Sticker Life with Futz.Oner!

One of the great things about the creative community in Aberdeen is that its really easy to meet people. Its one of the things I've always liked about the city. I've been lucky to meet some great people at art exhibitions and openings, at numerous gigs and even just out on the streets. Friendships have been made and continue to enrich my daily social media intake, whether  its a new release on Charleys Fit Like Records or a fresh drawing straight out of the brain of Brian Ross. But social media gives us huge power to extend way beyond our own geographical boundaries and its through instagram that I managed to connect with sticker artists Futz.Oner.

I've been spotting his stickers around the city for a while along with Itsherve, Hello The Mushroom and Francis Vomit. Local sticker artists also started to appear like BFL and I soon clued into the fact that a lot of these artists send their work to friends in other cities allowing their designs and ideas to travel far beyond their own physical reach. Coming from a skate background I've always been attracted to stickers and dabbled quite a bit putting up my own lego brick stickers around Barcelona while friends took some to Berlin and seeing their photos certainly gave me a real kick. And its a lot easier to put up a sticker compared to the late night missions I used to undertake with stencils and a bag full of spray cans!

But back to Futz.Oner. I'd been following his work and enjoyed seeing how far his stickers have travelled, always acknowledging the friends who've put his work up in their cities but suddenly I saw a flurry of stickers appearing in Aberdeen and photos of the city. A quick DM later and I'd found out he was actually visiting Aberdeen and we made plans to meet the face to face as I wanted to see what he looked like (he never posts pictures of himself, its the best way) but also just to find out more about his work. Over a two hour period we walked around the city centre taking in the Painted Door trail and onto the Nuart tour route while Futz spoke about politics, music and the deep connections he's made through sticker trades, even pointing out other sticker artists he follows like Lost Hills who's work appeared in the city during Nuart.

I think after Nuart we saw a huge rise in the number of stickers across the tour route, one of the side effects of a festival founded on the principals of putting work on the street and not asking permission. Of course its an extension of the whole graffiti / street art ideals but with less severe repercussions if you get caught. Also as a medium its incredibly easy to get access too with many artists printing at home while others use professional print companies, replicating their work across thousands of stickers for a few hundred pounds. A few lessons I learned from Futz include to always take your sticker peels away with you, don't leave anything behind other than your sticker, the US post office always has free postage labels if you cant afford to get stickers printed and that a sporran makes for the perfect sticker pouch!

To find out more about the sticker community then check out this compelling mini documentary by Juxtapoz  titled 'Stick To It' which looks at the mass appeal of stickers and some artists who utilise them to share their message. It was cool to step out from the social media bubble and to meet Futz in the flesh and to help show him around the gray shiny streets of Aberdeen. Although he's happy to trade slaps with people you can support him by purchasing some stickers from his online shop here and become part of the Futz Club. Its incredible how such a humble act has brought Futz not only to Aberdeen but has seen his work travel far and wide. Hopefully he left Aberdeen with fond memories and one more connection, a new friendship to add to the long list of slappy friends!

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