FEATURE: Bobzilla – Bunch Of Fives | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Adventurous artist, illustrator/designer and DJ; Bobzilla lives and works in Gateshead, creating works in a variety of media using the main subject of birds as a metaphor for freedom. With street art and installations created throughout the UK including Newcastle, Middlesbrough, Manchester, we wanted to get to know a little bit more.

Influenced heavily by experimental music and soundscapes, grimey inner city culture and the constant process of regeneration, we asked Bobzilla to tell us some more of the main influences that keep him going. Over to you Bobzilla…

Art Supplies
Jeeeez! I’m totally addicted to purchasing art supplies on a weekly from new paint from the extra-fresh Colours in Sandyford to pencils & pens from all over the shop, new tools for the studio or nice paintbrushes, and as a rule of thumb the more pricier the item the better it usually is! (unfortunately) So this can get costly. Recently started getting into buying vintage graphics studio & office equipment, I might start a little online shop one day, selling desired drawing tools to likeminded stationary nerds!

Cafés & Coffee
Some people like sitting in pubs, I like sitting in coffee shops, watching the world go by, thinking about my next move from places like Arch Sixteen in Gateshead to Kiln in Ouseburn, Batch in Jesmond and the Staithes Café. They’re kinda reflective places where you can meet interesting people, get on with some planning and hit the ‘slow-down’ button!

The Comfrey Project
A project just off Bensham Bank which my friend Craig introduced me to which does seriously fantastic work with refugees and asylum seekers on allotment sites across Newcastle and Gateshead with the aim of improving their conditions of life and general well-being. I occasionally volunteer here and have met so many genuine friends and even learnt a few bits too. When you enter the building there’s always an air of calm, and there’s plenty of interesting people to talk to from working beekeepers to joiners, volunteers/staff and not forgetting the refugees and asylum seekers themselves who cook the best food from produce grown out the back always with a huge smile on their face.                        

Painting Automobiles
I absolutely love painting vehicles from vans to car & trailers (one day I hope to paint a massive boat) You just can’t beat that feeling of meticulously masking out the vehicle, then painting a usually dull form of transport and then peeling off the masking to reveal your super jazzy handywork for the entire road network to see as it drives all over the shop!.

Love Your Avenues (Saltwell)
When you use your nugget it can deliver some awesome ideas that needn’t cost much at all. I’m all about building communities (real face-to-face ones) and pushing for positive change in a very creative manner. I co-chair the Love Your Avenues group over in Saltwell where i live, with some friends from the neighbourhood, besides Saltwell Park in Gateshead with aim to continuously improve an estate via ‘peoplepower’ and make it into a good community by taking small steps on a regular basis to make something great for everyone!

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