Meet the Artist: Liskbot

February 1, 2016

Culture Faves

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From Pablo Picasso and Vincent Van Gogh, to Damien Hirst, Tracey Emin and Banksy. We all have our favourite artists – and we all have our from styles of art. Those who enjoy a Rembrandt may not necessarily like work by Shepard Fairey or other street artists.

Me, I do. I’m a big fan of street art. You only have to take a walk through Digbeth to appreciate some of the fantastic street art on offer in Birmingham. And to fully appreciate some of the street art available, I highly recommend you visit Millennium Point before February 16th 2016 to see the amazing art being exhibited by Liskbot.

To wet your appetite, get to know the artist a bit better, find out how they got involved in street art, why they’ve chosen their style and which artists they recommend we look out for, by reading the Q&A I did with them recently.

There are a few famous street artists, perhaps none more so than Banksy. But who inspired you to get into street art?

My earliest introduction to street art was while I was studying at Walsall College, when an older student brought a tiny street art book back from a trip to London. I was aware of graffiti but was blown away by the different ways artists in London such as Banksy, Toaster, Invader and D-face used different mediums to create humorous and cleaver art in a public space.

Who are the street artists both locally and further afield whose work we should be looking out for?

I’m always excited to see new work popping up on the walls and lampposts of Birmingham. Lately ‘Johnny Vcnt’s’ use of poppy images and stylish fonts remind me of nostalgic advertisements.

‘Foka Wolfs’ been going for a while but still gets me excited seeing his paste ups around town. The work of Gent and Newso always leave my mind blown, such skill and imagination, creating some monstrous pieces of work around Digbeth.

Your art predominantly features robots, why?

While failing to support myself living in the Netherlands, sometimes I drew a little box like character that illustrated my thoughts and worries while I was in a different country. I came back and people seemed to like my character more than my holiday photos, so I drew some more onto stickers and over time each bot I drew developed its own character and sinister motives, it has been fun unveiling the plans for our future.

Your art has popped up in some places it may not be expected, such as stickers on lampposts (including outside Dismaland) & bins, but where’s the most unusual place you’ve left your mark?

I’ve come to find stickers on lampposts as the norm, and I try and make my art available and accessible to all. Putting my robots in super public places up and down the country, from dark and dingy city alleys to rural village towns, whenever I’m on my travels I always have a back pocket full of stickers and if I’ve been anywhere new or see a fellow artists work I’ll put a bot up.

How did you first get into street art & can you remember your first piece (& is it still there)?

The first boxy character i did was hand drawn on a set of sticker labels and I sheepishly put five up around the grounds of my university, luckily they weathered off within a few months. I’m glad they did, they were terribly naïve.

Where do you get your ideas / inspiration from and how long does it take to turn the idea into the finished art work?

I’m fascinated with history, especially with the remains of what was left from before, like Birmingham’s dying industries and the deteriorating factories left behind. I also love all things Science Fiction, especially cartoons, movies and games, depicting apocalyptic landscapes. I take inspiration from these visions of the future, and from there the bots demand I put them into worlds similar to the ones in the movies, so I’ll pencil quick ideas into a sketch book and normally sit on the idea till I’m able to apply it to the street. sometimes for months.

For you what’s the best and worst thing about being a street artist / street art?

Well the worst thing is working with Birmingham’s not-so sunny weather. It’s hard to pick the best part. Meeting people who are as passionate as me about the art-form, being able to create collaborative pieces of art with some of my heroes, even hearing that the sight of one of my bots makes somebody’s bus journey to work a little better.

By Michael Younger, Copywriter by nature, Twitter user (@myounger14) & chief street art spotter.

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