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Introduction to Street Art Types: A Beginner's Guide How To

Updated on January 17, 2018

What is Street Art?

Art publicized, illegally or legally, in the streets such as graffiti, stencils, wheat pasting, stickers, rollers, video projection, street installations, screen printing, yarn bombing, sculptures, lock-ons and so on.

Street art brings forward a different perspective on our society. While destruction may appear to be the only effects of this so called "art", many street art artist hold a different agenda.

Today I will be displaying just a few of the many talented street art artists which will force you to question your belief on graffiti and what it stands for. As you will be able to tell, not all street art is the same. Every artist I have chosen is known for breaking through your traditional form of street art, graffiti tagging.

Different Forms of Street Art

Video Projection
Video Projection
Yarn Bombing
Yarn Bombing
Wheat Paste
Wheat Paste
Sculpture Installation
Sculpture Installation

An Evolving Message

In recent times, street art has progressed and evolved to include just about any type of medium to relay a message, an opinion, a remark, or to simply express one's need for attention. The types of street art vary and are often changing. (However, you can see 5 types of street art that perhaps you have or have not noticed by clicking Here.)

Favorite Type of Street Art?

What is your favorite type of street art?

See results

3D Art

Artist: Daim
Artist: Daim
Artist: Daim
Artist: Daim
Artist: Daim
Artist: Daim
Artist: Daim
Artist: Daim


Artist: Banksy
Perhaps the most famous stencil artist in the world, Banksy has created a subculture of its own in the street art field. Not only does his work include many powerful images, which are often controversial, but they may also be seen through-out the internet as viral images.

Method: Stencils
Often multi-layered stencils or combined with other media sources such as spray-paint or just about anything found in the streets like street signs.

Reason: Very little is known about this artists, since he refuses to be interviewed and keeps his identity low-key. However, his work of art is often satirical and combine dark-humor with graffiti.


Artist: Banksy

Tutorial: How to Make a Big Graffiti Stencil

Stickers and Posters

Artist: Shephard Fairey "Obey"
What once was only found within the skater community can now be seen through the world in various forms of propaganda parodies. Not only has Mr. Fairey managed to turn around

Method: Stickers, Posters, Wheat Paste, and Murals.

Reason: Often created for a simple rebellion against the norms of society. In fact, he believes "street art is political by nature, because it is an act of defiance." He also sees art as " a powerful tool of political speech and social commentary" and often tries to use his art to stimulate a constructive dialogue.


Artist: Shepard Fairey

Wheat Pasting

Artist: JR
This artist combines powerful social statements through large portraits and murals. Not only has he won a TED Prize in the past, but he is also often compared to other politically charged art works. His art work is just one simple wish to change the world one step at a time.

Method: Wheat Paste, gigantic mono photographs

Reason: His work of art brings forward common everyday materials to the light. Often introducing those who are unfortunate in the world and others who are often overseen.

Artist: JR

Tutorial: How to Wheat Paste


Artist: Vhils
This man believes that destruction is a form of construction. You read that right. As crazy as it sounds he has found a very impressive method and that is by etching, scratching, carving and even exploding walls! Of course, much graffiti can be labeled destructive, but his work is truly pushing the boundaries.

Method: Etching and Carving

Reason: Growing up, Vhils was born in Portugal which was deeply affected by the revolution at the time. It was then that he witnessed much destruction and the effects of the war on the walls. He believes change is necessary to communicate with the mass public, and this includes society.


Artist: Vhils

Timelapse: Carving


Artist: Roa
One's love for animals could not be more noticed than our artist Roa. This mysterious Belgian street artist has created hundreds of murals through Europe expressing this love for animals. He often combines life, death, and life after death in his murals.

Method: Spray paint, Acrylic Paint

Reason: He has an obsession for animals and uses this obsession to paint for inspiration. Roa uses native animals based on the location he is painting in. Other than that, simply paints to paint- no other reason.

Artist: ROA

Timelapse: Mural

Street Art Does Not Always Make Sense

Street art does not have to make sense, as a matter of fact, it rarely does. Take GATS (Graffiti Against The System) for example, this artist has created a character who has famously conquered most urban blogs and websites by defining a brand of his own. Other famously known characters are Swampy, Space Invader, Banksy's Rats, Mr. A, OS Gemeos and Buff Monster.

The Purpose for Street Art

On the other hand, street art often makes sense. For example, murals transcribing a message for community peace. Or take artist JR, who won a TED prize in 2011. Through his success, he was granted "one wish to change the world." His focus relates often to the struggles people endure and also identifies him within public locations that deal with freedom, identity, and limits.

Shop Street Art Supplies and Street Wear

Shop for Graffiti Supplies on

Shop for Street Wear at

JR and his TED Prize Wish

JR, a French street artist, uses his camera to show the world its true face. He makes his audacious TED Prize wish: to use art to turn the world inside out. A funny, moving talk about art and who we are. Learn more at

JR's TED Prize Wish

2012 Popular Trends in Street Art

Most recently, lock-ons, yarn bombing, and video projection have becoming very popular.

Lock-ons, most commonly known for the welding involve, have becoming a popular technique used by very skilled craftsmen and welders. Artists, such as Tejn, take scrap metal from other urban areas and weld together to form a sculpture. They then take this sculpture and weld it, or lock it, to a common location such as a fence, street lamp, or other metal objects. Below is a video (or picture) of the work done.

