Graffiti art and murals are found all over the world. After doing some traveling to Northern California, I was on the lookout for new, low-risk, places to tag my name. After an eight hour drive I landed in Santa Cruz. I had to do some underground research to find new local spots. Luckily I have a friend from the area and she recommended a ‘secret skate park’ that is covered with graffiti…yes please! Only about 20 minutes north from the heart of Santa Cruz was Davenport, CA. The skate park, also know as the davenport ditch, is not visible from the road and has no signs or pictures to show you the way. With a short description from my friend through, I headed up Highway 1 and found the secret spot.
Finding the location was all part of the adventure. After arriving the old skate park, several people were skating and biking. Every time I have gone out to graffiti, I meet a ton of artists. Everyone is super friendly and every time I have been able to trade a few extra cans of paint for something else from other artists. Once I received a t-shirt, some can tips and even a miniature canvas. At the davenport ditch, I meet some local artist, Mikey and Fiona, who grew up in the area and help bring the skate park together.
After trading a couple cans of paint I was able to work with ‘Mikey’. He was teaching me how to control my lines. The closer you bring the can to the concrete the thinner and cleaner the line become. The further you pull the can away, the line become wider and more are is covered with paint. I practiced this several times and was still having trouble with controlling the paint; Mikey reminded me not to be afraid to get close to the concrete and even damage the can if necessary. Fiona gave me a lumber crayon. A pink lumber crayon last about ten times longer than a regular crayon used on almost any surface (metal, wood, concrete) and can last through water and sun without fading. I used this to add smaller details to my final tag. I have actually seen these crayons used all over the dumpsters in Long Beach. My guess would be that because there is no sound like spray paint, gangs and artists are able to tag without the risk of getting caught. Just a quick bomb tag and you’re out of there but your name is now found everywhere! These were just a few helpful things I learned that day and people I met. I plan on continuing my graffiti journey to other places that I travel.