Flashmob Public Art & Cheerful Crafting on a Whim
Guerrilla art is the creation of unauthorized public art in a spontaneous and secretive manner. Guerrilla gardening and guerrilla knitting (also called yarn bombing) are two other recognised forms of temporary public art. Although not entirely legal, guerrilla artworks are usually meant only to add interest and improve a public area for a short amount of time.
Guerrilla art is often also used for advertising and marketing (with permission) - an example of which is the guerrilla gardening by 'Adidas' shown below.
Flashmob art is where a group of people organize an event secretly amongst themselves and then carry out a particular action at the same pre-planned time. There are some examples of this below too.
I have compiled many of my favourite photos of fun public art, plus links to inspiring photo galleries and ideas. I hope you find this page interesting!
A Little Introduction
The Types Of Street Art
Guerrilla art exists in a variety of forms, including temporary sculptures, drawings, posters, freebies left in public areas, messages posted on walls, knitted or crocheted items and gardening work. A lot of the time the artworks are simply for artistic purposes, to raise a smile (awww), or to make a place looker prettier, and sometimes it is for catching someone's eye in order to advertise a business, scheme or brand.
Guerrilla gardening is usually for sprucing up a neglected area, and one form of this is...
Seed bombing: This is where bundles of soil and seeds - often called seed balls or grenades - are thrown into an area of land which is barren or bland, in order to add growth and color to make the area more attractive. The soil and seeds are compacted together into balls or compressed inside a bio-degradable outer layer.
Another popular idea is for crafters to either knit or crochet a jumper for a statue or some other fun object to put in a public place simply for temporary decoration and for good old-fashioned fun! This is referred to as...
Yarn bombing: Also called guerrilla knitting and yarnstorming, this activity is technically illegal (even though it is removable and harmless) so you have been warned! I've never heard of anyone being arrested for wrapping knitting around a tree though :)
Fun Art Books
Books like these ones are definitely the best way of browsing the best examples of guerrilla art in one place...and perhaps they will inspire you to create your own little pieces of public art to brighten up other people's days!
Stacking rocks and pebbles like this creates attractive sculptures, and you can try to make temporary art like this yourself on your next beach trip or hill climb, so other people can see and enjoy them too.
Photo by Richard Shilling.
See more sculpture photos at RichardShilling.co.uk.
The 'Guerilla Flower Project' was an experiment about guerrilla marketing, treasure hunting & flowers. 130 paper flowers were hidden overnight in Villa Guardia, a little Italian town. Each flower had a card with a little nonsense rhyme, a web link and one of five different pieces of a treasure map attached. If you could find every part of the map, you were able to reach the treasure, hidden in the flower shop of the town.
Photo by Komart.
Random Humorous Posters
Water & Broom Calligraphy
Interesting Art Links & Photo Galleries
- Guerrilla Gardening - What is it?
Get the lowdown on this trend.
- Guerrilla Handiwork
Lovely story about night-time handiwork.
- Drawing In Action
Drawing on walls and chalkboards - can tape paper on walls for temp art.
- Street Art Camouflage
Body art combined with backgrounds including street art.
- Roadsworth Gallery
Fun guerrilla road painting examples.
- London Guerrilla Knitting
A nice article about spontaneous knitting.
- Guerrilla Knitting Flickr Pool
Photo gallery of knitted graffiti art.
- Urban Knitting
As rebellious as knitting gets.
Organised meetings of people in public places to surprise and entertain.
- Yarn Bombing Gallery
Knit graffiti is the new spray paint!
- Knitted Wonderland
Large artwork covering many trees with guerrilla knitting.
- Converted Dumpsters
Street skips revamped into swimming pools, TV rooms and more.
- Project Pothole
Colourful fabric braids put in cracks and potholes on the street.
- Poetry Bombing
Adding surprise poetry and quotes to thrift store clothes.
- Unconventional Street Art
Brilliant cross stitch walls, mosaic art and balloon words.
Guerilla knitting (sometimes referred to as 'yarn bombing' is where knitted sections of yarn are added to objects in public areas.
The tree shown above consists of sections knitted by only the local community and it took 4 hours to put up. It was installed for the Viva La Gong Festival in Wollingong (2009) and I love it!
Photo by Grrl+dog.
This guerilla event started with brightly coloured paint being poured in front of cars whilst they waited at the traffic lights, and resulted in pretty and colourful tracks being made all over the crossroads. Don't worry too much though - the paint used was washable, organic and biodegradable!
It took place at Rosenthaler Platz in Berlin.
Photo by Mika Meskanen.
To see the post-it note art as a whole, click here.
