Painting by numbers is all a bit last century, so how about painting with remote control cars instead. In an interview with Ian Cook, better known as Pop Bang Colour, he tells us what inspired him to start this weird yet wonderful art form.
Tell us, how did painting with remote control cars all come about?
‘It all started in 2007, I was given a remote control car as a Christmas present and was strictly told not to take it down to the studio and get paint on it, I thought it would be a great idea. My uncle, now a director at Jaguar Land Rover, was a massive influence on what I was doing and what I wanted to do. I wanted to be a car designer, but certainly not an engineer. I don’t know how to fix or repair cars, I like aesthetics so for me being an artist and being able to create cars is what I do now.’
You paint cars with cars, so you must be a bit of a petrolhead?
‘Oh yeah, hugely. I’ve always enjoyed touring cars and F1, I’ve got a lot of friends who are in the motoring industry. People are in that industry for different reasons, everyone creates different content and you start to look at cars in different ways. Being in the motoring industry has opened doors to places and people I would never have expected to be or meet, so that’s a massive bonus.’
What has been your most challenging piece?
‘There’s been a number but the Lewis Hamilton piece I done for Reebok was huge. That was the very first commercial piece I done really, in terms of the scale of it and what was expected of me I think I was a little wet behind the ears. I didn’t expect what happened to happen. It went global and became a huge, huge deal.’
How are you pieces now compared to when you were starting out?
‘Completely different, the complexity and the detail are in a different league.’
Some more traditional artists tend to have an inspiration or look up to another artists does this apply to you?
‘Yeah, my uncle is my biggest influence but Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein and I absolutely love the BMW art car series. They’re so different, it’s so interesting to compare your own work to what those guys are doing.’
Is there anyone else out there doing the same thing as you or something similar?
‘Nope, I am the only one in the world who creates or paints picture of cars using cars at live events. I am that guy.’
Has social media had much impact on your work?
‘ I’ve been using Twitter as a business tool for 5 years now, it kind of grown with my business. It’s how I communicate, how I get hold of things and how I talk to people. I don’t use it to tell people that I’ve just had a cup of tea; you can do that but I use it to pitch ideas to companies. Social media is a tool and a very effective one.’
Have you worked with any famous faces?
‘I’ve painted Jessie J for the One Show, worked alongside the Arsenal football team, Lewis Hamilton, Jensen Button, Chris Evans, there’s a whole range of different people I’ve met, it’s part of the job and a nice plus side meeting people you never thought you would. Chris Evans was quite good at it, he’s a real petrolhead and real nice guy.’
If you weren’t Pop Bang Colour, what would you be doing?
‘No idea. I’m an artist and always wanted to be an artist who can call the shots and say what he wants instead of being told what to do. I’m not very good at being told what to do.’