Today I was painting and a guy came upto me and asked me if I was aware that when Leicester City FC was founded it actually happened right close to where I'm painting!
I just googled it (I believed him lol, just wanted to read about it) and yes! It turns out that
in 1884, the club was formed by a group of Old Wyggestonians and members of the Bible class at the old Emanuel Church in New Parks Street! 1 min walk from Kate Street Wall!
Maybe the members of the Bible club looking down made me turn into Kate Street that day a few weeks ago :)))
Here's the link about it...http://web.archive.org/web/20090621091515/http://www.lcfc.com/page/History/0,,10274,00.html
I think it was maybe a few weeks ago now, again while I was painting, that Liam from the Dorothy Goodman School in Leicester brought me a card saying thanks for doing the Wall from some of the kids! Reading the card, and hearing how the kids are inspired by the wall has rocked me! Liam has told me they are desperate to spray paint something, and have also been doing sketches of the wall and players as well.
Yesterday Liam came back to the wall, and informed me I have been made an Ambassador for the school!!!
typing that, and then seeing it written down here, it's probably very surreal... but definitely an incredible thing for me!
The link above to the schools Facebook page, shows what great work they do, so touched to be a part! Been wearing my blue wristband since I first met Liam with #IAIM on it (as in I AIM...I will AIM to...do whatever I think to do!)
'Together we care, learn and succeed!'
People are being so incredibly kind to me every single day!
2 amazing examples, one was that I found out a nice couple (who had already brought me some doughnuts!) started a go fund me page to raise money for me!
I had to tell them I could never accept anything from people of Leicester, Mark's Electrical is paying me to do the rest of the wall (All the players we can fit on) and the words and support via messages or to my face is priceless, I won't ever be accepting money for this wall outside of what Mark is paying me.
I have told the couple behind this to pass any monies they raise, to Rainbows Hospice for kids in Leicester. I'm not involved with this fundraising at all but hope they raise some nice money for Rainbows.
Another one was that a guy called Mark brought me a new book called 5000/1, about the story of Leicester winning the Premier League this season.
I was really touched by this, I don't read books at all lol (shame)...but I'd seen this advertised that morning and thought ooh I must read that! So was really thankful for this!
The last player I'd posted on here about was Danny Drinkwater, since then I've done N'golo Kante...(maybe my fav so far)
And also finished Marc Albrighton...
And then made a start on Robert Huth, going ok so far, and then Christian Fuchs.
That just leaves Danny Simpson, Jamie Vardy, and Andy King to do...and maybe Filbert Fox somewhere else cos Marks Electricals wall will be FULL!
I can't actually get a photo of the wall with all the players on so far, but I kinda like that! It's like you have to come to the wall to see it :D
This new song is my current BAD TUNE! WOW!!!
Ian Friday ft Chris Rob-Love will find a WAY...
See the lyrics...
'Are you feelin' down and lonely,
feelin' like you can't go on,
JUST REMEMBER LOVE WILL FIND A WAY...
Tell me are you goin' thru changes,
time seems like it's passin' by,
JUST BELIEVE THAT LOVE WILL FIND A WAY'
This music, this kind of music is what helped me get to Leicester, driving up from London with nowhere to paint and a bit of a mad idea, and thoughts telling me it's silly, or not worth it, or I won't find a wall etc etc etc...this kind of music made me not listen to that negative stuff, and keep going :))))))))
It's available here if anyone wants to buy it and have in their phone, iPod, etc...
I came back to Leicester yesterday and managed to get quite far with Danny and also Ngolo.
Danny is finished now, and hopefully can get Kante finished tomorrow too!
While doing this I realised something, Danny is not only loved here to bits for his ability in Midfield, but the girls LOVE HIM! :))
If you are reading this, please press play on the below while you're here.
Tony Momrelle-All the things that you are (Louie Vega remix)
Soulful dance music at it's best!
Today had a great day! My friend Sarah came to visit, from about 3 hours away! I was so happy to see her, haven't seen each other for at least 20 years. She brought Diet Cokes and Bountys, I'm gonna be huge by the time I leave here!!!
