Posts Tagged ‘Birmingham’

I’ve been fully occupied over the past couple of weeks, and although that’s a good thing, it always surprises me just how much busier I seem to get when I have “time off” booked. In between organising wedding related stuff (the missus and I have some weird idea about getting married) and going on “holiday” (read as “being busy somewhere else instead of being busy at home”), I managed to squeeze in a little painting tour.

A couple of painted ramps

First stop was Bromsgrove (a little town south of Brum), where I went to see some old school friends, catch up, and paint some of the local skate ramps – which I remember being far larger than they actually are. Apparently to local council dowsized the because all the little scooter-kiddies don’t know how to man up…. Shameful.

Side views of AS piece for S+P

Next stop was the Sneaks and Peaks mini-fest at Boxxed in Digbeth – Hoakser, Fluid, G87 and Philth were all painting, and were it not for the weather a lot more would have done. I love my crappy plastic pack-a-mack – as horrid as it looks, at least I managed to keep relatively dry and rain-free. Even the walls stayed fairly good, with the rain blowing (for the most part) away from the side most of us were painting.

Front view of AS piece for S+P

After Birmingham, I travelled to Bournemouth, and although I didn’t get the chance to paint whilst I was there, I did get a few cheeky stickers up before it was time to leave and head to Bristol.

Everyone Loves ACuppa Sticker - and the sea

Bristol is sick. The cops are easy, and the quality of a good portion of the work on the streets is excellent. I managed to paint near Nelson st, and in Stokes Croft, with very little bother. I even snuck in a little social commentry

AsOne piece just off Nelson St, Bristol

Get Fracked! in Stokes Groft, Bristol

London came next, with visits to Leake St, Stockwell and Shoreditch. It was good to bump into a few writers whilst down there – although I missed some others. I guess the lesson there is for me to actually try getting in touch with people beforehand! I did see some sick work from Sobek and Kcis at the Boxpark in Shoreditch though – watching them paint together is eerie. I swear there’s some sort of writer’s telepathy going on there. Or maybe it’s cause they’re twins. Whatever. It’s just spooky.

AS Piece in Shoreditch, London

AsOne piece in Stockwell, London

TLA Throwie in Leake Street, London

This September the Yardbird will be hosting Tempo33’s “Roys Castle Lung Cancer Foundation” Street Fair. This charity event, hosted by T33 himself, will have a range of stalls selling everything from cakes (standard charity fair) through to homegrown street and graffiti art.

Support this event!

I will not, unfortunately, be able to be there, but have been able to get rid of the guilty feelings this brings by knocking out a bit of graphic design in support of the good cause. All my Brummie readers should mark the 29th of September in their calendars as a day for good music, homegrown art, and charity.

Please feel free to download the poster design and re-post it on your own pages – the more we promote this event, the more money will be raised!

First up, let me apologise for being so poor at posting regularly! The past month and a half have been particularly busy – I’ve unfortunately had to get two jobs - proper, meaningful employment jobs – in order to cover the costs of moving to Norwich and all the other incidentals life throws at you (like getting the car fixed, paying rent… eating…). This has left me with far less in the way of creative time than I would have hoped, and almost no time at all to document or share any of it! Time to fix that, I guess…

Let’s start with the important, fresh stuff. I will be at UpFest this year, painting at the Tobacco Factory over the Saturday and the Sunday. For those of you who haven’t had the pleasure of hearing about or going to UpFest, it is a free festival dedicated to street art and graffiti, and is hosted yearly in Bristol. This year they have a ridiculous number of artists heading down, across and up to smash some serious paint around.

There will be 250 artists and 40 DJs, Groups & Human Beatboxers spread over 3 sites inBristol city centre and it’s free. Seriously. Click on the flyer and get yourself down there on the 4th and 5th. I might give you a beer you never know!

