When nature meets Spray Paint

Tree Fox

By Syd from The Stencil Shed in Malmesbury, UK.

Syd: I planned to paint this as a wolf. Bizarrely when I made my way through the woods to get to this tree I sprung a fox, he had obviously seen and heard me a mile off but I accidentally trundled into his path. Maybe it remained in my subconscious as the wolf spray paint colouring went from grey to brown and began to evolve. Thankfully I had a can of light orange in my bag so was able to skim in those distinctive tones. Creating something quite unexpected.

Interview with street artist Syd

1. When, how and why did you become an artist?

I’ve been an artist since birth, I just didn’t know until I was 30 when I first picked up a spray can. My dads a professional sculptor and it runs in the family, basically I have now turned into my dad.

It’s 15 years now since my first spray paint moment and unashamedly it was sparked by reading Banky’s Wall and Piece. If any street artist says they are not inspired by Banksy they are lying

2. How do you see your role as an artist today? 

My role is all about enhancing and updating nature into something new and interesting. I dislike cities so I tend to shy away from the traditional path of my many graffiti artists.

I live in the countryside here in the UK, when I work outdoors in nature I’m very careful to only paint something that’s dead and try to be as considerate to the surroundings as I can. All my artwork that I sell is also on wood so I have developed a real synergy with my outdoor works. 

3. Can you name some works of art or projects that inspire you? 

I recently visited a friend of mine’s show here in the UK, ‘Inside’ by My Dog Sighs. That guys a genius and really puts his heart and soul into his work. The entire project was delivered during a Pandemic and it was really balls on the line stuff. 

4. How can artists get paid for their work and maintain a critical attitude towards the art market?

I’m lucky as I have a decent following of collectors who like to buy my work, It also uses wood as the canvas. All from managed woodland and sustainably sourced wood. This is enough to pay the bills and support my family. I don’t rely on galleries in any way either. If I do any outdoor work it’s always because I want to do it, I have never been paid for outdoor stuff. I guess herein lies the problem of making money as a spray paint artist! You get paid then you compromise in some way!

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