We are both 42, that means that basically we don't know how to use Snapchat, we did faceswap, and if Snapchat went down for a minute today it's cos we broke it!
This was the best we could do...don't even know what this is... worst Snapchat filter ever LMAO...
Turns out that this filter removed Sarahs eyes, and made my teeth look like I smoke lol
The scouts came by today, they seemed interested in what and how etc I'm doing.
If we can introduce a badge for showing skills in Graffiti, that gets sewn onto their tops...then I AM DONE, can't get bigger or better than that :)
Yeh so Kante is up next, hopefully get him finished tomorrow. Getting there slowlyyyyy...
The alarm on Kante's head is there to warn Ranieri incase any clubs come to talk to him. STEP AWAY FROM THE KANTE!
Yeaaa, we are going to paint ALL THE WAY UP (most common question asked) to the end of the wall, and around the side :)
Jamie Vardy will be last on :)
I think I found the pic of him that I'll use, its a little different to the others.
So far we have done 5 faces...(thx Aaron - XYZ Photography for the pic)
I still haven't finished shading the flag, I ran out of blue paint yesterday so will finish it off when I get back up on Monday.
So happy to be home this weekend because I can see my daughter! But also can't wait to get back up to Leicester to keep it going. There isn't really a deadline to finish, although I have one in my head and going to try and make it. Will see by next weekend if thats even possible.
The irony of me being on the front of Psychologist Monthly is hmmmmmm!
Could have a whole edition on me lolol...
Oh, here's a random pic of my daughter's dog in a handbag :)
I don't know whyyyy....
David Anthony ft Beverlei Brown-I don't know why (Manoo remix)
Kerri Chandler-Rain (Atjazz remix)
Sat in the van at the wall this morning, it was raining!
I was trying to think how I could make a roof, I thought about using a tarp cover thing but couldn't think what to attack it to. I said to myself just go and ask in Daymans DIY shop to get a tarp and tell them about the idea they might have an idea of how to fix it.
I was chatting to the owner and we thought about some scaffolding but was a bit hmmm...then out of nowhere a godly voice spoke (was really the guy in the stockroom)..."JUST PARK YOUR VAN THERE AND PULL THE SHEET OVER THE TOP'
,So thanks to the boys of North and Sons builders (great guys) they helped me fix it all up!
So I could carry on painting today, otherwise wouldn't have got much done, actually I still didn't get much done lol...but here's some progress shots of Shinji (Still not finished here, this is just the outline so hopefully can finish him tomorrow :)
Stuff seems to happen so easily round here! Just ask for help and someones right there!
If this positivity that exists around here right now can last, and spread! OH MY GOD! It's really powerful to see it and feel it.
Even looked at how much a flat is up here lmaooooooo!
I can't wait to get up in morning and try and finish Shinji, I barely have any idea what day it is. I'm working, but really...this isn't work at all. It's just a real pleasure to be trying to do this wall. I feel SOOOO lucky to be doing it. But it's Thursday, and that's great cos it means 2 more days and I will be with my daughter for the weekend (Hey Soph-love uuuu!)
This is the most used phrase while I'm painting the wall, my friend Elliot up here has me in stitches. Literally everyone who comes to see the wall says the same thing :)))
You're doing all the players? What? All the way up? and round the side?! :D
I almost finished the 1st section now, need to put some shading in the flag and then it's done, and then likely start next Monday with the other part (ALL THE WAY UP!)
Elliot took me out for a curry to a restaurant with no windows, and a buzzer to get in!
Never seen that before! It was like going into the Winchester club in Minder but with an Asian twist, but the food was amazing tho!
These guys...Elliot...you know when you meet someone new and they're just good people! Great people!
I finished Shinji yesterday and I think he might be my fav now, a girl called Rhyannon from a Japanese media agency came all the way from London (near White City-QPR connection wow) on the train just to take a few pics that they might use. That would be great if the Shinji image can reach Japan! I got lifelong friends there so that would be great for me.
