At the start of the year I painted my first mural – a bright burst of colour inside my co-working space in Camden. I instantly caught the painting bug and wanted to work on more painting projects (and luckily had the opportunity with Hattie Stewart and recently as an artist in residence with West Elm), so when Jacqueline Colley posted a call out for some painting help on her Instagram I volunteered straight away.
Strike it lucky
Originally I was just going to lend Jacqueline a hand, but she kindly offered me the chance to paint my own mural piece alongside her and fellow Illustrator Aleesha. Jacqueline and Aleesha started painting on Friday but I couldn’t make it to paint until Monday as I was in Margate. After seeing the ladies posting progress shots I knew I should follow their lead and join the theme of matches.
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If you pop down to 10-12 Rivington Street you can see the beginings of what is going to be a lovely tropical coloured wall! @jacquelinecolley and I were there today getting started! @globalstreetart.agency 🙌🏽😬😬 • • • • • • • #illustration #londonstreetart #shoreditch #matchbox #matchbook #indianart #americana
Armed with a circular placemat and some painting essentials (clingfilm and baby wipes ha) I headed to meet Jacqueline on Rivington Street in Shoreditch. When I arrived I was met by two new friends… a pool of vomit and Mr. Bunny. Who said being a street artist was glamourous? I said goodbye to the sick (I knew those baby wipes would come in handy) and Mr. Bunny – I’ve probably started some beef with a paste up artist now!? Soz. (Just to clarify – we had permission to paint here and Mr. Bunny didn’t!)
Jacqueline had chosen a bright and fun colour palette (Lilac, yellow, coral and green) for us all to use – perfect to brighten up this dreary corner of Rivington Street in Shoreditch.
To continue the matches theme I decided to create a bold, graphic pattern of polka dots like those on the side of match boxes – the strike paper. I thought it was a good contrast to the ladies detailed illustrative styles, and naturally opted to use every colour from the palette! I used the circular place mat (that I’d brought from home) as a template to speed up the process and get some dot action underway…
Jacqueline set herself a challenge by drawing some beautiful detailed match boxes inspired by a collection from her travels in America (you can read more about it on her blog), so it took her a couple of days in total to complete. I’m sure you’ll agree it was worth the effort though as it looks amazing!
We’ve been enjoying some unusually warm weather for October – the sun was still shining, but unfortunately it was blocked by the tall buildings surrounding us. There was also quite a chilly breeze, and Jacqueline & I both agreed that our next murals should be indoor ones whilst enjoying some soup to keep us warm. Painting is always better with a team and I loved spending some time chatting about creativity with Jacqueline and Aleesha.
Three is a magic number
5 and a half hours later et voila: Mr. Bunny was transformed into a rainbow polka dot pattern!
I was even dressed to match with my white overalls, green striped top and pink converse! It felt so good to finish and see it all come together – I didn’t get any paint on my overalls either.
Using the stencil for my dots definitely saved me a lot of time and gave me a consistent size which was great because I know that drawing it all freehand would’ve really stressed me out.
If you’re in Shoreditch this week (23rd to 28th October) then pop by Rivington Street to hopefully see our mural! Place your bets on how long it will last untagged, eek! ha It’s a street art-eat-street art world out there so the reality is that it won’t last very long… but we had fun painting it and fingers crossed it’ll be the first of many! Wanna hire us to paint a mural? Get in touch!!
Thanks to Global Street Art for the space, and again thanks to Jacqueline & Aleesha for letting me paint with them!