Name: MR WIGZ
Mission: TO CREATE THINGS, MOSTLY WITH A PEN, PENCIL, PAINTBRUSH, SPRAY PAINT OR DIGITAL FORMATS
I met Mr Wigz this summer whilst I was working at Upfest. He was painting next to the First Aid tent and on my lunch break we started chatting about The Spiralling. It’s a pleasure to be able to write about him today.
Mr Wigz was born in Bristol and has lived here his whole life. “I live in the Gloucester Road area, and love my home town! I’ve always been creative and had a passion for art, drawing and making things. I used to love comic books as a kid and fantasy art books. When I was about 14/15 I got into graffiti along with Hip-Hop, break-dancing and generally being a menace out and about. I used to go to gigs, Hip-Hop shows (still do), and look for late night paint spots. Just hanging out with a couple of like-minded guys, I guess, built on my love for graff and tattoos and the like!”
When he was at university, he learned about both 3D and 2D design including 3D printing, milling, and large format printing. Learning about different software packages gave him the ability to mix his hand drawn work with digital outputs. “I like to mix medias and genres whilst trying to create interesting pieces. I like a challenge too, something you know you will struggle with, or you’re not sure you can achieve, and then getting what you were after…or finding out something different works better is an amazing feeling. For instance, I created a vector based 3D graffiti style piece, that I printed onto laser cut acrylic. It was then mounted and raised onto a frame that I had wrapped in a leather effect vinyl, then it was raised again from the wall with an LED halo effect.”
His style slides from 3D letter forms, swirly or angled lettering, to dark and weird scenic paintings. “I just love creating stuff! I have a very busy head, I seem to come up with ideas for things to paint or make and then just get in the zone and love the processes. It’s like a journey – you have an idea and the more you whizz it around in your head the further down the path you get and the more places you find. In the last couple of years I have found that I love painting strange trees with tiny cities in them. I’m inspired quite often by nature and places I’ve travelled to. I love looking through Instagram and things like tattoo books or websites. It’s so easy now to access so much visual stimulation for artists, and I’m a sucker for all of it!”
Mr Wigz tries to spray paint whenever possible. “I don’t do it enough though, however every time I do I love it. I am not part of a crew, but do tend to paint with the same people. I meet people through other artists and we end up working on projects, collabs or walls together. You meet a lot of like minded people and most of them are up for working with new people. I took part in a project called Collab Nation a few years ago which was started by SPzero76, who I’ve known for years. I met loads of artists through that and have been involved with some great exhibitions through that project!”
Sadly having a full-time job can get in the way of his art. “Sometimes with the stresses of everyday life and work it can be really hard to get in the right mind space to be creative, and sometimes it just flows non stop and all you want to do is get back to a project. I do have some creative elements to my day job, and also have access to some impressive printing and 3D kit, that I sometimes get to use for my own work. I’m sure if you speak to other creative people, it’s a trait that they tend to have lots of unfinished projects lying around! I find that I may not always be happy with my own work, or that I admire another style so much and wish I could achieve that standard. Overcoming that and just enjoying what I do, is a constant challenge, but something that any artist has to learn to work with.”
Since he started painting, Mr Wigz has had breaks, including not painting for a good few years, but after returning from a trip to Canada he really got back into it. “I was on the west coast of Canada and it was a really cool spot in the woods where there were 6 derailed train carriages with dirt bike/bmx jumps built all over them.” He also painted at Upfest. “It’s an event like no other with a really good atmosphere for artists and visitors and it’s a great showcase of talent. With painting in public or on the streets there’s bound to be some trouble at times, but on the whole there’s a great bunch of painters in Bristol and everyone seems to appreciate each others work. I turned up and got chatting to a guy called Gage Graphics and we were going for a similar background and effect so we decided to paint next to each other. We chatted to a couple of other guys, including an awesome artist called Size Two from Berlin and managed to kind of get a theme sweeping through our wall. I went with some quite dark looking 3D ridged letters that had trees and a floating island surrounding them, and we had a dark space look in the background. Gage smashed out a bursting spray can with loads of energy and foliage and animals coming out and Size Two freestyled a crazy space monkey – it was amazing!”
Mr Wigz hopes to continue to merge mediums and create really diverse projects. “I have a few bigger walls in the pipeline, and I want to collab more with other artists. Ideally I want to get a studio so I can focus and have a better creating environment, which will lead to more productivity and new avenues. I do have some ideas for developing what I do to be more full-time, and making the most of my multi media/tech skills, so watch this space I guess. Just takes time when everything else gets in the way!” At the end of this week is the new Upfest book launch. “I have created one of their ‘book press covers’ for the first 100 copies sold. The launch night is this Friday at the Upfest gallery.” For more details click here for the Facebook event.