Traveling Acts of Random Art with Sebastian Meade
Recently we started noticing the Instagram adventures of hand-painted 3D monsters and paper robots visiting Greyhound terminals. After a bit of investigating we were introduced to Sebastian Meade – an artist with a passion for street art. As a child, Sebastian grew up seeing all kinds of art and graffiti when visiting New York City and New Jersey, but knew this wasn’t something he could do in his small hometown. Rather than letting his passion go, he found new ways to bring light to public street art and his own projects. We caught up with Sebastian to find out about his blog, Acts of Random Art, and the monsters and robots who have been going Greyhound with him.
What inspired you to start your blog showcasing street art?
I grew up in a small town called Freeport, Maine, and spent time visiting New Jersey and New York City seeing all kinds of art and graffiti. Living in a small town, it didn’t allow me to express street art, only because there weren’t many kids who consistently did art and I knew I would get caught. When Portland, Maine started making more strict rules for cleaning graffiti, I really wanted to start following what people were doing. I got into it in college making public art pieces and putting them around my campus. When I found myself talking about it all the time and defending it, I figured it was time to start writing and searching to find it. It is a fun scavenger hunt. It was originally just supposed to be something I did on Twitter, but it quickly grew into much more.
Tell us more about the surveillance robots and monsters – where did this idea come from?
The robots are the newest of all my robot art work. It was a simple way to grow and do something different rather than just making my sculptures of them. I have also done other forms of drawings and leaving them around. People are so worried about the government and businesses watching over everything with surveillance cameras, I thought it was time to give people a friendly version with the robots. I also figure if people take it as a political statement then that’s okay, and if people just take it as funny little robots that’s okay too.
As for the Monsters, I started doing more painting and sculptures of monsters and adding them to my robot and space art work. I then found access to a 3D printer in Biddeford, Maine and decided to make a bunch of them and paint them. I also plan to make molds and find more ways to do them in larger quantity. People seem to like Monsters and Robots, like myself, and that gave me more and more reasons to make them.
With most of my surveillance robots, I never really get to see what someone thinks in person. People seem to enjoy my other sculptures of them and I get a good response of people online about the paper ones. I leave them, take a picture and walk away. I gave two to a friend’s son and he really liked them. He was excited because he had seen pictures of them. Otherwise, I leave them to not be known what people will say.
Sometimes I get funny looks with the monsters because I take a little extra time on their photo op which occasionally makes people look at me funny while others smile. Sometimes I get people asking what I am doing, but usually people are pretty open to what I’m doing. I try not to draw attention to myself when I am doing things with them mostly because I do them when I have a short moment. I have yet to leave the monsters behind, but this is in the works.
Can other people join you?
People are more than welcome to join in the projects. There is a link on my blog that people can directly print the robots out for free. They can color them, take pictures of them in places and post them on social networks hashtagging #actsofrandomart and or tagging Acts of Random Art on their networks so I can share and see what people do with the robots.
Where have your monsters and robots “traveled” to so far? Where’s next on their list?
Right now the robots and monsters have traveled from Freeport, Maine (officially leaving out of Portland) to Salt Lake City, Utah and many stops in between. And my last trip was to Ripon, Wisconsin for a college reunion. I have many other places to visit on a wish list. I have friends in Portland, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, and many other places around the country asking me to visit and they would show me and my monsters around their cities. Also I’d like to go back to New York City and Chicago because I haven’t been to them since I started this project. The list is growing for sure.