Hi Andy, great to meet you. Where are you originally from?
Hello, great to meet you also! I am originally from Bath in the South West of Britain but I moved to the larger city of Bristol around 20 years ago. I was drawn to Bristol as the creative scene is larger and there is a lot of Graffiti and Street Art going on.
When/Why did you start putting your art onto walls?
Having moved from Bath which is a rather conservative heritage city I was really struck by all the Graffiti art in Bristol. I remember visiting Walls On Fire, the 1998 Graffiti event organised by Inkie and Banksy and wanting to be a part of it all. I had recently completed an Animation course at art college but I didn’t find any work in that field. However, I got into doing freelance illustration work and I fancied getting some of my illustrations up on walls. The large scale and colours seemed a lot more appealing than working solely on paper or in Photoshop.
I was really lucky in that I had some great mentors from the Bristol and South West Graff scene who showed me the ways of painting walls and using spray paint. My old friend Rowdy was particularly instrumental in getting me involved in wall work. He would get me along to work on some productions and community workshop pieces adding some illustrative characters into the mix.
Although I have strong connections with the Graffiti scene I’ve never been a letter writer. This is largely due to the fact I have bad hand writing(!) but also that I consider myself to be an illustrator foremost. These days my work is spread pretty evenly between painting mural pieces and illustration work.
Where do you get your inspiration?
For my style of artwork where I create an animal made up of different elements I get inspiration from all around me. I am inspired by creatures currently alive, extinct and mythical. I often choose animals that are relevant to the area that I am painting in, be it one that lives in that region or one that embodies the spirit of that area. The elements that the creature is made out of has mainly been architectural based – buildings and landmarks from that particular city. My home city of Bristol has featured heavily in my work but I am keen to work in other places and incorporate different buildings and regions in to my beasts. I’m also wanting to work on more animals that are made of elements other than buildings – food, transport, clothes etc. Everyday things brought to life in an animal form.
I went through a big phase of painting dinosaurs and I go back to painting them often. I find them really fascinating, especially some of the less well known strange looking ones. I’m really into the the idea that some of them had feathers so often add a bit of plumage to my prehistoric creations.
I continue to be inspired by Graffiti lettering pieces. I love the flow, funk and colour schemes in these works and it’s great to see them in the flesh on the street or rolling by on a train.
Which of your artworks are you most proud of (And where can we find them)?
Quite a few of the pieces that I am most proud of aren’t around anymore, they have either decayed or been painted over. Quite often the works that do stick around I can’t help noticing mistakes in or things I could have done better. In that way I’m not always bothered about my work being painted over. It’s quite often the last piece that I have done that I am most happy with as the work continues to develop.
Of all the artworks that are still around I am most happy with the two large scale installations that are in Chelsea and Westminster hospital, London. They are not spray painted pieces but illustrations printed out large scale on vinyl. I think they work well presented this way in a clean hospital environment and I am happy with the graphic look of them. The two scenes feature a pair of rhinos and a fox made up of places near to the hospital. The area features lots of famous London landmarks and buildings of different architectural styles so I had no shortage of material to work with. The artworks are on the side of Medicinema, a special cinema built within the hospital atrium for the use of patients and staff.
Have you collaborated with other artists ?
I’ve worked on walls with quite a few of Bristol’s Graffiti and Street Artists in the past. It’s really helped my process and I’ve learnt a lot from doing it – techniques, colour schemes things like that. I’ve ended up painting solo mostly in recent years but there have been a few occasions where I have hit a wall with friends and it has been a lot of fun. I painted recently with Hemper and our styles worked really well together. He did some acid green drippy lettering and I did a dinosaur made of mushrooms……it ended up being very psychedelic!
Do you have any artists you would like to collaborate with ?
I’m open to working with other artists if the styles work well together, kind of hard to think who and if they’d want to work with me. I’ve been in contact with Simple Bao from Hong Kong over the last year, I think we’d both like to work together if the chance ever came up.
Is there a dream place worldwide where you would like to create an artwork?
I think it would have to be a really big city with lots of really interesting buildings. Somewhere like New York, Tokyo or Hong Kong. Somewhere really different to what I know.
Do you have any exhibitions or upcoming art festivals?
You know what I actually haven’t…..so if anyone wants me to come and paint drop me a line! I do have some wall commissions coming up and plan on getting out and about painting some weirder stuff just for fun with like minded people.
Thank’s a lot . Would you like to add anything else for Streetart360 readers?
One day, rather than a life like portrait piece, I’d like to see someone paint a photorealistic piece of a kettle or something mundane like that on a huge wall.
Andy Council social network links…
Artworks photo gallery