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!~


  1. Interesting, I would like to know more about this.

  2. Sticker trades! I'm usually down for trades, and always have grips of stickers by different artists to send out in the mix. The trading community is an interesting one. There are even different sub-cultures within the sticker artists. Character artists, collab artists, taggers, graphic designers, 228 Label kids, block printers, and screen printers. Some people only make them to trade them, some people get each other up, and others do huge combos and art shows. Over all it is a safe and easy route to get social and experiment with graffiti influenced art. Flickr was a hot spot to find trades, but it seems to have migrated to Youtube, Instagram, and Facebook. The quality of the work getting traded seems to have gone down hill recently. A lot of the better quality artists have stopped trading and sell their stickers.

    I recommend trading with these guys if you can track them down: Kicks, ZAS, Skam, RX, Josh SB, FYMers aka Samek, Sladge, Noxin, BKC, DCOI, Jawso, Anthead, Zebra, Anti, Spam, Cheko, Just1 Raccoon
    All these people I have traded with a couple times, always great trades.

  3. If you are looking to trade check out