Collecting ‘Battle Art’ from Young Illustrators with @secretwalls
For more disruptive art from Secret Walls battles at TEDxTeen, New York Comic-Con and other events around the world, follow @secretwalls and browse the #secretwalls hashtag on Instagram.
Terry Guy (@secretwalls) felt frustrated by the lack of opportunities for young artists in London, UK, so he decided to create a better, cooler way to showcase their work: illustration battles. Eight years later, the competitions—where artists draw against each other in front of a live audience—are part of an international movement called “Secret Walls.”
“The concept was inspired by some of my interests: comics, movies like ‘Fight Club,’ live art and graffiti,” says Terry. “It started out as 16 street artists. We never intended for the event to go global, but it did, quickly, because of social media.”
Participants are encouraged to experiment with different themes and styles, with only two restrictions: the piece must be completed during a 90-minute time frame, and the illustrator must use a monochromatic palette. Photos of the finished products are shared on the Secret Walls Instagram account, where credits range from amateurs to well-known artists from over 25 countries.
“Some artists end up battling aggressively with visual attacks on each other, while others just do their own thing and paint a beautiful mural,” says Terry. “At the end of the day, the mission of Secret Walls is to paint the whole world black and white, one pot of paint at a time.”