Insta Round-Up: Inspiration from the Web


I’ve discovered some of my new favorite artists from Instagram, which is a powerful tool for sharing street art. After all, street art is all about making art more accessible, so social media just helps to break down barriers even more. I’ve been super interested in work from artists everywhere from Colombia to Germany just from seeing snapshots on Instagram. I always end up following along with their work afterwards.

Here’s a quick round-up of the artists that have been on my radar this week:

Dennis McNett via Juxtapoz Magazine

La Jaxx 



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Repost from @missaliward

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Nosego via Thinkspace

Blue Face Against a Blue Sky


As cars whizzed by and I wobbled over pavement cracks in my wedges (because it’s summer and I can’t wear them in San Francisco), a large face suddenly appeared in front of me. Well, actually, a sign describing The Springs first caught my eye. I walked towards the building and then noticed that the blue of the sky seemed to reflect off a mural on the wall depicting a face staring out into the distance.

This is the work of Christina Angelina, an artist based in California — Venice to be exact, so you can spot plenty of her pieces throughout LA. What I really loved about finding the piece on this particular day is the way that the LA environment played so beautifully with the colors in the mural.

Something about the light blue against pops of white on the wall seemed so fitting with the tufts of cloud and bright hues in the sky. Overly romantic? Maybe. But that’s what Los Angeles does to you sometimes.

The Springs — an adorable juice bar and cafe — asked Christina (nicknamed Starfighter) to paint a few walls inside and outside. When I wandered into the space, there was also an awesome pop-up shop from M Dot Design Studio.

Christina has a knack for photorealistic faces. Her muted but eye-catching color palette has become her signature although she’ll also use grays and pops of bright color in other works. A lot of her figures seem to have untold stories, secrets they’re hiding. Except the viewer doesn’t quite know what those secrets are — and maybe it’s better that way.


Burst of Colors in NYC


New York City gives me a sensation that I can only explain as the prickly feeling you get when someone is about to tell you something. You’re ready to receive the message, excited because something tells you it will be a good one.

When I arrived early on a Thursday morning, my body had no trouble adjusting to the jet lag. It also didn’t struggle with weaving itself through subways crowds or streets full of pedestrians. The only challenge: the glorious yet tiring heat.

Luckily I had a couple of sightings to keep my mind off getting lost in the muggy streets while hauling my luggage. During a stroll on the High Line with a delicious People’s Pops popsicle in hand (Strawberry Basil), I came upon this piece.

The bold style and signature tipped me off right away: it’s a piece by Eduardo Kobra, a Brazilian street artist. The mural makes its way into your field of vision when you walk the High Line. It’s a rare moment to see street art from higher up than the ground — you can almost envision yourself in the position of the artist himself. Street art, after all, is about height and perspective so seeing it from the ground sometimes doesn’t do the work enough justice.

The patterns on the piece (those tights!) are fantastic and lend a super recognizable aesthetic to Kobra’s work. He’s depicted everyone from Dalí to Einstein is this signature style. It reminds of something between a colorful quilt and an explosion of bright pixels. Covered in these distinct colors, each scene and person seems to take on a different shape.

I continued to my next adventure and my friend pointed out this Roy Lichtenstein piece in the subway station. So while onlookers watched a subway performer I snapped a photo.roylichtenstein_theworldisacanvas

The “Times Square Mural” is six feet tall and 53 feet long; amazingly, Lichtenstein completed it three years before his death. It’s got references to all kinds of cultural history, like the 1939 and 1964 world’s fairs. I am a big fan of Lichtenstein’s work but normally see his pieces at galleries or museums. Seeing one of his pieces in a public space gave it a different sort of magic, especially with a crowd standing underneath it. New York City’s past and present seemed to come together and I felt then and there that the city had a rich history I needed to know more about.

Alas, my trip was only a couple of days. But I walked away with the feeling that I would be back again. And I KNOW there is plenty more street and public art to discover.

Seen Across the City: A Few Favorites

Zio Zeigler_theworldisacanvas

Zio Ziegler spotted in the Outer Sunset. Such a cool mix of color and pattern.

In San Francisco, you better hold on when you get on the bus. The announcement over the speakers tells you so and a kind stranger might warn you, too but if you don’t heed those warnings you’ll learn your lesson soon enough. When the bus goes lurching forward, it makes even the most talented skaters and gymnasts (who else has great balance?) judge their abilities. Basically, you might go flying forward into the dashboard or head-first into someone’s groceries.

But the magical part of riding public transportation here — at least from an LA native’s perspective — is how easily it can get you almost anywhere. So long as you hold on tight. In LA, I stumbled upon street art while driving. But after two years of not driving, I realize the value of finding public art while stepping off the bus or just walking.

Apologies for the long break (again). Here are some of my recent (and not-so-recent) favorites from around the city:


Nychos in the Tenderloin (or TenderNob as the locals call it). The word ‘gnarly’ comes to mind.


Clever Eclair Bandersnatch piece in the Mission.


One of many awesome pieces in Clarion Alley in the mission. Artist unknown (any leads?).


Awesome collaboration between Brett Flannigan, Zio Ziegler and Cannon Dill near downtown.

San Francisco Travels


It’s official. I’m leaving Los Angeles.

A part of me still doesn’t quite believe it but if all goes well come August I will be in the crazy, colorful city that is San Francisco.

I visited during the weekend and didn’t quite keep an eye out for street art but a couple of pieces found me. I’m interested in the difference between the art scenes of LA and SF — especially the street and public art scenes. I’m excited to find out. I have high standard for you, San Francisco!

