Birmingham City of Colours


The day after the epic Shoreditch day and night paint was the start of the Birmingham City of Colours event.

I have been looking forward to this one. It has a massive line up with over 100 artists (someone described it as the Glastonbury of Street Art/ Graffiti) and the Lost Souls had our biggest wall, to date, to paint.

We got to have a bit of a road trip on the way from London as Greg (Squirl) drove the crew to Birmingham and we had a great concept for the piece which was continuing our new found love of split colours (like we had used for our Meeting of Styles) piece.

The idea was to have a vast sea/ ocean which below the water contained sea creatures, Neptune, Cthulhu, divers, mines and more all painted in turquoises and purples. Then above the water were the heads of many of the underwater characters plus boats, flying fish and much more. These were all to be painted in full colour to create the two tone split colour scenario we were aiming for.

On arrival into Birmingham (I had never been before) I got to see how big a city it is, and we all noticed the potential the city had for street art. There were massive walls everywhere you looked! All blank without any mulsh (emulsion base coat) even. Virgin walls waiting to be plucked. Ha!

Our original intention was to get to Birmingham on the Friday, check in and find our wall, then emulsion the wall and sketch out our characters ready for day two. Things didn’t go so smoothly though and by the time we had arrived at the Custard Factory it was late afternoon. Then once we claimed our paint and found our wall we discovered that there were cars parked underneath, and we had no scaffold tower so we would not be able to get started. The solution was simple. To the pub!!!

Night one was a fun and drink filled chaos and the garden at the Crown was filled with loads of my favourite artists all on a mission to drink loads.

Day 2 started with hang overs!

When we reached the wall we found we were painting next to the ‘Made You Look’ crew which was cool (nice guys) but we also found that some fool had left their car directly below our wall with the intention of selling it, complete with posters and a phone number.

This was not the fault of the organisers and they were phoned and asked to move their car but they never turned up, leaving it directly under my Cthulhu character the whole weekend.

It was a bit of a pain to work around and although we really wanted to tag the car up, we didn’t want to bring shame on the event so we behaved and left it alone, although spray dust is inevitable so I’m sure the car left the car park (eventually) a slightly different colour.

Anyway after several bottles of water and a sausage, egg and bacon baguette the hangover was beginning to disappear and the wall started to take shape.

Captain Kris had to take an hour out in the afternoon to have a drawing battle against LiskBot but we were on track to finish nicely on Sunday with plenty of time before my train.

In the evening we couldn’t face another night of debauchery in the pub garden so we headed to the Birmingham Secret Walls final to see Mr Millerchip take on Trou @Boxxed, then home to our shitty hotel for an early night.

Ha! Apparently our hotel, that I booked, was notorious with locals. I heard several different stories including it may be a brothel or an overflow for the local psychiatric hospital.

I know it was right over the other side of the city and had a random woman inside pushing a shopping trolley, as well as major renovations taking place over one whole side of the floor we were on. It was the prefect setting for a horror movie.

Day 3 and we were ready for action.

Our scaffold had been reclaimed the night before so we went into the main arena where most artists had finished the day before and ‘borrowed’ one of those towers.

Everything was laid back and we were just finishing the final touches all day until we realised how little time we had left.

Time seemed to creep up on us and as usual we wanted to fill the wall with detail and information.

We just managed to finish with 30 minutes to spare to get me to the train station in time for my train. It was a close one and unfortunately we didn’t get to see much of the finished work by other artist but I made it on time and the guys set off on their long trips home in the Squirl mobile. Phew!

I did start to panic a bit towards the end though, but I managed to buy myself a Philth canvas on the Sunday so it was all good.

Love my new canvas, and his piece for the event!!

Me with my new Philth canvas

The walls that we did see at the event were amazing! I love the diversity of the art at an event like this and all the artists I have met have been lovely.

I think all the Lost Souls were happy with our finished wall.

Its packed full of fun characters like we envisioned.

I love working with the Lost Souls as I’m a fan of all their art individually and even if I’m not happy with my part of a piece, I’m always impressed with their sections.

On this occasion though we were all really happy with the final results of our wall and every artist I spoke to enjoyed the festival and thought it was well organised.

Well done all involved!

We are  looking forward to getting another invite to paint another massive wall in Brum again.

Hopefully sooner rather than later! 😉


Some photos in this blog are mine, some from Daniel Wood, Airborne Mark, Philth and the 1 Week Later photos of our wall, with no car in front, were taken by Gemma Hind.

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