Last Sunday was the Estria Battle held at DeFremery Park in Oakland. It’s part of the Life is Living Festival. In addition to the graffiti battle, there was live music, a talent show (with a sound system powered by solar energy and people riding bikes), Hood Games, yoga, a tee shirt stencil workshop and even some acrobatic parkour by a giant tree.

Graffiti usually gets a bad rap. In mainstream media, graffiti is often associated with crime, tag bangers, gangs and vandalism. This event advocates the positivity and way of life that revolves around aerosol art. In every culture there’s dance, art, song and language. Hip Hop’s art is graffiti. An art form born in NY which is now practiced worldwide.

Judging the event were Estria, Crayone TWS, Nate1 MPC, Spie TDK FC, Brisk GM5 IBM. All these guys are well known for their skill, style and flava. True pioneers and a big reason why the Bay is well known for it’s original flare!

The battle had 20 of the illest writers in the US. The word of the day was “heal.” There was a point system based on spelling, letters, originality and color. If you spelled it wrong, you got a big zero in the spelling category, haha. Sorry, no artistic freedom in the spelling department buddy.

It was dope to see how every artist interpreted the word. Watching the pieces develop through the day kept me occupied. I took photos of the progress shots since it captures a quick moment and I like to see process. The final versions will be all over the internet anyways. On to the photos.

Estria revealing the word of the day and going through the rules.

Look at all those cans! There goes Bam in the shades working hard!

Prime’s piece evokes emotion. The detail is amazing. Gotta see it in person.

Jher’s work (right) caught my eye from the start. It reminded me of comic book art, like Pheonix Rising. The lettering already started to look cool at this stage.

I stopped by this corner often. Watching Vyal and Vogue paint was dope. Can control masters.

That’s Phil, Kana, Haru and Leo’s fam. He was filming all day, can’t wait to see the final cut! Thanks for letting me borrow the camera! (I accidentally left mine at home doooh!)

more photos below