Graffiti art is as brilliant as it is subversive and has gained momentum in prominent years with works by the likes of Banksy popping up all over the place.
Many of the buildings in the colourful North Laine of Brighton, where we are based, have their walls scrawled with beautiful and intricate artwork.
Of course, like many other cities Brighton has its fair share of taggers – those idiots who think scrawling their pen name over the walls of family homes is a clever thing to – but I am not referring to them.
What I am referring to is the vibrant lettering, the colourful images that people, true graffiti artists create with nothing more than a few cans of spray paint.
I love much of what they do, in particular the lettering, and how the characters entwine, twisting and turning around each other.
It is a style that we at Brighton Cakes are increasingly using on our cakes to great effect, creating awesome and original graffiti cakes, but whilst the graffiti style is similar, the way colour is added to cakes is not.
With images on walls the artists build up the layers of paint, they can spray over the top, add bits in later like white star bursts or highlights, cover up mistakes with a new letter or image.
With graffiti cakes it doesn’t work like that. We use an airbrush much like cans of spray paint but rather than being able to build up layers we have to almost work backwards – figure out which bits need to be lighter, mask them off and leave them until last.
If you spray over black or a darker colour with white or yellow it simple just absorbs the colour until all you end up with is a sticky nasty mess.
You can lay the lighter colours down first then build up with darker ones but you have to figure out where those highlights are going or it all goes horribly wrong.
More often than not we hand paint in the outlines. Sometimes this is done freestyle and off the cuff, other times we have done a sketch from which we copy, especially if letters are interlinked.
Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t and we go back to the drawing board but it is an exciting and far reaching art form on cakes because it is so versatile.
Graffiti cakes are not the easiest cakes to do and do take many hours work but let’s face it, they are definitely worth it!