Adam Mclevey – Doing what you love

Adam Mclevey – Doing what you love

By Arden de Raaij

Laughing is good, and that  is what Adam Mclevey made us do with pulling a Banksy on Banksy at the Banksy vs Bristol Museum expo. Pulling pranks on the prankster, just how we like it.Of course, there is more behind this artist then just pranks, and browsing through his amazing work on Flickr we decided to ask him ourselves.

So we heard typo is still up there (at the Banksy vs Bristol museum exhibit). Does that make you excited?
I was just happy to get the piece in, so the fact that it’s now hanging is pretty surreal. I’m really surprised how well they took it.

Are you hoping someone will ever pull this trick on you?
I don’t think I’ll be exhibiting in another museum any time soon but yeah, why not. I think artists should support each other as much as possible.

So you’re from Bristol right? How is the streetart scene right now, seeing one of the most famous street-artist in the world is hailing from there?
I’m actually from Weston, Bristol’s sleepy cousin, where there’s no scene whatsoever, so Bristol is a huge inspiration. There’s so many amazing artists there and always something new to see every time I visit.

There are loads of stencils out there, probably even more since the rise of Banksy. Do you ever feel like the ‘stencil market’ is oversaturated? (seeing the ‘2many banksys’ canvas)
‘2 Many Banksys’ is a direct response to how flooded I believe the ‘urban’ scene has got. Don’t get me wrong, there are some amazing stencil artists out there, but It would be nice to see a lot more freehand work. I think the stencil scene has made things a little too easy and safe.

Who or what inspires you?
I’m constantly inspired by my surroundings. I keep a stack of black books which I constantly update with ideas and sketches to keep the dreaded artist’s block at bay.

How did you start out in the world of streetart?
Street art was a natural progression for me. It’s not what I specialise in, more a need for larger canvasses. It’s also nice to get my work out there for people to enjoy without having to bribe gallery owners to put me on display.

We see you’ve got much canvas work, and street work as well. Do you prefer doing one or the other?
I don’t necessarily prefer one to the other, but I find that street work acts as a good, quick release. The way I approach a wall is vastly different to how I work on a canvas, even down to the finish, so if a canvas I’m working on starts to feel a little stale I’ll go out and do something completely different then return with a clear head.

Do you have any specific goals you want to achieve? (as an artist and person)
As a person, I couldn’t be happier. I get to do what I love on a full time basis. As long as I can keep at it then I’m very content. I’m satisfied with how my art career is progressing. It would be great to be known all over the world, but I’ll work on the South West, first.
Has technology been helping you in your line of work? (the social aspect)
Technology has helped to an extent. It’s easy to get sucked into the vast amount of online galleries (few of which are beneficial unless you are a hobbyist or are into the whole patting each other on the back thing) but as far as word of mouth goes, I’ve found it to be a very useful tool. Like anything, though, it has it’s negatives; I find it can be very tempting to spend all day on social networking sites convincing yourself that it’s for the good of the art, just to realise that you haven’t produced a thing all week.

If your art would be a dish, what would it be?
I think it’s more a wok than a dish.

We’ve been busy browsing around your work and we absolutely love the ‘three blind mice (nine to five)’ canvas. Is that a reason why you became a professional artist?
Funnily enough I sold that piece to my old boss. I find the nine to five to be creatively stifling in every way. I’ve always wanted to paint for a living but the job always seemed to get in the way. The hardest part is just going for it. You’re only chained down to a job if you allow yourself to be.

We see that your work is often very photographic, how does photography inspire your art?
I wouldn’t say that photography inspires my work. I’ve always liked photo realistic art and like to hint at photo realism, at times, but try not to get too carried away.

If you could only paint out of emotion, or out of thought, which would you choose?
Definitely emotion. I think that’s where all truly great art comes from. Whether it’s humour or depression. It’s easy to spot a piece that has no passion behind it.

Who’s Jen? (saw her name on your website, thought we’d ask)
Jen is the angel that sits on my shoulder. She’s the voice of reason, and usually the sober one. She’s also a damn good writer!

What can we expect from you in the future?
A LOT more street work. I’m also enjoying experimenting with different mediums at the moment, so perhaps some unusual takes on my regular style. But no more pieces in the museum. Unless they invite me back, of course.