Rapidly spreading visual ideas, as it turns out, have lessons for anyone trying to get their product out there.

The connection between Banksy, animated GIFs, and business might not be immediately obvious – other than their popularity in the early 2010’s. One seems intensely contextual and linked to the actual world, while the second is portable and a product of recent internet culture.

Street art prodigy RJ Rushmore, however, has spent time in the communities that spawned both. Viral Art is his new free eBook, and it compiles two and a half years of research into a common history. Full of fascinating stories from the early graffiti era as well as great new internet artists to discover, Rushmore’s collection spans stories across a multitude of media: photography, fine art, ‘zines, films, and more. The salient connections he sees between street art and what he terms “viral art” on the web, though, are more important to him than the differences, and they provide a useful map for many on how to get a concept circulating across diverse audiences, whether your product is a friend’s zine or an award-winning ad for a major company.

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