How to marble a wall!

Every so often one of our artists own designs gets featured amongst Shoredtich’s best street art collection and this time it’s Becky’s, a talented member of our team. As you may know already, one of our renowned artists Sophie does a lot the paint work for our blog and this time she recreates the delicate and personal ‘Golden Vision’ design by Becky. Sophie’s and Becky’s piece is situated right next to Shoreditch High Street Station.

Why is Sophie painting this specific design of yours?

“So I am a collage artist and I work mainly with found images, I also marble paper to create prints that I then cut up and use as part of my collages. Most of my work is usually constrained by the scale of the original images I source, as these are often found in old books or newspapers. I’ve always felt like my work would relate well blown up BIG or even better, painted as a mural. I can use spray paint, but my skills are limited to more of a graphic style of painting, and as my work often uses photographic elements, I’ll be assisting Sophie who is queen of photo realism!”

Is this the first time you will see your work as a mural?

“I have painted murals in the past but have shied away from using spray paint, due to my more basic skills and If I do it’s usually simplistic block colours. Most of my collages are photography based, which to paint takes specialised skill.  Sophie and I have spoken about collaborating in the past to bring my designs to life as Sophie is very skilled at this.”

What inspires your designs?

“I get inspired by lots of things really, but I especially love surrealism and natural forms and patterns. For this particular piece my main inspiration was drawn from listening to music. It was originally created as a poster design for an Afro Beats music night called Bood ‘n’ Bone that I help put on with a couple of friends. When I was marbling the paper used in the collage I was listening to a playlist by Bood ‘n’ Bone on spotify.  A lot of west african album artwork has a strong use of colour, pattern, combined with collage. I love the playfulness of the music and culture from this region.”

How long have you been creating/designing colleges?

“Probably right back to my early childhood as both my parents are artists, my parents always encouraged me to go to exhibitions and to draw and paint from day dot. I then went on to study Illustration at Brighton University which I graduated from in 2013. It was in my final year degree show that I discovered collage. I had played around with it in previous years but in my final year it was quite apparent that that was the medium I like to work with best.”

How do you go about designing your pieces?

“For the marble textured background I use traditional paper marbling techniques, dropping acrylic based inks into water and manipulating them with toothpicks or fine combs to create the swirly patterns. You then create a relief print of the design you have created on the surface of the water. I really love analogue processes like printing and cutting, so try to stay away from the computer or use it to clean up my collages and digitise them at the end. I collect old books and images. I have just got a film camera so I am excited to start taking my own pictures and using these in my designs”

Were there any challenges you faced while recreating your design?

“Yes as my spray painting skills aren’t that great, sometimes when I go to help Sophie, I’ll end up accidentally covering something up she’s doing and she’ll have to come back and make it good again. However it was really great to do and I’d love to improve my skills in spray painting.”

We now turn to Sophie to hear her take on the painting process..

Did you face any challenges whilst painting this piece?

I actually really enjoyed painting this piece and didn’t come across any challenges however, due to the wall being located in Shoreditch which is notoriously famous for street art and spray paint, within the first hour of the mural being finished it had already been drawn over. This is obviously frustrating as we had to make time to correct it the following morning.

Have you worked on designs like this before?

Yeah, I have done a few things like this before, especially the marble background. These things are always nice to paint as it’s very free flowing and you can be quite fluid and natural in your painting movements. The most complex part of the design was the eye in the center however it was quite low detail as it was a screenprint of an old photo.

What was your favourite part of the process?

It was lovely to paint with becky as she doesn’t usually come out painting on jobs, it was nice to get her out of the office and to have to females painting on the street together. I thought Becky’s spray painting skills really improved as she went on and she really got the hang of it.

If you want to see this dazzling piece with your own eyes then head down to Shoreditch High Street station where you’ll find it on the right hand side as you come out of the station.