Another festival that I had the pleasure of getting involved in recently was the Fierce Festival. Based in Birmingham, Fierce is spread out a little more that UpFest, and has a much more eclectic vibe to it. Myself, Tempo33 and Lisk were invited to come down and paint at a site-specific interactive installation near millennium Point. Working with Fierce, a  group called EXYZT had created a meeting place out of shipping containers and reclaimed timber, using local resources to create a local space. They didn’t have a license to sell alcohol, but as it was public land, no-one could stop the influx of tins from various off-licenses around the city centre. Good music played, and we artists developed our responses to Birmingham’s love/hate relationship with itself. My piece took influence from Brum’s Anglo-Saxon roots, using a decorative motif found on jewellery unearthed as part of the Staffordshire Hoard, as well as focusing on the attitude of many Birmingham residents: “Brum may be a bit crap, we’re the only ones allowed to say that, because it’s ours, and we love it, and woe betide any person not from Brum who slags it off”. Many thanks to Adam Ragg for these snaps from the morning after:

Photo of Brummagem Piece by Adam Ragg

Painting in the dark on steel with thick as hell corrugations is a little tricky, at least when it comes to straight lines and details, but the piece says what I wanted it to.

Adam Ragg's pic of the final "wall"Of course, I’ve also been as busy as time will allow me to be in Norwich. I’m now painting with Vandals Have Style, and I’ve been dropping the odd wheatpaste and skateboard around as well. Have a look at the flickr stream for recent work in that category. I’ve also been painting the legal spots a bit just to keep my hand in and to work on my letters – NOYZ from VHS and I painted a quick freestyle piece the other day which I was quite pleased with…

In the pic below you can see NOYZ VHS on the left and Ments on the right – unfortunately this wall sees a lot of dogging and cheap fame, but I guess it means we have a good excuse to keep burning over it time and time again!

Right then folks, I’ll leave it there for the moment. I’m working on new sticker and T-shirt designs at the moment, which I’m planning to drop as soon as I possibly can, and of course I’ll keep you all updated on the UpFest vibe as and when. I will be “tweeting” (God I hate that word) from UpFest as the weekend progresses, so be sure to keep an eye out for me on your twatstream over the 4th and 5th.

Well, I finally got the chance to have a stroll and put up the skateboards I painted last week. Somehow I even managed to get a reasonable patch of sunny weather – even if it was still a little cold, it was very nice to see Brum in a colour scheme other than grey with grey highlights and a grey drop shadow…


Have a stroll through my Flickr stream (on the left there) to see the original photos. Some boards of this sort to be on sale at We Are Birmingham this week – as soon as I can sort out some stands for them.

Busy Times

Posted: February 27, 2011 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , , , ,

So I’ve been hard at it over the past two weeks working on workshops and various other bits and bobs. First up – the Wagon and Horses in Digbeth:

Angel in the Ground

Click to see more of this room on Flickr

Greg from the Wagon and Horses got in touch with myself and Cryse to paint the upstairs “funk”tion room in the pub as it steadily metamorphoses into a tidy gig venue – above is my angelic addition to the decor. Cryse’s ceiling is looking smart, as is the rest of the room (which is still in progress as I write). Also on the list for the past week has been the signage for Subway City, dropping stickers around Brumtown, and the odd “self directed” paint session, including a quick paint out with some of the boys the other day.

Subway City - regular nights


Friday paint in Digbeth - Zeanr + As1

Keep an eye out for my new sticker series on the streets of Brum – special love to those out their already snapping away at them . Also coming up are some new skateboard signs, due on the street this week, and in We Are Birmingham next week.

Yesterday I heard the word on the grapevine that Goldie had been spotted on West Midlands BBC show “Inside Out” talking about the problems facing the children’s welfare system in Britain. Whilst this is an important issue, the big news for me was that he’d also been spotted in Digbeth, and in front of a couple of my paintings to boot! Many thanks to TX,  @Noc67 and Graffiti4Hire for letting me know, the man Chu for hinting locations to the show crew, and to the Beeb for putting me on the air…

No photo? Go to my Flickr page...

Also spotted with Goldie were Moans and Officer Nice. Anybody who’s seen the image of Officer Nice’s “Golden Boy” has inevitably asked themselves who the heck it is. I won’t ruin the fun, but I will say that they are American, famous, dead, and grew up to be not very nice at all…

No photo? Go to my Flickr page...

You can watch the segment of “Inside Out” online here.

