Monthly Archives: August 2013

Spread the Peace

Over the weekend here at id-iom we actually picked up our tools and set to work on a piece – and on a bank holiday to boot. I’m a little surprised we weren’t hungover and lying in our darkened rooms. That said, much of the previous couple of days were indeed spent enjoying a beverage or two. Anyway one half of id-iom is off on his summer holidays tomorrow so we thought it best to get this commission finished before he set off.

For this piece for a teenage girl’s bedroom we were asked to incorporate the peace sign and the words ‘Spread the peace’ and that was it. Now, that’s a brief i can work with. In fact there was one more bit of information we were given and that was that the piece had to use the same colours as the new bedding – which just so happened to be pretty much rainbow colours. As you probably know we like to use a bright colour or two so were more than happy to comply.

After sitting stroking our beards for a while we managed to get a design agreed and then decided upon a method we’d used before – but this time with plenty of added colour! Setting to work on a pristine and newly painted wall is always something of a worrying moment but we plunged ahead regardless. After a couple of hours of applying stencils to the outside we were just about happy then it was just time to colour in the middle and apply the final black level. A final bit of touching up and there you have it. Job done. And another satisfied customer…

And here’s a couple of in-progress shots if you like that kind of thing…

In progress 1

spread the peace 2

spread the peace 3

spread the peace 4




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The lady with a feather in her hair

In around 1595 El Greco, who was a popular Greek painter, sculptor, and architect of the Spanish Renaissance, completed his famous painting ‘The lady with a flower in her hair’. As his painting is almost 500 years old I thought I could do a little updated version – and here she is. Rather than wearing a flower in her hair however she is bang up to date with the new fangled trend of feather hair extensions (it’s true! They love it in America). I’m sure fashion will move on soon enough but for now she’s at the top of her game…



Title: The lady with a feather in her hair
Materials: Stencil, spraypaint, screen print & paint pen
Size: A3 paper
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I grow and I rejoice

Legend has it that shortly after Crawley was made a borough in 1974 the newly anointed mayor was presented with a modified coat of arms and map of the local area – both bearing Crawley’s motto ‘I grow and I rejoice’ (which, as I’m sure we all know is a translation of a phrase from the Epistulae of Seneca the Younger). The coat of arms has always been on display at the Town Hall whilst the map disappeared shortly after it’s initial presentation in somewhat murky circumstances during a drunken pub fight.

After investing a significant amount of time and effort in research and archaeology id-iom is proud to announce the recovery of this historically important document. It was discovered stuffed down the back seat of a decaying Ford Cortina and has clearly suffered from both the ravages of time and exposure to the elements. The people of Crawley can now rejoice however as the the map will soon be reunited with the coat of arms and the prophecy that has long been foretold may now come to pass.

Well, that’s my story and i’m sticking to it…



Title: I grow and I rejoice
Materials: Stencil, spraypaint, screen print & paint pen
Size: 47 x 43cm on an old map of Crawley
Please email if interested

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Brixton – You had me at whagwan…

We’ve done a larger on street version of this before but someone asked about the possibility of a canvas version and I jumped in and cut the stencil but the deal then didn’t progress. I came across the stencil again whilst having a tidy up and had a canvas handy so thought I may as well complete it.

Since living in Brixton I’ve become enamoured with the phrase ‘Whagwan’. For the uninitiated, the phrase means ‘what’s going on’ in Jamaican Patois. The spelling can vary but the meaning doesn’t change. Anyway, once I’d combined that with a nice little romantic statement and a bit of traditional Claddagh ring design, hey presto, I had this little declaration of love for Brixton. Then it was just a matter of adding it to the messy ‘graffiti wall’ style background and, by jingo, you’ve got it!



Title: Brixton – You had me at whagwan…
Materials: Stencil, spraypaint & paint pen
Size: 60 x 45cm
Please email if interested


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Words are like weapons, they wound sometimes

Graffiti small print – ‘Jean Paul Sartre as paraphrased by Cher’

As I’m sure we all know French existential philosopher Jean Paul Sartre once said ‘Words are loaded pistols’. I think we can all appreciate the sentiment behind this statement as surely we’ve all said something we regret every once in a while. And once those words are said the pistol has been fired and there’s no turning back.

Original image of Jean Paul Sartre which our design is based on

Original image of Jean Paul Sartre which our design is based on

This design started life as the image of existential French Jean Paul Sartre’s head with his loaded pistol words alongside but as I love an earworm if I can possibly get away with it I took some inspiration from the world of music to see if I could get Cher’s seminal 1989 hit ‘If I could turn back time‘ playing unheeded in your brain.

