Andy Coun­cil

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The street artist who turns city sky­lines into di­nosaurs

How do you plan your work?

I like to have an idea of the size and shape of where I’m paint­ing, so that I can get the piece to fit well in the space. I spend a lot of time re­search­ing images to work from, and I work out the colours I want to use in Pho­to­shop. I start my mu­rals by putting a back­ground layer of emul­sion up and then mark­ing out the lines of the de­sign us­ing spray paint. I work out the scale by hand, which can be tricky, but I have a bit of an eye for it now.

How do you make sure your work stands out?

My style is quite unique in the way that I cre­ate an­i­mals made up of lots of smaller el­e­ments. I al­ways think of the sur­round­ing area to where I’ll be paint­ing when I do my pieces. I study build­ings and land­marks from the lo­cal area, and think of an an­i­mal that might be rel­e­vant and fit the space nicely. This of­ten gets peo­ple who live lo­cally on board, and makes my work recog­nis­able.

What’s been your most chal­leng­ing piece so far?

All of the re­ally big walls that I painted last year have been chal­leng­ing. Work­ing out how much paint would be needed, get­ting the scale cor­rect over sev­eral lev­els and ex­e­cut­ing the work with the use of dif­fer­ent ac­cess equip­ment, such as cherry pick­ers and scaffold, has been tricky.

I think the hard­est one was the Ice Cream Dragon that I painted on a huge wall in Birm­ing­ham for the City Of Colours fes­ti­val. I man­aged to paint it in a cou­ple of days work­ing non-stop us­ing a very wonky lad­der. I was pretty wiped out for a whole week after though!

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