"Graffiti's a trade. It's like being a plumber or carpenter."

In this short documentary, journalist Steven Jackson profiles a group of anonymous street artists in Portland, Maine. Graffiti may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Maine—or the second, third, or fourth—but this small, devoted group reveals the complex cocktail of ego, discipline, and deviance behind their trade. "There's a strange feeling about being recognized for something you're doing and still being anonymous," one graffiti artist explains, "that is extremely fucking addictive."

Jackson produced this short while studying at the Salt Institute in Portland. He has also reported on insect wars for NPR,  the mysteries of air travel, and cultural cognition for Psychology Today.

Courtesy of Steven Jackson.

This post originally appeared on The Atlantic.

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. Life

    How Australia Conquered Guns, and Why America Can't

    Gun control advocates point to Australia for inspiration in ending gun violence. The Australian Ambassador to the United States, Joe Hockey, thinks they should stop.

  2. Design

    Modernism in London's 'Metro-Land'

    Linked to the urban core by state-of-the-art electric trains by 1900, this area was in many ways a harbinger of a cleaner, brighter future.

  3. Transportation

    A Powerful Map Promises to Help Cities Keep Streets Free

    When a city’s maps don’t match with Uber or Lyft’s, getting precious trip data can be arduous. SharedStreets thinks it can fix that.

  4. Transportation

    The Attainable Wonders of Wakandan Transit

    Why can’t we have the vibranium-powered passenger trains of the Black Panther universe?

  5. Transportation

    The Geography of Car Deaths in America

    The U.S. is a nation divided not just by how people get around, but by how fast they drive.