyril needed to go back to France for a medical and personal emergency. We were not sure we would be able to do work of such a large scale. Well, the circumstances gave us an opportunity to rise above our own limitations and capabilities – few kids took the challenge to LEAD! Some more children joined – some painted for 6 hrs while some painted for one hour. Some continued to paint everyday, while some decided to move ahead with other interest.
It was not easy to lead but the opportunity to become leader brought larger perspective. The work slowed down but not the spirit. We took the challenge. We moved ahead and the process continues….