We grab five minutes with Glasgow street artist, Rogue-One.
Walking around Glasgow, you can practically see the creative scene growing in front of your very eyes. One of the things you’ll notice first, is the amazing street art that embellishes many of city’s buildings – either on a giant scale, or hidden away like little design treasures in the nooks and crannies of the metropolis. We speak with one of the street-artists at the forefront of this movement, Rogue-One.
When did you first get into street art?
That’s a long time ago! I suppose I got into ‘street art’ back when it was known as graffiti. When I was about 14/15 I got into tagging and all the usual stuff, but got bored of that and started working on doing better stuff. I started looking for abandoned spots and places where I could spend the whole day doing something more detailed.
What’s your background – did you study art at all?
It’s just years of practice, painting as a young kid and being really interested in art when I was at school. I’ve studied from books & continued into my adult years trying various different mediums. Self taught really.
Where do you find inspiration?
Anywhere – it all depends on what the mural is. When it’s my own, I’ll get inspiration from anything that catches my eye, but when I’m working on commissions, sometimes the organisations have ideas of their own, so we work together and adapt to bring it together.
What’s the process from initial idea to finish?
I’d say my style is photo-realistic, so there’s always a good bit of research involved. Once I have an idea, I sit on a computer and look out images or even take photos of friends and family. After that, I make up a sketch and put it on photoshop to cut and paste and rework what I have to pull something together. This way, I can have more photo-realistic imagery. It’s just like an artist in the old-school days, only I don’t have the resource to have people or elephants sitting in front of me, so use the internet to find what I need. The good thing about it is that it gives me more scope to be more imaginative – if I need something really specific, whether it’s a certain facial expression or movement, I can find it online or use different images to create it myself.
At which point did it start becoming a career?
I suppose over the past five or six years it has became more of a career – I dabbled around with loads of little jobs, normal jobs. I never called myself an artist, I’d say I worked in the hiking shop or the pub. Just over the last five years or so, I’ve considered myself an artist because I’m doing more and more commissions.
What has been the biggest moment in your career so far?
That’s a hard one! I never think about what I’ve done, I’m always thinking about what’s next. One of my highlights was the Cowcaddens mural, the hand shadow puppets and the Strathclyde uni mural – at first, I wasn’t too keen on the imagery, because the uni wanted something so specific, but it has grown on me. It was such a big job and had such impact.
Who are your favourite street artists?
What’s the bravest thing you’ve ever done?
Right now, probably using large scale height equipment like cherry pickers and scissor lifts. I’m not the best with heights so always a bit wary!
What’s next for you?
I’ve got a few projects on the cards – keep your eyes out on Bath Lane!