On another note, I’m getting quite addicted to traveling and seeing new places. So hopefully this blog will grow to show even MORE places that make the world feel like a canvas.



I Lost Count – A Fantastic Piece I Found in SB


I took ONE real day off last week and drove down to Santa Barbara intending to walk around, shop, and eat.

And then some street art found me. Like it always does.

Walking close to the pier, I stumbled upon walls on walls of murals, which I found out belonged to Funk Zone, an organization that bills itself as a “unique arts, business and industrial district.”

I can attest to the arts part. I ended up taking photo after photo of these super cool murals. They were obviously given the space legally as they were detailed and well thought-out.

The one that impressed me the most was this one from artist Lincoln Liechti.

The colors automatically called out to me and when I got closer, the detail impressed me even more.

There were these little goofy, cartoon characters everywhere! Like when you see a bunch of frenzied, black ants climbing up a tree trunk. They all had at least slightly different facial expressions which made them tons of fun to look at. I could’ve stood there for hours but instead I took pictures to save for later. The artist seems like a really young guy which makes me even happier because it’s when you give space and free reign to young, creative minds that you get the next generation’s crop of fantastic artists. Here’s to stumbling upon awesomely unexpected.





Mystery Wall

Over the past few months, I dedicated some time to finding hidden gems. Along the way, I naturally came across some pretty amazing pieces of street art. The best are the ones in the most unlikely of places. I sometimes stopped to think – this isn’t the easiest place to set up shop and spray paint away. One of those locations was near a very busy highway-like street where cars zipped by at pretty much illegal speeds. So basically, the last place on Earth you’d want to jaywalk.

I stayed safe across the street and snapped these pictures of a long wall with a bunch of works. It’s as if a few street artists teamed up and decided to have at it together on a random wall in a mostly industrial area. It could be just one very ambitious person but it looks like quite a few different styles to me.

It’s a long wall with a lot of colors and movement. Like someone’s crazy dream got spilled over onto the concrete. In a good way.


Not the friendliest door I’ve ever seen. Maybe it’s a good way to keep burglars at bay.


I don’t remember if I saw more tags/signatures but this was one of the clearest ones…

To the cars that whizzed past as I was snapping pictures: you don’t know what you were missing. Cheers to this big burst of creativity.

Who’s that Chick? — Rosie

As I’ve come to learn, stickers might be the easiest way to get your stuff out on the streets. But I’m always pleased to see the different ways artists create their own style within a tiny amount of space.

Walking down a busy street, I didn’t see anything out of the ordinary until my eyes happened to roam over the side of an (sadly) abandoned newspaper stand.

I thought it was the perfect backdrop – the red of the stand made the little heart pop out even more. It’s a very simple design but that’s what makes it so great – some sticker artists try to pack two much into two little space. The little character is also unique – her hair is a bunch of little circles and one eye is huge, while her nose is tiny. She also has no legs. So basically, she’s not your usual little cutesy Sharpied character. Hopefully there are many more ‘rosies’ out there.

Familiar Face — Another El Mac and Retna Find

I’ve driven by some streets multiple times before I finally force myself to swerve in the direction of the art I’ve spotted there. For months, I knew about this piece but never got the chance to photograph it up close. Finally, much to the consternation and fear of my surprised passenger, I turned around a few streets to snap a picture of this piece.

The mural is another awesome creation by artists El Mac and Retna. You can see some photos of them working on the mural, which they titled “The Knight,” here. The two have teamed up plenty of times and provided Los Angeles with some really intricate pieces. Retna does the lettering in the background, while El Mac tackles the figures. Both artists create complex pieces that fit beautifully together; you can look closely at Retna’s letters and try to find a pattern while discovering some detailed swirls on the surface of El Mac’s figures.

I’m sad about the tag that’s over the piece, especially since I don’t remember seeing it before. Either way, you can’t cover up all the great details within the work.

Sure makes parking, biking and walking through here a completely different experience. That’s the best part about talented artists taking to the streets – it changes your perception of the streets around you, simply through the power of a single mural.

Between a Palm Tree & a Produce Store — Sand One

As fun as it is to have there be mystery around a piece of street art – some of them aren’t signed in any way – it’s nice when you get the artist’s signature right under any given piece of street art.

A casual stroll on Fairfax gives you plenty of opportunities to spot some street art and on this particular walk, I was snapping away like a frenzied, overly-excited tourist. Behind a huge palm tree and on the way of the Three Amigos produce store, I found this particular gem.

I love the girl’s eyelashes. I’ve seen that style on other walls, too and it always amazes me, especially on a wall this big! This particular gal’s also got some awesome hair that curls all the way down to the bottom of the wall. Even her big pink lips have spots with white that make them look more realistic.

And interestingly enough, this artist had both her name and website on the her piece. She’s a great artist that’s created some really awesome works and when I looked through other pics in my handy memory card, I came across another piece she did on the side of a bar in Culver City. Any good street artist gets their name across the city- that’s how you know they mean business. Sand One is no exception.

This girl is equally detailed and I’m loving her long nails and the bottle she’s holding. Female artists usually get that bad wrap about making ‘feminine’ art but I love Sand One’s pieces but they are somehow feminine, gritty, humorous (the XX bottle is pretty witty) and eye-catching.

I can’t remember where I spotted this next one, but the style is very much hers.

Just further evidence that girls can rock the streets too. Check out her website to shop for handbags, shirts and more that rep her street art. Oh, and to make her even more legit, I found an interview on Laist from 2011 that talks about her having a lot of art up around Los Angeles at the young age of 19. You’re never too young to start!