Paint Jam in East London as Street Artists Give Building A Whole New Lease of Life

I’ve always been a little unsure in terms of how best to describe a group of street artists on the hunt for wall space. A cohort perhaps? A motley crew? Sometimes maybe, although I suppose, as with anything, it depends on whose in it. The term of endearment I’ve chosen though is a gaggle! A gaggle of street artists has a nice ring to it and it is with such a gaggle that Inspiring City met up with on a crisp morning in February in order to transform an old abandoned and utterly derelict former office block in East London into a joyful canvas.

Now street artists are always looking for spots to paint and sometimes a building comes along which is just too tempting to ignore. One such space, is a soon be demolished office block which will soon make way for gentrified regeneration. Presently it is an eyesore, it’s windows mostly gone and debris scattered along the floors. The likes of Sweet Toof, Rowdy and Paul Insect have already left their mark and the building has become quite an iconic landmark in it’s own right for all the wrong sorts of reasons,

Kef, Amara Por Dios, Hannah, Thieu and Vlong in front of an epic work from Amara

Kef, Amara Por Dios, Hannah, Thieu and Vlong in front of an epic work from Amara

It was here that we chose to meet armed with rucksacks full of paint, suitcases on wheels and lattes. The group would more likely be confused with lost holiday seekers than street artists getting ready for a paint jam.

Of the artists involved, French artist Thieu and Sweden’s Amara Por Dios have a show as part of the Femme Fierce series of events exhibiting shortly at the Cre8 Gallery in Hackney Wick. The UK’s Hannah Chloe, is currently preparing to showcase at the Fousion Gallery in Barcelona. Germany’s Kef will be heading over to Tel Aviv in order to complete a commission in his unique style and Argentina’s VLong, a relative newcomer to the world of street art, has been steadily building a name for herself since starting a mere two years ago.

In short, this gaggle is a highly talented one and features a number of artists that this blog likes to promote. All London based and all deserving of more exposure, the paint jam promised to be a special event and indeed it was so for this post I thought I’d try and capture the art of creation from beginning to end so you can see first hand some of the great talent on display.

Hannah Chloe

Hannah prepares the stencil for her latest piece

Hannah prepares the stencil for her latest piece

Whilst Hannah's stencil took next to no time to complete it was remarkably faithful to the original sketch

Whilst Hannah’s stencil took next to no time to complete it was remarkably faithful to the original sketch

Sketch and almost finished piece

Sketch and almost finished piece

Hannah has a distinctive style and once again chose to portray a confident woman

Hannah has a distinctive style and once again chose to portray a confident woman

Hannah likes to add colour, just look at the eyes.

Hannah likes to add colour, just look at the eyes.

Hannah poses by the finished article, another fantastic piece of outdoor art

Hannah poses by the finished article, another fantastic piece of outdoor art

Amara Por Dios

Amara works quick and was soon sketching out her mural

Amara works quick and was soon sketching out her mural

Amara had every intention of filling the whole wall

Amara had every intention of filling the whole wall

it didn't take long to fill the whole wall

it didn’t take long to fill the whole wall

Art through the wall... literally

Art through the wall… literally

Filming was also taking place to record the project

Filming was also taking place to record the project

Amaras finished work shows off her unique style at it's very best

Amaras finished work shows off her unique style at it’s very best

I had a little fun editing Amaras final version

I had a little fun editing Amaras final version

Amara poses by her mural with just the eyes to do

Amara poses by her mural with just the eyes to do

Thieu

Thieu had a sketch prepared

Thieu had a sketch prepared

Thieu starts outlining her painting

and it didn’t take her too long to get started

Her mural depicted a man running with a ballerina

Her mural depicted a man running with a ballerina

Her illustrative style soon begun to take shape as having initially outlined using spray paint she filled in by using a brush

Her illustrative style soon begun to take shape as having initially outlined using spray paint she filled in by using a brush

This was Thieu's first large scale illustrative mural

This was Thieu’s first large scale illustrative mural

Finishing off the final details

Finishing off the final details

Thieus illustrative style is really apparant in the final version

Thieus illustrative style is really apparant in the final version

VLong

Vlong chose to add a bit of life to the old loos

Vlong chose to add a bit of life to the old loos

Vlong at work in the shadows

Vlong at work in the shadows

With some fine brushes needed for the detail in her mural

With some fine brushes needed for the detail in her mural

Vlong chose to draw a sitting angel using browns and greens

Vlong chose to draw a sitting angel using browns and greens

Applying the final touches, not least a perfect spherical halo

Applying the final touches, not least a perfect spherical halo

Vlong has only been really serious about painting for the past two years

Vlong has only been really serious about painting for the past two years

Finger painting

Finger painting

Vlong's end result, a seated angel in brown and green

Vlong’s end result, a seated angel in brown and green

Vlong poses by an almost finished angel

Vlong poses by an almost finished angel

Kef

Kef chose to draw a couple of flying swans in his unique style

Kef chose to draw a couple of flying swans in his unique style

After filling in the colour and the outline, the next thing is for Kef to add his distinctive lines

After filling in the colour and the outline, the next thing is for Kef to add his distinctive lines

Adding the lines and the eye to swan number one

Adding the lines and the eye to swan number one

Kef working on the all important eye

Kef working on the all important eye

Kef will eventually add almost 1000 lines to this mural

Kef will eventually add almost 1000 lines to this mural

Caught in the act

Caught in the act

Kefs final version, 934 lines in total

Kefs final version, 934 lines in total

For more Inspiring City articles with artists featured in this post try:

Interview with Kef
Interview with Hannah Chloe
Hannah and Lucy Lucy Collaboration in Dalston
Amara Por Dios Piece of Mined exhibition
Femme Fierce 10 Days of All Female Street Art Action