We’re so used to seeing graffiti in forbidden, almost impossible places such as bridges, overpasses, and other hard-to-reach spaces. These locations are referred to as heaven spots as they require guts and a whole lot of risk. Many graffiti artists have lost their lives trying to spread their art and messages hence the slang term. It’s easy to mark a lamp post at street level, but showcasing art on an abandoned billboard is an entirely different feat. Marking difficult areas may boost a sense of pride for the artist or expand viewership.

There is, however, a reason why graffiti is illegal. Often times artists will tag public spaces with inappropriate phrases. It’s easy to confuse graffiti with street art as the public eye views both concepts as forms of vandalism. Graffiti is word-based and usually a form of self-expression while street art draws inspiration from the graffiti style, ultimately choosing to spotlight an overarching message for its community.

While the stigma revolving around graffiti remains, street art is a practice steadily gaining acknowledgment within the art community. Professional artists are featured in museums and events, others commissioned for community wall murals. The Bushwick Collective located right in Bushwick, Brooklyn (between Troutman Street and St. Nicholas Avenue) is an annual celebration combining street art, music, and local vendors. Artists are welcome to paint anywhere within the several blocks designated to the Bushwick Collective, created by Joseph Ficalora back in 2012. There are few restrictions: nothing offensive to children, women or local businesses. Words aren’t allowed either— tagging (simple signatures or phrases) are viewed as egotistical because of its lack of purpose. Artists donate supplies and time while building owners offer their wall space. Ficalora’s project attracts artists from all over the world such as Argentina, Russia, Singapore and South Africa.

Graffiti can be more than thoughtless acts of vandalism. Graffiti, like various other art forms, experience movements and challenges— which is why the term has evolved into street art. Artists take advantage of the free spirited nature in this art form to make political statements and “interrupt” a community, pushing to move in different directions so that art progresses. For many artists, street art represents an opportunity to receive recognition and payment for their work.

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Image by Mikayla Jahia Roces


Anonymous Asked: My roommates and I were best friends and chose to live together. Now, they don’t even talk to me. I don’t know what to do.

I’m sorry things don’t seem to be working out for you guys! There’s always a possibility that they’re just too busy to talk, but since you’re asking for help, I have to assume that’s not the case. Has there been an incident you can recall that may have formed this rift? When it comes to friendships, time can make rifts stronger, so it’s important for you guys to meet and discuss this as soon as possible. Assess whether this is a personal problem or a housing problem. If they’re upset with you as a person, you probably have an idea what they’re upset about. If they’re upset because your living styles don’t match, you might be aware of what’s causing the trouble.

It’s important, once you figure out what their complaint might be, to arrange a suite meeting and discuss. When it comes to living situations, compromise is always key. If you can all give up a little something to make your lives easier, that’s ideal. Establish at the beginning of the suite meeting that this is a space of honesty and compromise so you can overcome the problem. Remember, like I’ve said before, to use ‘I’ statements so as not to place the blame on anybody. Try to keep your calm. You probably won’t like what they have to say, but keep an open mind and try to see the validity in what they’re feeling. It’s important to acknowledge the roles all of you have played in your malfunctioned living situation. If they refuse to meet with you and discuss the problem, there’s not much you can do but stick it out and maybe look into rooming somewhere else next year.

Hopefully you guys can find a way to get past this trouble and be friends again. Housing is open right now and it will probably be best for your friendship if you don’t live together again. But that’s okay! Sometimes friends aren’t meant to live together. It’s healthy for your friendship to acknowledge your incompatibilities and move past them.

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Image by Whitney K. Davis


Boundless Innocence

Suspended by

Active initiation


A Contrail

of excess being;

Reaching


Centered

by the newness;

Unknowing


Suspended between spiritual and earthly existence, the beautiful Fool is the new born soul embarking on a bright adventure.


Spring has sprung! Clocks have shifted to represent the contrived alteration of time to maximize daylight usage! Mercury is out of retrograde as I write this on March 29, 2019 at 10:31 a.m.!


The Fool calls for a fresh start, new adventure and opportunities with deliberate emptiness to receive things newly, engage childlike excitement, and harness a willingness to step outside the norm for the sake of self-discovery and fulfillment.


