The Canvas | rogue one
21 January 2012
Bobby McNamara aka "Rogue One" uses the world in which we live as his canvas - with an aerosol can he brings images to life. Growing up in Glasgow, he started experimenting at a young age with graffiti and says: "My eyes love colour and my mind loves creativity. You could say graffiti is a quick fix - a piece of art can be achieved in one day, and you have the freedom to experiment and change things throughout the artistic process". Next to graffiti Bobby also works in acrylic, oils and graphic illustration.
What is your earliest artistic memory?
My earliest artistic memory would be from my time in primary school. Not so much the early years but the later years of primary 4 and 5 years and above. My school used to hold a yearly art competition where anyone from that particular year at school could enter. I entered a few different years and managed to win 2 years in a row. This is when I was told I was quite good at painting and should keep doing it. Twenty odd years later, I still am.
What is the most exciting thing you have ever done?
The most exciting art project was a 'Miller Beer' urban art project. In this I was asked to paint work that would be used for 'Miller Beer' promotion (beer mats, t-shirts, flyers, sketch books and printed canvases) all part of their promotional give-away. Also part of this was live canvas painting done round a list of different Scottish pubs and clubs, where the canvases were given away as prizes. The whole project went on for a few months and was very popular.
What has been your biggest mistake?
To be honest, I don't think I've had a big mistake 'yet! But there's been plenty of little mistakes, lol. If I was to say anything about mistakes then I'd have to say it's probably the way I've presented myself in the past. For example, in older interviews or documented video I may have come off as a wild unsensible kid, but then I was young so perhaps that's just who I was. You can't live with regrets.
Where is your favourite place, anywhere in the world?
I very much like Germany - Hamburg and Berlin. As an artist who works with spray paint, I appreciate the way these cities have embraced graffiti art. But, I also love my home country Scotland. There are so many inspiring artists here and the mixed culture is great.
What is your favourite book?
I have to admit I don't really read much. Rather than spend any of my time reading a good book I tend to keep being creative. I like to work on the computer doing graphic design work and I also spend a lot of time making and painting scale models. However, the last book I read just a year ago was called 'Pegasus Bridge' by Stephen E. Ambrose. A book about the daring raid at the start of D-Day in WW2.
What would you scribble on a wall of world’s greatest quotes?
I think it would have to be a quote passed onto me from a friend that is one of my favourites at the moment. "Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass...it's about learning to dance in the rain!'
Who would you like to meet and what question would you ask?
This is a hard one! There are many people I would like to meet and many questions I'd like to ask them - one of them being 'Steven Spielberg'. I'd chew his ear off with a succession of questions about the history and background work for most of his movies.
What would you define as ‘success’?
To some people success would probably be fame or money, to others it would be achieving their goals. To me, deep down, it would be a bit of both of these, but I wouldn't like to say that, instead I would like to think it's just being happy and content in life. I continually remind myself the first 2 don't matter.
What is your favourite art gallery or historical building and why?
Due to me living across the road from it, and because I have spent many afternoons roaming around the halls of it, I would say 'Kelvingrove Art Gallery'. As for historical buildings, any castle in Scotland and Wales, particularly ruined ones. I just love castles, and who doesn't!?
What is your all time favourite movie?
I do love my movies and my favourite one will change quite often. At the moment it is 'Empire of the Sun'.
If you could own any piece of artwork, what piece would it be?
I do like a good landscape, especially if it has history. So I think I'd quite like to own a large piece by 'William Turner'.
If you could start your life all over, what would you do differently?
Absolutely everthing! lol.
What has been your best ever purchase?
My first ever cans of spray paint was a good purchase! It took me to where I am today - and lately, my projector is a great purchase, it helps with my large indoor commissions and is also great for watching movies.
What is your favourite food?
What is your favourite season of the year and why?
Summer! No question. It's the best time of the year for me to get out and paint. Everyone (at least here in Scotland) they're so much more livelier and happier.
Who is your favourite artist and why?
I have loads of favourite artists, from graffiti art, abstract art, graphic art, classic art.... there are so many to name, so many that inspire me.
What are you most afraid of?
What is your most prized possession?
I try not to get attached to things. I'm not very materialistic, so I don't have anything I would call 'prized'. But I'm still young (kind off, lol) so maybe I'll start to be more precious about things.
What life lesson do you always stand by?
'Try not to care too much what other people think or say!'
If you had to give art students today some advice, what would it be?
I'm probably not the best person to ask this question, lol. I haven't been to art school or had any formal training really. I'm self taught.
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