Words from SPZero76

Where do you find your inspiration?

I find inspiration in most things! The other day I got an idea for a character when I saw some rear lights on a car while we were driving on the motorway! Ha!

I also get my fiancées woman’s magazines and flick through them for inspiration too. Anything really! Comics, cartoons and art books/ magazines!

What got you started doing art, and how old were you?

My Dad is an awesome artist so it was passed down. I’ve been drawing since I can remember and I have always collected comics too, which have been a massive inspiration throughout my work!

What are your favorite mediums to work with?

I love drawing using pencil and pens! I sit there drawing for hours. My other usual mediums are spray cans, emulsion, acrylic and paint pens although I’m starting to love playing with watercolours.

How do you spend your free time i.e. Skydiving, getting drunk, fishing shaving cats?

I spend most of my time drawing, although I love traveling abroad with my fiancée and we love our cats! I have wondered what they would look like shaved as they have little pink bellies through their fur! I bet they would look like little pink pigs! Ha!

Who are you listening to and does music inspire your art?

I’m getting old now and I’m really not up to date with modern music! Ha! I sound old now!

I love everything that I used to listen to from when I was younger though! As a kid I went through a Grunge stage and a Hip Hop stage, and I love them all! Still love Roots Manuva and brit hip hop like The Aspects and Twizzy! I love the Bristol accent in hip hop! Sounds awesome! I also love DJ Yoda, and my recent playlist has included Aerosmith, Nine Inch Nails Pretty Hate Machine and my mates Skip Hop band First Degree Burns!

What did you like most and least about college?

I was an idiot at college! I just wanted to get drunk and party! I met a lot of great artists around that time though. I hated being classed as a student and tried to keep away from student related events to focus on partying at Bristol’s underground clubs! Ha!

Now I’m very different and super organized and dedicated! If I had half the same dedication back then, I might be a step ahead where I am now! Although that would have changed my whole life, that I have now, and I wouldn’t change that for anything!

Who would you love to colab with?

Hmm! This is a hard one, as I created and used to run a project called Collaboration Nation which saw loads of international up and coming artists working on loads of collabs! I still collaborate with loads of artists and have several in the pipeline with Squirl, Loch Ness, China Mike, Mr Kobo, Si Mitchell, Craww, Chiba Love, Paul Roberts and loads more.

My dream collab would possibly be with Jamie Hewlett, Will Barras or even Banksy! One of my heroes is Stan Lee for creating loads of my heroes, so something with him would be awesome too! There are loads of artists I want to collab with! Too many names to reel off! Ha!

Tell us about SPZero76.

I created the pseudonym SPZero76 back in the late 90s when I moved to Bristol.

It stands for ‘Solo Productions Zero Talent Since 1976’! Ha!

Since then my art has been connected to Street art, even though I only started using spray paint at the start of last year.

I created and ran a project called Collaberation Nation for a year and a half. The project had 50 amazing artists working on collaborations and became very popular although I need to focus on my own work so passed the project on to friends.

I’m now part of the Cretin art crew alongside Loch Ness, Squirl Neil Ennui and Moose&Yeti. We have had several exhibitions and even worked on a crazy sea creature installation around Boulogne town.

In the future I’m aiming to continue working alongside the Cretin crew, Weapon of Choice gallery, Upfest, ThreeNine and loads of other artists and companies, as well as focus on pushing my own individual art.

It would be amazing to get involved in exhibitions in the US sometime soon!

When we come to visit where are you going to take us to eat, and what are we going to have?

My fiancée is the best cook ever! Her Sunday Roasts are famous. Eating out would just be disappointing in contrast! Ha! Yep! I think it would have to be a lemon and garlic chicken with roast potatoes, roast parsnips, stuffing, Yorkshire puddings, cauliflower cheese and veggies!

Although if we were eating out we would have to go to the Social restaurant and bar, on Stokes Croft, which is filled with my paintings and the whole street is filled with art.

What do you like best about the town you live in?

Bristol is amazing! I moved here to study back in ’96 and apart from a short move to Manchester and a year in Australia I have lived here since.

I think the best thing for me in Bristol is the art scene. Bristol is notorious as the birthplace of Banksy, and has an amazing graffiti scene with a lot of great artists using the city as a base. There are plenty of amazing shows and projects happening here all the time and I have heard that some cities art scenes can be quite cliquey, yet all the artists in Bristol are always happy to help each other out and involve each other.

It is a great creative city where everyone can get involved.

Would you like to try your hand at toy design?

I would love to design Toys! I recently got involved in the CE Planet Design Contest 2, where you had to re-design the look of their figure.

I have so many crazy characters that are destined to be made into figures.

Is there anything you would like to tell us about? Upcoming shows, installations?

I currently have a show in Boulogne, France, alongside the rest of the Cretin crew. It runs for 3 months until September and is sponsored by the Pompidou Arts Centre, Boulogne Council and Strange Cargo.

I am also exhibiting in ‘Weapon of Choice Friends and Family Group Show’ starting July 20th, as well as being involved with several galleries and shops around Bristol, UK.

But the biggest thing in my near future is I’m getting married in October to my lovely Fiancée!!

We have already booked our honeymoon to Vegas, Hawaii and San Fran which is awesome!

Sandwich or Burrito?
Burrito!! Had the best Burrito when I was in Berlin a few months ago! Really good!

Steak sandwich with caramelized red onion chutney is a close second! Ha!

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Interview by Adam