Inventive Ways to Create Art: Caleb Neelon

Not too long ago I visited the studio of Caleb Neelon, a name that has been around the graffiti scene for quite some time now. His involvement in graffiti is immense and his knowledge of its history will blow you away. He’s written for magazines including Juxtapoz and Print and served as editor-at-large for Swindle. He’s also co-authored important books in the graff scene such as, The History of American Graffiti and Graffiti Brasil. While visiting with him, I had the chance to see a technique he uses to create letters for murals, which I dubbed “art legos” at the time. He takes pieces of paper, cut out in shapes and then rearranges them to form different lettering styles of his moniker, “SONIK”. The technique is simple enough, but the process looks pretty fun and the results are great as well. This choice for Neelon is interesting because of his use of quilt imagery in his artwork, since this technique is sort of the “stitching” together or shapes to form a word. Enjoy the images below! And thanks again to Caleb Neelon for letting us into his studio space!


Images courtesy of EVOKER.

One Comment

  1. Madeline Barrett

    Caleb Neelon recently had an exhibit at Endicott College, entitled “Victory Garden.” The space had four white walls and a dark carpet, with small lights illuminating each of the pieces. The works were hung in a relatively straight line around the room and varied in size. His artist’s statement was printed on the wall and gave great incite as to where he gained his inspiration. He attributed his graffiti-like style and characters to having witnessed the markings on the Berlin Wall as an adolescent.

    About half of his work on display contained his stylistic characters with exaggerated noses and simplified facial features. These figures are incorporated with bright colors and bold shapes that really draw the eye into each composition. The work I felt most drawn to was “Pay Attention to the People Who Pay Attention to You.” This was painted in acrylic, ink and gold leaf on a panel measuring 36″ X 36″. The background contains bright blue with gold leaf and the focal point is in the middle, which contains is a circular brick center. All around the brick are several characters who appear to be peeking over the edge. The words inscribed in the center are the same as the title, “Pay Attention to the People Who Pay Attention to You.” This work was especially attractive to me due to it’s beautiful bright colors and unexpected words. They seem to contrast each other (serious vs. playful) but still manage to work together.

    Caleb Neelon is a fascinating artist whose talent is clearly evident. I highly recommend checking out his work either online,, or in person if given the opportunity.

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