I had the day off again today and felt the urge to piece. First things first – I went and picked up some freshly printed stickers from the Gods/Angels/Monks series (photos soon) and took a little walk through town.  Got through about 40 of the new sticker designs and about 24 of the round ones before heading down to Digbeth and topping up the paint supplies. On the way I bumped into Newso helping a couple of visiting Polish artists paint the side of the Custard Factory, and then it was time to drag paint, stickers, emulsion and myself through town and over to the Jewellery Quarter to drop a painting on a burnt out hulk of a building near the Queensway. It was well worth it on such a nice day – bright and clear. Even Joe Public seemed quite cheerful for a change.

I you can't see this picture... I'm sorry :'(

Whilst I was painting I received a bit of good news – offers of work are always good – and this served to cheer me up even more than the weather and the paint had. Add to that the steady stream of cars trying to get onto Queensway giving me the occasional honk-and-a-thumbs-up, and it wasn’t a bad afternoon at all…


Here’s Pan, looking rather stern. Not surprising, seeing as KERRANG! radio have their offices over the road. Perhaps he’ll disapprove hard enough that their morning DJs will just shut up and play music… Well, at least we can hope.

Just remember folks, no matter what happens, Keep Calm and Carry On – and Don’t Panic!

The Dropkick Murphys have their version, Eddie Izzard has his, and I have mine…

Three painted panels in Brum - Lancaster Circus

The panels are on an old pub opposite Aston University and next to Lancaster Circus. I’ve had my eye on them for ages – especially as so many vehicles go past that spot on the way onto the Aston Expressway – but haven’t had a day to paint them. When I got the call from my boss this morning saying that I would be superfluous to requirements today I thought two things. First – kettle on. Second – go paint.

And paint I did. I caught a dry few hours and the wind wasn’t too bad and the paint was coming along nicely – I was nearly finished when I realised that I’d not had to change caps once! Either the hand of some sort of waste-concious deity was at work or  (much more likely) the weather’s finally warming up and my paint isn’t coming out like treacle. Shame my camera ran out of power or I’d have been able to get some decent pics – these are the best I could get with my phone

The new body of work is finally hitting the streets hard this week folks – the new sticker packs are up and running, and by this time next week sticker pack 2 of the series should be up too. Paints have been re-stocked with military precision (but unfortunately not a military budget), and the frontline of Birmingham’s Creative Commerce (We Are Birmingham) will be locked and loaded with AsOne stock very soon.

It’s been busy times recently, what with personal commitments and the development of the G/A/M series – I’ve even had a delve into some fairly lo-fi videography….


Made with 2 photographs and my pre-existing photoshop files for my sticker designs, this video was made pretty much frame by frame in Photoshop (Two hundred and forty-one jpegs!) and then stitched together using Windows Live Movie Maker. I have to say that I much preferred the funtionality of the XP version – the effects are easier to use, and the editing is less automated, allowing a higher degree of control… but hey, that’s progress for ya. Audio was created on Audacity using stock sounds and a sample of the brilliant Zeds Dead remix of Paradise Circus by Massive Attack. Following making this I decided to get hold of some better quality software and got a copy of Adobe’s Premiere. I think I’ll stick to Movie Maker for now…

Pretty picture missing? Wounded...

Click for Shop View

The rest of this week is dedicated to completing the Dankleberry Productions debut EP cover (more on that in a few days), delivering goods to We Are Birmingham, and getting Sticker Pack 2 off the mark – I might even get a paint in if I’m lucky!

My new series Gods/Angels/Monks is due up as soon as I can start to cover print costs and paint, which could be a couple of weeks. However – with my standard level of impatience – I can’t be hanging around waiting all that time!

I only really went to the Bench today to grab some caps and colours, but while I was there, I decided that I should get something up so that I could feel I was making some progress. A quick amble round the corner showed that the boards I wanted to hit on the corner opposite Digbeth Coach Station had already been nabbed for adverts. The boards just down from that showed some recent hits by Lucy McLauchlan and TX , so I made do with a clean-ish section in between the two of them and started getting up.

Having a ciggie and just getting my paint on when lo and behold, who walks past but the man Moans. A brief chat becomes a daytime paint session and before you know it we’ve done our work and are on our way. Not bad for a something neither of us had planned – but that’s life I guess! I particularly liked his little squre headed dude over on the left…

Can't see this? Go look at the Monk on my flickr page!