Decorating with street art

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street art on wall
The art of the street can work well indoors too
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It's easy to decorate with street art without tearing down walls

It's time to see the handwriting on the wall for what it really is ... art. I'm talking about the handwriting, drawings, caricatures and paintings you see on walls, sidewalks, buildings, the sides of trucks and trains, anywhere that can be reached with spray paint or chalk.

It used to be called graffiti and was washed off or sandblasted as soon as it appeared. Over the past few years, this graffiti has become more elaborate and detailed, to the point where it is often left up and admired as artwork or street art. Not only that, those who create street art have begun to tag or sign their names to their pieces and some have become famous.

If you're a fan of the art form, it's easy to start decorating with street art in your home, apartment or workplace.

Once you've scoured your neighborhood or town for street art that appeals to you, get your camera and take a few photographs of it. A good quality digital camera or digital SLR works best for this, especially if you plan to blow the artwork up for a mural or large canvas. A good camera with a wide angle setting will also allow you to photograph wider works.

Take many shots, try different angles for unusual effects and go back multiple times to take advantage of different outdoor lighting. If the artist has signed or tagged the artwork, write down their name.

You may want to contact the artist to compliment them or let them know you have it on display, and you can put it on a card and let others know about them. Some may have paintings, prints or photos of other works for sale and buying them is a great way to support the art form.

After reviewing the digital images and picking out the ones you want to display, the next step is determining how and where to display them. With the ease at which digital images can be put on canvas, paper or other objects, the possibilities for decorating with street art are limited only by your imagination.

If you have a big empty wall, large images can be displayed life-size by printing them on a large canvas mounted on a frame or by transferring them on a cloth wall hanging. Street art that was drawn on an actual street often looks better on the floor, so putting them on a rug or a piece of vinyl can turn your floor into a street art gallery.

An alternative is to put the print on a piece of slate for a sidewalk look that can be displayed on a shelf. For smaller spaces, go with smaller prints that can be framed or placed in display boxes or applied to windows as stickers. If you don't have wall space but still like street art, you can add a little street color to your office by putting it on mouse pads or coasters.

Share the images with your friends by printing them on greeting cards, which also make great small pieces to adorn your desk, book shelves or walls.

Street art has certainly grown up from its graffiti days. With a high quality photograph, you can decorate your home and turn it inside-out, bringing the beauty of street art to your walls and shelves.

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