If you want to learn how to do it correctly, you would be wise to study from a master. When it comes to stencil art on the street, this is a brilliant place to begin.
The Paris-based stencil artist C215 learned his skills in the street and in the studio beginning in the mid-2000s after being influenced by the burgeoning practice in the street art scene of Barcelona and recognizing the practitioners in his home in Paris. Within a few short years, he was watching the evolution of all his peers – and even curating their work into shows. You can see many styles and techniques by surveying the field, and you’ll decide whose work is a cut above.
“The book that you are holding in your hands is therefore, a manual, an inventory of techniques to be appropriated in order to get yourself started in the art, or to help you develop stenciling’s potential. Stencils have no limits and can be adapted to all styles,” says the author in his introduction.
The Stencil Graffiti Manual is a ‘how-to’ book that gives you room to experiment while clearly pointing you in the correct direction. He shows you the tools needed, describes the techniques often used, provides a primer on historical uses of stencils, reviews principles of style, reflection, pattern repetition, figurative work, abstraction, and how to manipulate your work using Photoshop and Illustrator. It would be fair to say that your skill level is probably addressed here, regardless of whether you are beginning or have been looking for a way to expand your practice.
In a friendly, straightforward tone, C215 also interviews and features some of his friends and peers known for excelling at the techniques of cutting and spraying. A small selection of the pre-eminent stencil artists is featured here whose work has been found in many international cities dating back to the 1970s, including artists like Add Fuel, Ben Eine, Evol, M-City, Miss.Tic, Jef Aerosol, Monkey Bird, Nick Walker, Snik, Sten & Lex, and Stinkfish – all of whom have appeared here on BSA over the years. Each has a different interpretation of the art-making form, and each has formulated a unique voice and perspective.
“Many artists agreed to take part in the interviews,” says C215. “Throughout these pages, they share with you their expertise and their passion for stenciling. This multi-voiced manual is not only the fruit of my experience, but also, and above all, of the meetings and links forged over time with other artists in this field.”
C215 – The Stencil Graffiti Manual. Schiffer Publishing 2022