Lately life has taken turn for the different. Businesses have been shut down for over a month and city streets are looking like ghost towns. Who knows what will be normal when businesses are allowed to open again, so where does that leave the graffiti removal industry? It probably hasn’t had enough time to give a factual and/or historically accurate description just yet, but graffiti has not taken any time off. Online sales have increased in most industries because of the pandemic, but online purchasing of graffiti tools and products have been happening for a long time because of the secrecy needed for many people doing graffiti and the options are much larger than any bricks and mortar stores can or are willing to carry.
If you were to take a guess at what the ideal situation would be for a tagger who is about to go out tagging, what do you think they would describe? I would imagine they would prefer if it was always a weekend, so that people wouldn’t see their graffiti for a day or two. They would prefer if there were fewer security guards around. Fewer vehicles driving to stores. Less pubs being open for people to suddenly walk out of at night. The vehicle headlights that they do see are most likely a police cars (less guess work if they’re have to hide from every car). Being seen alone is now a signal of respect to your fellow citizens too. They would probably prefer an apocalyptic type of terrain where the focus is on people being at home and not worrying about “petty crimes”.
Recently, we’ve seen a freeze on spending, which is the correct thing to do for many businesses and municipalities while the economy is in an unsure place. The problem with graffiti is that we normally see a huge influx of graffiti happening this time of the year because the longer daylight hours are keeping the evenings warmer. There’s less snow to climb or to keep areas cooler, which means paints perform better and your hands aren’t cold. It’s the biggest change in the whole year when it comes to an increase or decrease in graffiti volume. Add the pandemic landscape on top of this, along with the fact there’s been zero interruption or stoppage of graffiti supplies available, and you’ll start to get the picture.
People who graffiti don’t normally portray empathy and often show sociopathic tendencies, so right now is, unfortunately, a great time to be a tagger. We sell our own line of graffiti removal products as well as offer graffiti removal services, so we deal with every aspect of graffiti removal. Recently we’ve been finding graffiti that is larger than the normal tag as well as in harder to reach places. People doing graffiti are most likely using larger tools that they could never have gotten away with before, such as ladders.
Your building might not have cars or people in it, but the walls are still open for business. Make sure to check your buildings often because there might not be anyone else doing that these days. Also, don’t leave graffiti on your building because it’s not being used. If it’s a financial issue, talk to your local graffiti removal company and discuss some options. I’d be surprised if they don’t try to help make it more affordable during the pandemic or don’t offer different terms for payment. Help make the visible safety of the neighbourhood come back strong when you do.