SprayPrinter is a smart spray paint developed by an Estonian startup that prints pictures from smart phones to any surface. It writes art on the street but so far it has barely realized its possibilities. SprayPrinter has the potential of being a game changer by enabling those who don’t really have the artistic skills to participate in street art by using this technology.
Mihkel Joala, the inventor behind SprayPrinter, was forced to come up with a solution when his daughter asked for a picture of a unicorn on her wall. Mihkel does not know how to draw, so he invented a smart spray can by combining a Nintendo Wii controller with a car engine valve.
“Engines nowadays use extremely fast valves to spray fuel to the combustion chamber, I realized I can use them to shoot paint with pinpoint accuracy,” he explains.
SprayPrinter technology works like this: the phone communicates with the printer via an LED-light on the printer. SprayPrinter knows when and where to release paint and the image appears layer-by-layer, pixel by pixel.
So far SprayPrinter has had one 159% successful Indiegogo campaign. The backers are currently receiving the first products. They hope to meet the works of future SprayPrinter masters at streets from now on.
There can never be two identical works because the users hand movement and parameters play a huge role in the outcome. Plus, SprayPrinter also has a free-hand mode to create pixelated lines, which can add an interesting effect when mixed with other techniques. SprayPrinter will never replace techniques street artists are already using. Instead, it can be seen as a new brush.
Actually, SprayPrinter has already been used at some street art festivals.
In Mostar in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
This environment has seen tremendously rough times. Beautiful murals covering bullet holed walls signal a powerful message that art can make a difference. SprayPrinter contributed to it by sprayprinting two portraits of locals living in Mostar to express the new beginning and enthusiasm in the younger generation.
In September, SprayPrinter took part of an Estonian street art festival Stencibility in Tartu. This time, a design “Third Eye” by an Estonian artist Kärt Einasto was sprayprinted in the town square with the help of passers-by. One of them said he has never contributed to street art before but he will definitely feel proud every time he walks by this picture from now on.
SprayPrinter also took part of Tallinn Art Week.
Mr Vonnegut on the right is a painting by Ilmar Kruusamäe, Mr Smith on the left is a design by street artist Edward von Lõngus, sprayprinted by visitors.
Edward von Lõngus specifically asked that his design would be printed line by line from up to down to emphasize the Matrix code in the picture. It turned out pretty decently and proved that the hand movement when using the device plays a pretty crucial role in the outcome.
In a few weeks, SprayPrinter will sprayprint a large mural and provide a live-stream of the process. Their aim is to attract as many people from the street as possible to sprayprint a part of the mural.
So the question rises – who is the author? Whatever the answer, it is certain that people form a stronger relationship with a design once they are able to contribute to bringing it out from the digital world.
Now that the very first Indiegogo adopters have received their SprayPrinter, it will be interesting to see whether there will be more SprayPrinter masters at street art events or if more people who have not experienced taking part of street art scene before will try out the feeling. Perhaps it will even make it easier to accept this art form for those who have not understood it so far? They hope SprayPrinter encourages more people to think about ways they can make their surroundings more meaningful. As well as experiment with street art.
You can watch this YouTube SprayPrinter tutorial to see how it works:
If you are interested in learning more about the company and an opportunity to win a free sprayprinter http://sprayprinter.com and sign up for a giveaway.