Yarn bombing is definitely a method that has shocked most individuals involved in street art. Why you may ask? Well lets just say it is not something you would expect to be done simply because yarning has never been a trend within the urban community. To be honest, I have even imagined little old ladies taking a yarn and wrapping it around a light post late at night. However, times have changed and many bold individuals of the younger generation are bringing up the game.

Last but not least is video projection. This has caused massive hype in most of the metropolitan cities through-out the world. It is very exciting to notice a simple glance of the incredible marketing power this one holds. Pictures, or videos, are projected on to a massive wall to indicate changes, advertisement, artistic messages, and more.

Street Art: Lock-On

Street Art: Yarn Bombing

Street Art: Video Projection

A Growing Trend Within the Artistic Community

If you are looking for a method to get known, innovation is key. Street art is constantly changing and also evolving. It is much more difficult to stand out today than it was 5 years ago. With the growth of technology, such as social media, artists have access to thousands upon thousands of different ideas at the reach of their palm, literally.

I must admit, one must be patient to accomplish success in this field. Like any other hobby, subculture, or idea, one must be spent much time before obtaining the results in mind. I highly encourage to avoid doing any illegal stunts. Although it may seem like an upward struggle, there have been many successful legal street art artists. Often, all it takes is a great idea and motivation!

Are you involved in Street Art?

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    • profile image


      2 months ago from Ridgecrest, CA

      I love art and how it reflects what is happening good and bad in the world at the time. Kobe Bryant and his passing and the amazing murals of him and his daughter.

    • profile image

      jean bapti 

      17 months ago

      and you

    • profile image

      this site is genial 

      18 months ago

      I LOVE IT

    • profile image

      Femi Okeowo 

      2 years ago

      Every wall, fence or column could be turned into an art piece. It brings smiles and raises eyebrows. It is closer to people than the best painting or installation shown in a art gallery.

    • profile image


      3 years ago

      Awesomeness! :) If I knew how to vote up, I would!

    • AbsorbArt profile image


      4 years ago from United States

      Street art is awesome! The mural at the very top is a favorite!

    • PAINTDRIPS profile image

      Denise McGill 

      5 years ago from Fresno CA

      This is well researched and very informative. I've done a few murals but I just love Bansky's work and would love to try some stencils sometime. Maybe I will bomb my community and see what happens.

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 

      5 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Since portraying the graffiti artist Gonzo247 and writing about the group Aerosol Warfare in Houston, I am finding this subject to be of more interest. There is much more of this type artwork in Houston and I learned more about the subject by reading your hub. Thanks!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Come on and check my blogspot Street Artist from INDONESIA

    • SkySlave profile image

      Skyler DeCristoforo 

      7 years ago from Olympia, WA

      A well written and informative hub. Covered allot of the basics here. Allot of awesome artwork here as well. Defiantly dig this. Thanks for putting this together for us.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Quite funny how most of these street artists don't do most of their works! For example I see the above Banksy street pieces made by Banksy during the London Olympics of the pole volter and the missile chucker. Well these were artworks originally made by Swedish street artist Robert Hilmersson. Here's some of his works: Also if you remember 'The Donuts' this was also an artwork originally created by Hilmersson.

    • IslandBites profile image


      7 years ago from Puerto Rico

      Really interesting.

    • nArchuleta profile image

      Nadia Archuleta 

      7 years ago from Denver, Colorado

      In the Lithuanian city of Klaipeda there's a bridge where people traditionally attach a lock for marriage; it's actually pretty cool-looking. I've never heard of yarn bombing. Would shoes over a phone line be considered street art? I've seen it around Denver a lot. Great Hub!

    • Vimural profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Tucson

      Thanks Misfit Chick. I am so glad I helped you realize there was more to street art. I know there's some great artists in the Seattle area but it is not as popular as other locations.

    • Misfit Chick profile image

      Catherine Mostly 

      7 years ago from Seattle, WA - USA - The WORLD

      What a great article! I live in Seattle, and the only "street art type" I could name before now was 'grafitti & mural', ha! Thanks so much for all the hard work, research and examples. :)

    • Vimural profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Tucson

      Silva, thank you for stopping by. I know I collected a lot of information for this one, but I think it was necessary to show other individuals that not all street art is vandalism and destruction.

    • Silva Hayes profile image

      Silva Hayes 

      7 years ago from Spicewood, Texas

      So much information! Fascinating -- I have bookmarked to read again. Voted Up, Interesting. Thanks!

    • Vimural profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Tucson

      Deborah- Yes, there is so much to street art. Thank you! :)

    • DeborahNeyens profile image

      Deborah Neyens 

      7 years ago from Iowa

      Interesting. I never knew street art took so many different forms. Well done!

    • Vimural profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Tucson

      Thank you Dolores Monet and lovingart for the great feedback! I appreciate the support!

    • lovingart profile image


      7 years ago from London

      thank you for this article. really interesting and well documented!

    • Dolores Monet profile image

      Dolores Monet 

      7 years ago from East Coast, United States

      Way too much information! My mind is boggled! I just love this hub - such a fabulous introduction to street art. I want to hunt down some street art to see in person. Voted up, tweeted, and awesome!


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