Street art has an infinite amount of styles just like art itself, though many people may mistakenly assume that the scrawls of graffiti are the extent to this medium, more artists are pushing the boundaries in a different direction. Though many provocative murals have showcased political views and tried to tackle tougher questions with imagery, there is also a much lighter side to street art that is on the rise. The following artists are excellent at adding some cheer to the urban areas they inhabit turning the monotonous and dreary grey pavements into something cartoonishly fun or transforming a homogenous environmental object into a lively character. Oakoak – This jovial artist from France has been putting in the work all around the country to change its monochrome cities into colourful environments filled with charming characters. Here you can expect to see original characters and all sorts of animals peeking their faces out from unexpected corners as well as well known icons of animation and video games. Oakoak is highly capable of using any environment as a canvas, turning manholes into Pac Man screens and handrails into ramps, nothing is unusable here for this inventive urban artist. Tom Bob – Clearly taking several pages out of Oakoaks book here New York artist Tom Bob is quickly mastering the art of making something incredibly fun out of seemingly nothing. Often using very tactile elements of the street to make charming and engaging 3D works, pipes, electrical boxes and fire hydrants all around the big apple are getting a new breath of life. With a clearly cartoon sensibility and characters that appear in a style that kids will love, this colourful vandal is bringing joy to the city one piece at a time. Invader – Getting his name from the classic Atari video game space invaders, this square pusher also hails from France. Now famous for putting together mosaics that simulate the pixel art of early video games, Invader constructs characters piece by piece and has them pop up in varying sizes everywhere. Inspired by figures of pop culture you will instantly recognise his work if you come across tiny star wars characters or huge Ninja Turtles.
Googly Eye Cru – Some of the best ideas come from a very simple premise, and this street art crew have a great one. By simply adding googly eyes (or more accurately stickers with a picture of them) onto absolutely anything, suddenly a new and quirky character is formed. With a keen eye (of course) for finding objects that look like they are begging for a pair of peepers this crew brings all manner of inanimate objects to life including walls, poles, bins and toilets – it just never gets old.
D.Billy – This Brooklyn based artist brings graphic design into the real world with a flair for onomatopoeia and comic book stylings. With crisp vivid lines created by using tape to mark his territory on walls and streets, his thoughtful sense of humour brings an entire new dimension to whatever he touches. Making sounds visible is just the beginning of this creator’s skill set who also creates colourful murals and elaborate lettering works.