Photo by Jennifer Diamond.
Rosie Moss Envelope Exchange
Cute Yarn Bombing
More Awesome Guerrilla Crafts
- Miss Cross Stitch
An artist who cross stitches public areas with rope.
- Land Art of Sylvain Meyer
Awesome art that looks like it has grown naturally from the earth.
- Sand Paintings by Andreas Amador
Large scale paintings on beaches made using just a rake.
- Take-Away Kid's Drawings
A heart-warming idea for brightening someone's day.
- Knitted R2D2
How to make an ugly concrete post looks cool!
- Lionel Stitchie
Famous song lyrics written out in public places.
- The Pothole Gardener
Brilliant mini gardens created inside potholes by Steve Wheen.
This guerilla art sculpture appeared overnight in Gas Works Park in Seattle. The artwork consists of a gold-coloured male sculpture standing on the waterfront surrounded by sculptures of people emerging from shells. They are all made with papier-mache.
Photo by Kathi S.
This lovely guerrilla art installation was created by flashmobbers who brought along their own 'Morph' inspired clay creation and placed them outside the Tate Modern on the Southbank of the Thames, London. The event was organized to celebrate the work of Tony Hart (the creator of the 'Morph' character).
Photo by amWalker44.
Fun Arty Ideas
Please remember that guerrilla art is not strictly legal and therefore trying these ideas in public is not advised and is at your own risk!
- DIY Art
Make your own art installations.
- Poster Art
Upgrading personal posters into graphic design showcases.
- Pop-Up Train Tray
A little bit of paper art to make someone smile.
- Paper Street Art
Cute ideas for temporary art by Color Me Katie.
- Tiny Messages
Cute idea for mini public messages.
- Homemade Sidewalk Chalk
Great for playing around on your driveway.
- How to be a Guerrilla Artist
A few useful tips and ides.
- Guerrilla Art
Good list of ideas for activities from photography to googly eyes.
- Homemade Seed Bombs
Remember to use wildflower seeds which are native to your local area.
- Guide to Guerrilla Gardening
12 step guide to add flowers to neglected public areas.
- Snow Graffiti
Creative way to have artistic fun in the snow.
- Moss Graffiti
All-natural graffiti written in a moss solution.
- Plant Pockets
A DIY mix of yarnbombing and seedbombing!
- Post-It War
Creative Post-It displays in houses and public buildings.
- Dirty Car Art
Amazing art created on dirty car windows using stencils and brushes.
- Interactive Posters
Such as this funny Ron Swanson quote poster, which you can download for free.
- Pop-Up Garden
Quirky idea for adding colour and life anywhere you want with a suitcase garden.
- Styrofoam Eyes
Pack up lots of big googly eyes and decorate your hometown!
Guerrilla Garden Adverts
Chalk Art Flashmob
Floral Street Art
Yarn Wrapped Branches
Flashmob & Guerilla Art Videos
Guerilla Gardening Kit
This guerrilla gardening kit is so much fun; you get 35 seed bombs of different varieties (including herbs and edible flowers) plus an actual slingshot that you can use to launch the seed bombs into your chosen area of land!
Please Leave a Comment!
Rock Vandal on November 06, 2016:
Thank you for all the inspiration! What a compilation. I love to make temporary street art and now my mind is racing with a hundred new ideas!
mistyriver on May 16, 2014:
My town has a group that does yarnbombing! I love it, it's very colorful and interesting. Great lens!
reasonablerobby on June 30, 2012:
Really love this and just had to link it.
TheMummyNextDoor on April 16, 2012:
I'm absolutely loving this, it great!
fugeecat lm on March 26, 2012:
That yarn-bombed tree is great.
printabledolls on February 05, 2012:
today in Cagliari where I live we have had a guerrilla knitting!
freyalou on December 24, 2011:
I love these! Especially the yarn-bombed tree.
gardencentreman on August 24, 2011:
Really cool, like it a lot. I would love to see more subvertising going on in my city to make people stop and think, especially when made out of plants :)
Close2Art LM on August 06, 2011:
what a good time I have with your lens...RWJR
mellex lm from Australia on July 09, 2011:
I absolutely love your lens. What a great topic and full of inspiration. Thanks for taking the time to make it :)
Nancy Graham on May 26, 2011:
This is a very cool lens. It is inspiring. The yarned tree looks so wonderful and happy, but I wonder how it affects the tree's health. Despite that, love the concept and your lens is very well composed.
anonymous on April 05, 2011:
Thank you for this great lens! I love making and distributing guerrilla art. I highly recommend Keri Smith's book, The Guerrilla Art Kit.