Cute pic of the day is my Daughters dog in a handbag... :D :D :D
Can't wait to see you tomorrow Soph xxxxx (Soph's my daughter, Bella is the dog)
The irony of me making the front cover of Psychologist Monthly!
If only they knew lol...could fill a whole edition :O (really struggling without emojis on here btw)
I'm heading home for the weekend, going to miss Leicester already!
But looking forward to see my family, and see my work friends tonight! Kirstie, Alex, Helene, James, Chris, Ed and everyone else! (especially the boys in the Warehouse)
I work with the best people at Bonhams, not once I had Monday blues there, its because of the people!
The walls starting to take shape, one thing I like is that its getting so big, and definitely by the time it's done... it's really hard to take a picture! So you have to come to Leicester! YAYYYY!
And this is my song of today!
Double Exposure-My Love is Free
FREE FREE FREEEEEEEEEEE!!!
Ok today was the 3rd time since I've been in Leicester I've been left stunned by something! The first time was when I met a lovely PCSO, the 2nd was when I saw Lee getting a Tattoo of the Claudio image and flag, the 3rd time happened today.
I was up the ladder like usual and heard this thunderous bassline coming from a car turned into Kate Street. I had a look and saw an old VW Golf coming, I didn't pay much attention...but then she turned around and drove past me again, and WOW!
(I know it's random talking about a car...but lol)
This guy Dil has restored this car into a true classic, one of the best things I've ever seen!
I had to go and speak to him and we chatted for a while, he showed me his car. It was really inspiring :)
Writing about this car on here, I'm a bit like why would most people be interested in that? Maybe I shouldn't write about it, but! The last year I think, I've really had this thing in my head, where if I feel to say something, or write something, or do something...and if I know I'm coming from a good place and not saying anything negative, or not going to hurt anyone, then why not say it, write it, or do it! And it really works, so many great things have happened to me recently by doing this, like being in Leicester at the moment, having the best time of my life here. It's only happened because I didn't allow myself to say no to myself. (I love the movie Yes Man with Jim Carrey btw) I know this sounds like a motivational speech a bit, but not really. I'm just writing anything that's in my head and not thinking too much :))
My brother might read this, Graham if you are look at this shop right where the wall is...
Heaven...Daymans DIY, I swear they got the 2 Ronnies out the back somewhere.
These guys are so kind, making me Tea... until I stopped being polite and told them I don't drink tea LOL
I have almost finished Wes, but I think I can get it better. Everyone seems to love it!
Thats so amazing, but I can see 'some' things and will try and make it better.
And then start on Shinji...
Here's where the wall is at right now...
The White bit right down the end is just getting read to paint Shinji there tomorrow... if the Weathers ok. Can't even moan at ALL if it rains for a bit, it's been great weather, I've even been using suncream...in Leicester!!! Never thought I'd need that :P
It can be quite funny at the wall sometimes, what happens is that people like to talk about the fact people might be distracting me, and then they say 'Oh, but we're distracting you now ourselves' lol
I keep saying it's really ok, apart from that one person who... No not really, it's not distracting at all, well it is I guess, but at same time it's pushing me to do the best I can at this, when I can see people wanting to ask me about it, or talk about it. It's something truly magnificent. That young kids, Old Ladies, Police, all races, all classes, pass by, mingle with each other, and I can hear them talking about Art, on a wall! Done with Spraypaint! Hundreds must have passed through, maybe, can't be sure, maybe even 4 figures.
But just for the record, yes I am painting the whole team, right up to the end of the wall, and around the side. I have faith we won't get vandalised (oh, the irony) and don't need perspex protection. Vardy is going up last (don't panic)
Just been tagged in this on Instagram as I'm writing this, this sums it all up.
This is a girl from Russia, who came today, and was making a video blog thing with her friend, she was quite emotional! She wanted a hug!
And then, as if my day couldn't be any better Nandos' time! nom nom nom nom...
