Bognor artist with big dreams to brighten up the country | Vicky Meets

Vicky meets... Bognor Regis artist Ben Cavanagh.

• What kind of art do you specialise in?

I am an illustrator and mural artist. My style is graphical street art and I like to push what I can do with different styles. I think colour can affect how we feel, so I like to use bright colours in my murals and street art. I recently did something in Bognor to link the beach with the old town. I hope my murals will make people smile. I’ve painted many bars, restaurants and homes, and I also like to work in digital media, mainly on Procreate and iPad. I am currently producing prints, sticker packs and upcycled items.

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• How did lockdown propel your art?

Bognor Regis artist Ben Cavanagh

Having more time at home with my family gave me the opportunity to paint what I wanted and to really focus on what I enjoyed. Having more time let me experiment, try new techniques and revisit old ones. It has made me realise what’s important to me: a more creative balance. The free time allowed me to create more work and post more on social media. Painting on recycled train tickets led me to the sticker art community, which is great! The community is really welcoming and supportive.

• When did you first discover your talent and how did you develop it?

Art has always been a big part of my life. I was the child that was happy with paper and pens all day. I’ve always liked to create worlds with weird, colourful characters. My family has always supported me. My mother would draw and paint with me growing up and I would spend many weekends creating with my grandparents. My granddad and I would build dens, make and paint wooden statues and build little toy towns. My granddad would always have a new project for us.

• What advice would you give an aspiring mural artist?

Practice all you can. Find a wall wherever you can – in your garden or anywhere you’re allowed, and try scaling up. It’s very different to painting on small scale. And YouTube; there’s loads of mural artists who do amazing work offering amazing tips on scaling up on YouTube.

• How do you hope to develop your business?

My hope is to work more closely with the community, to establish myself as one of the prominent mural artists of the south coast. I love working on big projects and I think Sussex has a lot of great mural spaces. I hope to focus more of my time on designing my brand and working with different mediums to create something for everyone, be it original art pieces, clothing or digital works. The ultimate dream would be to travel the world with my family painting murals in amazing locations on structures the size of the Littlehampton gas pylon. In other countries there are amazing colourful murals, but here it’s just dull walls. We need to turn up the volume on colour in the UK.

Find Ben on Instagram @benrcav


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