Wednesday, March 27, 2013
The Subculture of Sticker Trading and Sticker Combos
Street art is like a giant umbrella, and under that umbrella there are numerous sub-cultures. One of the most fascinating of these subcultures is the network surrounding sticker trading and combos.
Sticker trading is crazy. Sticker trading is big. Sticker trading is dedicated. And sticker trading is worldwide.
Sticker trading is a big culture for many reasons. One, is that the online experience allows everyone in the world to participate and trade with other people located different places around the globe. It doesn't matter where you are from or how big your city is. In fact, the sticker trading community is largely fueled by people who live is towns where there is not a big street culture, and so the hardcore sticker enthusiasts find community by making connections through online interactions with other fanatics. And, trading with other sticker fiends from around the globe allows artists to get stickers up all over the world in return. Like these massive combos posted here.
Another reason why sticker trading is so big is that it is the most collectible aspect of street art. In a similar way to how trading baseball cards was a big deal back in the day, sticker collectors will trade and bargain to get a highly desired slap. And since there is no open market selling all the stickers, and because many street artists are elusive, the rarest, most sought after slaps are highly coveted. Some can even be worth large amounts of money.
M&F loves the sticker trading community, and before we moved to Los Angeles we dabbled a bit in the culture. And we even sheepishly admit that for some of the artists we used to admire back in these days, we can still get a bit of fan boy syndrome around. And even though M&F has long been established as the #1 Street Sticker Blog in the World, this is one of the first time we have directly addressed the massive sticker trading subculture.
Flickr seems to be home base for the sticker trading community, so if you want to get involved start there and start searching artists you like. LA has many big heads who have been actively participating in the sticker trading scene for years with artists and crews like Josh SB, DWA, BNW, and Fuxus.
But this feature is about 'tsmokestree', who has built up a gigantic collection of stickers, which he has then taken to the street and put up massive combos around Santa Monica.
Dig it. Stay up and keep sticker trading!~