I checked my emails when I got back to Hotel and found an email from a guy who did an interview with me yesterday. Must never judge a book by it's cover! Maybe I misunderstood, but it came across like was just a hobby for him to film things, next thing I know its on Big Websites in Italy. I got so many friends there, like my family! So close to me! So it's really cool they can see something, especially with the heart breaking soundtrack they added <3
I'm not sure I've ever been as speechless as when I walked into Blue Ink Tattoo earlier today! Nik Moss-Glennon Told me a few days back to try and pop in today because a guy called Lee is getting Claudio and the flag done across his back.
I had to go and see it, and I couldn't believe it! I don't have any tattoos, but I'm fascinated by how it's done. Nik is a master, I was bowled over...
Today at the wall, I got there early. It was a busy day there, will never tire of repeating how amazing people are to me. With words that mean so much! I only hope I can express my thanks back by making this wall great! I'm learning so much, about painting these, and just in general. Becoming more confident to believe in myself more, for example I'd never imagine I'd be excited to do an interview! I was so looking forward to today tho, because BBC Leicester came and interviewed me and I got to talk about music! And they played 3 of my fav songs on the radio. That's something amazing for me. SOOOOO many wonderful things have happened of the back of deciding to paint Claudio, and while many people seem to want to talk about how I might be able to quit the van job, and do this or that, the best thing for me is understanding that from just wanting to do something which people might like, and I'd like to do, with no agenda or thought of business stuff, has turned into something where I'm getting the best time of my life so far, and even more incredible...I can almost allow myself to see it's benefitting others too. Like the Cafe on King Richard's Road (which makes a wicked Bacon or Sausage Cob btw) he has told me he's really busy cos when people are at the wall they pop in for food! So i got a free roll and drink today :))
There's so many examples of it, people giving, and then getting it back too, and it growing and all benefitting! (I'm not talking about the person whose selling prints of the Claudio image on ebay btw...lol)
Amy Harris from BBC came today as well to film as part of a special programme about the parade in Leicester today. She's good at graffiti! She was helping me out with Wes, earlier on people were passing by saying 'ah, he's doing Danny Simpson' :O :O
But luckily Amy helped me fix it and it's definitely Wes now! (Still got a day left to finish this one)
I had to drive around a bit today, and could really feel an amazing atmosphere on the streets, it's really powerful and inspiring, and the sun was out too! :)
In the morning I met a girl called Roxy at the wall, I just mentioned about the alarm box on the wall, and how it might be hard for to paint Robert Huth right where the alarm is. She said so just paint Kante there cos he's shorter! Genius!!! I'm hoping that solves my problem, amazing sometimes how just talking can find the answer! Thanks Roxy!
Every day, my man..Aaron has been coming and taking amazing photos, and sending to me each night. I'm using some of them here, he's not asking me for anything at all. And he's top man, I'm making friends here every single DAY!
Here's some of his pics...
But the things that happen here, the coincidences and random connections...like talking to Elliot today at the wall, I think he was the 1st person to see me painting Claudio a few weeks back. I had barely done anything and he said you know this is gonna go viral right? I was like hmmm ok mate lol. He actually took it upon himself that day to go to the ground where he had seen film crews earlier on, and almost dragged them to the wall. We are randomly talking today about where I'm from. He say ah Wembley, yeh that's near Harrow...I was working there last year. And then turned into Northwick Park, which is basically where I grew up! Every day there's something like this at least once!
Like after the Tattoo shop, I went to the wall to carry on painting but it was so busy, I couldn't even park, so came back to the Hotel. I was thinking hmmm, I should get out and see the parade! Then I hear some cheering out the window, and this came past...
As well as Free Diet Coke and Bountys from the corner shop, today been offered free Pizza for the whole time I'm here lol...I was supposed to be getting fit while I'm here but no chance, still eating the cupcakes given to me yesterday.
How comes I never came to Leicester before?! I feel I've been cheated. Making up for it now tho I guess :)
Today I finished Kasper...
