A man of many talents. From illustration and design to DJing and running educational workshops, 'Bobzilla' has excelled in his work and gained an internationally praised reputation thanks to his driving work ethic and eye-catching, unique power with paint. Having worked in the North East of England for years now, and after catching him browsing our Newcastle store we thought we would sit the man down and chat to him about local life, his career as an artist, his taste in music and of course, sneakers.
Talk us through what/who inspired you as a young creative?
Well, when I was young, hip-hop culture was really taking off, you know, B-boy styles, graffiti, cut ’n paste culture and skateboarding, that whole era was inspirational to me. l was inspired by all aspects of underground music culture and it’s surrounding peripheries.
Where did you find yourself being inspired the most?
Sheffield, definitely, it's where I grew up, the cities creative communities took off really quickly actually. The whole graffiti scene was so prolific, and I've brought that with me through into everything I do. The level of quality of work I was surrounded by was amazing, artists like ASK & Kid Acne in Sheffield and Swifty & Futura 2000 further afield.
Your talents cover a host of abilities, which types of creative work do you enjoy the most?
I enjoy the challenge of walls and painting murals the most. I love the whole 'here today, gone tomorrow' ideology. But recently I've been enjoying getting paint onto canvas and sculpture/drawing aimed more towards exhibition.
What do you enjoy about North East life?
There is just such a thriving creative community in the North East. I spent about twenty years in a small town myself, so now that I live up here, It opens up even more opportunities to showcase my work and share my ideas. I know it sounds cliche but everyone is so friendly up here, it's much easier to engage with your audience as it’s much bigger and find collaborative opportunities.
Let's talk sneakers, What brands have you been loyal to over your life?
I grew up around all the casual crew and their Adidas, you know the types? But I've always been a Nike fan myself. I still love all the old school models. I like models like the Nike Internationalist and love my Mo’ wax Futura Blazers, but for me its the simple stuff as everything ends up covered in paint more often than not. I'm not a big fan over many new, modern silhouettes.
We also know you're a musical aficionado, what are your go-to genres?
When I DJ, I would consider myself more of a selector. I jump between genres, I play a lot of Funk, soul, hip hop & reggae. I like to find the middle ground between Nottinghill Carnival and a New York City block party.
Where can people hear you play?
You can catch me at my residency in Middlesborough at an event called FUNKBOX at Twisted Lip and my do called Braziliant! at Ernest in the Ouseburn of Newcastle.
What's next for Mr 'Zilla?
I've got a lot of exciting projects lined up for 2017. I'll be working with collaborative partners in and around Newcastle and since I live in Gateshead now, I'm looking to work a lot more on this untouched side of the river.
You can catch Bob at an upcoming show at Arch 16 in Gateshead, just over the High-Level Bridge from Newcastle. Keep your eyes peeled to his Facebook page and the Arch 16 page for more information on that.
Website | http://www.iambobzilla.co.uk
Facebook | Artist Page | http://www.facebook.com/
Twitter | http://www.twitter.com/
Instagram | http://www.instagram.com/