Virtual graffiti walls are everywhere, everyone wants one in their events and countless vendors are using them to engage customers all over the world.
Things are going great @ Foto Master and we decided to explore this question thoroughly, we wanted to understand where the market is going and how we can improve our service and one can only know that by understanding the physical and emotional appeal it holds over us.
So let’s dive in, shall we?
Yes, you might say that painting graffiti legally is just a fun way to blow some steam but apparently there’s more to that than meets the eye. The reason we enjoy painting graffiti has its root buried deep in our past.
So let’s start at the beginning…
Graffiti, in it’s modern from, started with artists painting subway carts from top to bottom and then moved onto building walls in Philadelphia in the early 1960’s. What was at first vandalism on public property quickly evolved into a form of artistic expression, nowadays we can see graffiti in galleries, art museums, art shows and all over our streets.
But what’s so appealing about painting something on a wall? And why sharing something we pained with others feels so good?
All those questions have answers; let’s start with the most profound effect we experience when we’re painting.
Art as a form of expression has an amazing effect on us. It allows us to explore our emotions and manifest them into something others can interact with. This form of expression has an amazing stress relief effect on us.
When we do only one thing like drawing for instance, we enter heightened state of focus called simply
Flow. Being in that state has an amazing relaxing effect on us, it’s a sense that everything has it’s place and we’re in total control.
A lot of famous people paint as a hobby, an activity that has also an effect on how well they perform in their day-jobs. Among them you can find Winston Churchill, George W. Bush and many more.
Drawing distracts us from our problems and focuses us on creating patterns. There’s something comforting in creating patterns and unraveling them, something that has a direct link to our primordial past…
We’ve been painting on cave walls for over 40,000 years. In comparison, we only started writing a few thousand years ago.
We did so to tell stories, celebrate events and pass on knowledge.
In the hunter-gatherers stage of our society, our brain was bent on solving patterns we identified in the wild (FYI, it still is, but the environment has changes a bit since then). With each pattern we solved we’ve got a reward, that reward could have been food, water or shelter.
When we identify a new pattern or work in a pattern that we already know our neurons (specialized cell transmitting nerve impulses) spark the hormone dopamine, creating a satisfying sensation in us and bonding us to the behavior that created that feeling in us so we’ll be able to recreate that feeling.
FYI, that’s how habits are formed.
Our brain is wired to decipher patterns, since our primordial past when we solved a pattern we got in return a reward. Nowadays the rewards we’re after are more suited to this day and age, recognition, connections, inspiration and a whole lot more, all developed to gratify us emotionally, giving us a sense of accomplishment.
We are complex beings, with many layers.
Most of those behavioral and emotional layers are hidden deep within our subconscious mind. Those hidden layers are the real reason why we do the things we do. If we tap on to them, we expose an inner part of us that craves attention, recognition and social connection.
When you draw something, you communicate a message and you don’t get criticized for it, at least not immediately. This pause allows us to go deeper into the message that we’re trying to convey and connects us to emotions that we have no opportunity to explore otherwise.
Other people understand what we’re doing and can really connect to it emotionally, those feelings can be positive or negative, depending on the viewer, no matter the result — the message we’re trying to convey crosses the chasm of visual communication and hits us.
Graffiti is a public expression of our inner world and when we expose ourselves to other people and interact in a positive manner with them we feel that we belong, we feel accepted.
Almost everything we do with other people is fun in and of itself because we’re social beings. We thrive on human interaction and we need to feel accepted and appreciated by all.
Acceptance is absolutely fundamental to humans says Nathan Dewall, a psychologist at the University of Kentucky.
“Belonging to a group was probably helpful to our ancestors. We have weak claws, little fur, and long childhoods; living in a group helped early humans survive harsh environments. Because of that, being part of a group still helps people feel safe and protected.”
And when we work on create something together, the experience fuels us, we share and complete each other, especially when we’re doing something new and exciting.
We learned in the point above that we need to be accepted and that we love exposing our inner world in an environment that will accept us, having fun doesn’t hurt to. But the one thing that sets graffiti apart from other forms of art its graffiti’s ability to convey a message and tell a story.
Graffiti’s are the shortest stories you’ll encounter. Short as they are, they can deliver quite a punchline.
Graffiti has done a long way since its early days.
Public art was never easier (or more legal for that matter), all you need to do is stand in front of a virtual graffiti wall with some friends and blast away!
Who knows what the future of graffiti hold?
What we do know is that the more time passes and our technology advance, the greater our need for exposure and acceptance becomes as can be seen by the thousands of social media channels available today.
Maybe augmented reality graffiti experience, graffiti holograms, 3D prints our graffiti designs…who knows?
What in your opinion are the next trends in trade show entertainment? Wherever it goes, we’ll do our best to be on that front with you!
Thank you for reading!
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