So it's kinda taking me 1.5 days to do one face (ish)
If they were all bald and didn't have beards it would be a lot quicker, painting Kaspers' hair was interesting. It came out nice tho, I was struggling a bit with him yesterday, so I'm delighted how he came out! Lessons in perseverance!
Starting on Captain Morgan tomorrow, but also going to Blue Ink Tattoo to watch a guy called Lee get the Ranieri and flag image tattooed on his back!
That's just crazy :D... another guy came to ask me today while I was painting, he also wants to get it tattooed!
Another Dog came to have his picture taken :)
It was busy today...
The most amazing thing is the genuine interest in the process of painting these on a wall, someone suggested to me to run a class :O
(Hmmmm, I'm struggling to type properly without having emojis here-that shocked face above doesn't cut it really)
Not sure if that's as amazing as the Police inviting me for dinner-to Nandos! (Doesn't seem to be the good cop/bad cop thing here, only seeing good)
So I got 2 faces added to Ranieri now, and still 10 to go. 3 weeks in my mind to do it!
Really gonna have to get on it to get this done, but likely to go into 4 weeks.
But that might just be me milking it cos I'm having the best time ever here :)))
Here's how it looks so far...
I'm pretty much set whose going where, and then going to try and make the flag extend behind them all the whole way along the wall.
Huth's going to a challenge cos there's a big alarm box thing on the wall right where his forehead goes, but I'm sure we can find a way!
If anyone is actually reading this who has been to the wall, I just need to say THANK YOU.
Everyone asks me 'isn't it a distraction'...and yeh it does slow me down, but more importantly, you coming to see, and amazing words and feelings to me, makes me want to try so hard to make this good for you.
It's the best distraction ever :)
Tomorrow, BBC Leicester are coming to interview me, and its a bit like a Desert Island discs thing where I've chosen 3 songs, which I can talk about, and they will actually play!
(I'll only actually believe this is legit once I heard it back lol)
This is my dream. My music is kinda underground, but should be overground.
It's soul music, it's gospel, jazz, funk, latin all rolled into one. The songwriting is about love, it's positive. I listen to the radio sometimes and don't hear any soul, in the 70s/80s Soul music was so big! Chart success all day long, mainstream radio, even in the 90's at least RnB was still successful in that regard. Maybe I'm not seeing it, but with regard to Black music/soul music, all I hear now on radio is mostly throwaway disposable music. And some of those artists could actually make REAL meaningful music that people can fall in love too, maybe they got lazy?
It's all about the lyrics, they can inspire, they can be words to live by, but now its dumbed down a lot.
Yeh I'm kinda passionate about this topic, the music I love is the only reason I'm painting because it moves me to do it. I am sure if it was played on mainstream radio then the world would feel as good as Leicester feels right now :)
This link is one song I asked BBC to play tomorrow.
And I am def Dreamin' since I been here!
Another great day at the wall, like this...
I don't know the dogs name, but his owner brought him to the wall! :D
He sat there and posed like a true Leicester fan!
The day started with a lovely lady bringing me a 24 pack of Diet Cokes cos she read somewhere I drink that and not tea or coffee! And also baked some cupcakes and gave me some! :) I just ate one, was beautiful!
Today was really busy at the wall, I guess cos it's the weekend.
Sometimes it's like this...
(pics courtesy of Ash Brown Photography)
I think I'm used to painting in front of people now, if you told me 3 weeks ago I'd be cool in front of a crowd I wouldn't believe it. It's really cool, I'm in my own little world really, and sometimes don't even realise anyones there, but sometimes can just hear something someones says and just have to say OMGGGGG, thank UUU!
Making so many friends here I can't even! People are so nice.
I'm painting Kasper Schmeichel at the moment, I wasn't finding this one easy today.
But lessons in perseverance totally! Try and keep going, I think by the end of the day I got him, so looking forward to finish him off tomorrow and start the next (not sure who yet tho!)
2 friends came up today to visit as well! My friend Simon Andrews, and his mate Dan.
