How did you get into spray painting and mural art?
My link to spray painted mural work goes back to my college days where I became friends with a fellow student who was a graffiti artist. He showed me the ropes and had me help out on running workshops and painting murals from time to time. I gradually built up my skills from what he taught me and met other artists who I also learnt from. It was a very gradual process and I still consider myself to be learning.
What kind of commercial commissions do you get for your murals?
I paint murals for offices and educational establishments mainly, but there have have been all manner of places I have painted—hospitals, festival promotions, restaurants etc.
What process do you go through when you plan a mural?
The murals can sometimes be very complexed depending on whats wanted. With the city creature designs I usually spend a lot of time researching the area that is focused on looking at buildings and landmarks to include. I do this online and also by taking photos of the place.
I then make sketches of the buildings and quite a few working drawings to figure out the puzzle of putting them into an animal form. The final design is worked up based on photos and measurements of the wall space. I work out the colour scheme at the end which can be tricky. I need to think about what colours of spray paint I will need and how many cans. I always seem to have too many, but thats better than having not enough I guess!
What kind of painting techniques do you use?
I sometimes paint a background using emulsion paint and the rest in spray paint. I did use acrylic and brush for my outlines for a while as I liked the line quality and didn't trust my can skills. Now I am happy to use spray paint, it's so much quicker.
What’s your favourite mural that you’ve worked on and why?
I generally like the last one I have painted and get bored of previous ones. I just see the mistakes and want each one to be a progression.
With that in mind my favourite one at the moment is a very recent one. It is of a pheasant and on a wall near North Street in Bedminster, Bristol. I like it as it has a nicely painted background which is very atmospheric and the bird has lots of popping colours, shading and movement. It fits the shape of the wall space well.
It's part of a side project, for which I am aiming to fill North Street with as many poultry-based pieces as possible. So far I've got as far as doing a turkey, a rooster and this pheasant.