The Spot: Bomit Makes a Business Out of Sticker Bombing
"Sticker culture is definitely a subset of graffiti. It comes from graffiti."
So says Z, proprietor behind Bomit.com, who should know. He is at the very center of sticker culture, or sticker bombing. The self-described "biggest sticker trader in the world," he has been sending stickers across the globe since before the first dot-com bubble burst. He is a street art veteran with a secret identity and a global reach that has been spreading the sticker gospel one self-adhesive artwork at a time.
"I realized that my customer base for the most part is the small portion of the kids in the world that are into graffiti, but the ones othat are an even smaller subset: sticker graffiti," he tells Green Label. "It's such a small market that I'm reaching out to. But it's growing."
Z started his mission as an employee at a Texas skateboard distributor where he accumulated a sizable collection of promotional stickers, sending them out to customers with each order. From there he started freestickers.tv ("It's thirty-five thousand dollars for the domain name freestickers.com") and began building the foundation of his transcontinental sticker-swapping community with nothing but word of mouth and change for postage.
"Through the skate stuff and putting stickers everywhere, I started seeing these certain guys like Shepard [Fairey] and other people that are really prolific with their stickering. They'd be in every city and I'd be like, what?!"
"[From there I] transitioned into the whole Bomit thing, where I got into the guys that were doing the graphics for skateboard stuff. I got into their artwork and so I started reaching out to those guys. It changed from brands and promoting brands to reaching out to artists and doing sticker runs for them and promoting them."
These days Bomit is a self-sustaining enterprise, sending sticker-packs to the four corners of the globe, cross-pollinating city-specific scenes, and making the world a more beautiful, somewhat stickier, place. Bomit facilitates the disemnation of art, making the world a gallery and any surface a potential masterpiece.
And Z isn't just big-upping other folks: he's satisfying his own creative impulses. "My favorite thing that I'm doing is the blank sticker concept," says Z. "Every cool logo that I come across, any retro thing, anything '80s, anything kitsch, becomes a new sticker idea... And for some reason they are selling out almost immediately after I drop them, which is so cool."
From the need to de-clutter his desk job to fostering an international community of underground artists, Z is proud of his place at the center of a vibrant and growing culture.
"It's a perfect set up," says Z. "You can get promoted, you can get stickers sent out, you can get [your stickers] seen in foreign cities."