(Btw, Simon's an amazing DJ, Sunday afternoons at 4pm-6pm on Point Blank fm)
http://www.pointblank.fm, One of the most underrated DJ's I ever heard!
We went for Nandos (yes, again...what!? lol) I'm so happy he came up.
And then I met Katy (at last) who came with her 2 kids, we had never met before-only FB friends but share loads of mutuals.
And her kids Oscar and Winnie! That makes me want children again lol!
I discovered she used to go to 'The Loft', a legendary London club night with DJ Paul Trouble Anderson. I know you know music, but that elevates you into expert advanced level house music knowledge!
Since Elsie picked up a can yesterday, a lot more people want to have their pic taken holding a spraycan. We are faking it hard! So hard this girl forgot her nozzle :)))
Here's a random picture of my cat Dexter, this was the morning I left for Leicester, I don't think he wanted me to go lol, hope my neighbours treating him well! :)
The randomness of that must mean I'm gone, back at it tomorrow :)
Each day here just filled with the most incredible things!
Today started with an interview on BBC Radio4 Todays show. The mailed me last night to ask can I come on and talk about graffiti, not even connected to this wall in Leicester but in general. To join a discussion with the presenter and an Art historian and Professor!
This is a quote from the email..."You’re the graffiti artist of the moment and the item is about graffiti and when and how it becomes artistically, culturally or historically important, so who would be better than you for this"
I try and take that on board, I mean...yeh, I just...erm...WOW!
So I was kinda nervous, this was to the whole of UK and live, but had to try, so they sent a taxi to come and get me and sat me in a room to join the chat happening at the Studio in London...
It was really something I could talk about tho, so hopefully came across ok. I'm fascinated by what makes some paint on a wall, either loved, or hated by people. I think I worked it out today while doing this. It's letters, people who aren't into graffiti find it hard to appreciate a tag or a piece on a wall because it doesn't really mean anything to them, but a portrait, or a stencil style political piece, or clever statement... people can understand. So it's pretty much just the difference between Graffiti art, and Street art. I think :)
In the studio they had this thing...
It looks like a Rotary mixer lol (DJ equipment obsession!)
My mate Dean came up from London to hang out today! Thanks bro!
That sausage sandwich from the cafe round the front! WOW!
Really means a lot you drive up to see me, how nice are the people here btw!?
A bit later on Lizzie and her too cute daughter Elsie (mad Leicester fan) came to visit today, Lizzie's a wicked photographer and helping me out with something, but sorry Lizzie, your daughter was much more help. If she gets in trouble for writing on walls when she's older don't blame me please! lol...
I ran out of some Grey paint I needed so had to pop into town to Graff HQ to pick up some more (Thanks Izzy)
Heard some amazing news in there today about Leicester and an art project, that may have come off the back of the council seeing the love the Ranieri wall has got from local people, and wanting to to try and put to use walls in the community that would be MUCH improved with great artwork! How amazing is that!
Thanks for saving me the greys Izzy, see you soon...
Again, all day long Kate Street has so many people coming to look, and chat, and offer me food! So amazing, I'm being fed well no need to worry :)
People from all over, Australia, a lovely couple from Slovakia, and people who looked to me like they had snuck out of work or took a detour while on a delivery lol. I think I'm getting used to painting with people there, it's so amazing to me people come to see, and chat, and the interest in the process. It's a dream really.
I met a guy called Aaron Carter today, he came and took some wonderful photos, I put some of them above. Thanks mate!
But the best thing! A guy came up to me with an envelope, I was like what's this?! So he explained he's from Dorothy Goodman Special needs school nearby, and the kids have written their names in a card to me and saying thank you. I didn't cry, but inside...happy tears!
It's very surreal, all these things. I feel blessed and so so lucky!
Sorry this is long, but a lot happened, and day isn't even finished yet!
Liam from the school also gave me a wristband to wear,
it says 'Together we care, learn and succeed'
That right there^^^ THAT!
In amongst all that, I think I finished Mahrez today, so tomorrow we can start on the next one, not sure who yet will work it out tonight! :)