Last night, I saw a post on instagram that said “Some of you did not spend your childhoods making potions out of random leaves, berries, and twigs tossed into a tub of water and stirred with a stick that you found...and it shows.” (First of all, I want to say that I do not endorse shaming people for where they are in finding their way into the witch-y world. I’m relatively new to all of this and constantly find myself confronted with a post, comment, etc. that leaves me wondering ‘what the fuck does this mean and am I a fraud for not knowing immediately??’ But what drew me to this post was the memory that this is something I did do. And, as I said on my instagram story “I’ve got poems to prove it.”

I grew up in rural North Carolina on a renovated dairy farm. Old buildings and farm structures lay beneath the soil, buried when they were no longer needed. When the weather was nice, I would take a blanket out to a depression in the land and curl up, book in hand, to read and wonder what I would find if I were to dig a few feet down. Barbed wire fencing twisted through the forest behind the corn field, which bore crops for farmers who leased it. On summer nights, I would run out into the field, dodging stalks and searching for a fox I had seen once. Gullies and endless patches of glass bottles and possible grave markers populated the spaces where my brother and I would spend spring evenings, wandering, picking unnamed vegetation and depositing them in a dusty blue bucket which we would later fill with water and soil from one of the many gardens on the property.

As I learn more about how deeply I feel touched by practicing tarot and reading about spells, astrology, etc., I realize that I am reviving something deep within me, as opposed to reaching for something new. However, in a misogynistic setting, this revival and reclamation feels deeply new and fresh, a wild adventure into something I have not actively sought out before. Damn, it feels good.


With an open heart, the Fool is led by the inner voice of the true Self.


With that in mind, I have made a conscious effort in my tarot practice to draw cards and sit with them for extended periods of time before reaching for the little hand book that came with my deck, which describes the card’s meaning. While seeing someone else’s interpretation is helpful and often adds a more rich and nuanced interpretation, I have seen over and over again that my intuition and instinct are powerful and perceptive.

Sometimes I will sit for days with a reading, drawing the configuration in my journal and returning later in the week to reevaluate how I was feeling about the cards intuitively and seeing how that resonates when I have another access point. I have one reading from December, before I performed an embodied poetry piece I had been planning all semester that I still have not recontextualized with the given meanings (at this point, I wonder if I ever will). I feel quite empowered by this permission to find my own way into the reading, trusting my instincts, and letting whatever associations and impulses arise take center stage over a given standard.


The Fool needs the counsel of others and would be wise to listen when it is offered. The Fool is anxious with seeking and excited for what life is ready to teach.


While I find this new freedom, I also reach for more and more guidance from books, websites, Instagram hashtags and accounts, etc. There’s more than I ever imagined, which is extensively overwhelming (and equally exciting). I also find there is a freedom in seeking and finding things which fulfill those desires.

Last night, I went to the Strand and picked up Witches, Sluts, Feminists: Conjuring the Sex Positive by Kristen J. Sollee. In the introduction to the book, she writes, “This concise primer is an interdisciplinary take on a vast subject, spinning elements of a multifaceted world in kaleidoscopic, new ways. Ideally, [it] will serve as a gateway drug, and which gateway you choose is up to you.” Now that’s the kind of empowering rhetoric I like to hear.

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Image by Katie Vogel

Behind The Cover with Molly Dauphin

In my personal work, I’m passionate about combining design, illustration and photography into one collective medium that blurs the lines of expected design and visual conventions. For the Prattler’s Entertainment issue, I wanted to convey that process through photo collage. The cover is able to exist as an illustration, a designed piece and a type of photograph. In a world of ever-shifting and evolving media, growing technological landscapes and morphing entertainment values, a hand reaching out into the simulated universe seemed to capture the many ways that entertainment can be described.

The process of creating the cover was an organic one— the green, grey and black color way opened up the imagery into a futuristic realm and the design followed. Warping and distorting the shapes included falls into my design practice, but also into the vortex-like nature of entertainment.

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Molly Dauphin is a Senior, ComD Illustration Major
Follow her on Instagram @mollydauphin // mollydauphin.com

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