In the song Cher utters the immortal words ‘Words are like weapons, they wound sometimes’ and this rang a bell in my brain as it seemed close enough to Sartre’s words to make use of. Hopefully that will strike a chord in your brain and you’ll be singing it all day. Mission accomplished!

Whilst we were painting it some hapless busybody decided to try and let me know that I’d misquoted Sartre but, of course, I hadn’t as she had neglected to read my ‘Jean Paul Sartre as paraphrased by Cher’ small print graffiti. id-iom 1 – random passerby 0. Ha! In your face!



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Godzillas v Rocket

On Saturday we packed up the id-iomobile with just about as much stuff as we could get in there (as we never like to travel light and be without something we may need) and headed for Peterborough for the Overground Arts paint jam. This collaboration piece was actually our second piece of the day and was painted alongside the ever affable Parlee. Our barely thought out plan was to have Parlee’s ‘Rocket’ character being attacked by our large and angry looking Godzilla. As we progressed we thought what better than having Rocket deal with two Godzilla’s – both of which were now to be sporting laser eyes. Whilst Rocket seems to be defending himself from the blasts his little fly companion seems to have suffered a direct hit. If it wasn’t for those pesky Godzillas…

We also had some added assistance from Process Smith in creating the clouds and rather surprised looking budgie at the bottom and Miss Wah for the kind loan of her bunny skull stencil which we turned into a little swarm of flying bunny skulls hovering near Godzillas’ head. Their intentions aren’t entirely clear but i suspect them to be evil.

Our ‘l’esprit de l’escalier’ moment came when driving back and we thought we should probably have added some parachute lines to Rocket. Ah well, c’est la vie…



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The sketchier side

There I was rooting around in all the art stuff that we have collected over the years when I come across a device that I just didn’t have a clue what it was or what it even could be. After a little interweb research I came to the conclusion that it was a ruling pen. Now i’m really not sure where we picked this up but i have to say i kind of like it as it does give a really good straight line.

Sadly that’s not what i used it for though, instead i just started writing my name and making a mess, that’s when my housemate came along and started doing exactly the same. Anyway there i was a few days later leafing through my sketch book when i see this page and thought i’d draw a little face amongst all the mess.



Title: The sketchier side

Materials: Ink, paint pen, pencil and charcoal

Size: A4

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The gates to the heaven are guarded, but by whom?

Whilst we were down at the Electric Social painting the back stairs the manager came in with a lectern he’d bought off Ebay which was painted up in the colours of the Jamaican flag. Now, whilst in Brixton this is quite fitting, it doesn’t really sit with the style of the bar so we were asked if we could come up with something more fitting and we jumped at the chance.

Taking the lectern back to the id-iom lab, we ended up staring at it for a considerable amount of time before coming up with the notion that as the lectern will be used on the door at weekends it was somewhat like the gates of heaven and the divine being behind it has the power to grant you entry or to get you to sling your hook. So we came up with the idea of having an angel on one side and a devil on the other.

If you ever find yourself on the wrong side of this lectern maybe a mention of our name might get you past – then again, it might not…



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If you build it…

In the 1989 movie ‘Field of Dreams‘ starring Kevin Costner there’s a moment near the start when a ghost/voice from beyond whispers to him ‘build it and he will come’ and so he decides, in that moment, to build a baseball field there. When I started this picture I had nothing better in mind than illustrating a fanciful image of a girl who was also a bridge. For what reason, I’m not entirely sure but I felt compelled to put it down all the same. Once completed I thought of adding the spectre’s immortal line. Here is the result.

As an aside, I thought the quote came from famous American businessman/entertainer/scam artist PT Barnum but the internet has made me realise this was something of a fallacy. Damn you internet and your pernicious lies! Another perfectly cromulent chance to embiggen my knowledge ruined.



Title: If you build it…
Materials: Screen print, stencil, spraypaint & paint pen
Size: A3
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Peaches & cream

To be perfectly honest i’m not sure which came first with this piece. Was it the image of the girl licking her lips or was it me listening to 112’s song ‘Peaches & cream’? It’s difficult for me to say but I’d like to think it was the image first on this occasion but I can’t really be sure and I suppose it doesn’t really matter. The finished article is the only important bit for me so i suppose i should just pat myself on the back and carry on painting…



Title: Peaches & Cream
Materials: Acrylic, paint pen, spray paint and charcoal
Size: A2
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