It was one of those "lets go and see...." art galleries when we first came across the work of Conzo.
His unique and cheeky style really appealed to us and made us chuckle, so after a little digging and social media stalking
we couldn't wait to work with him. The following interview gives us a great insight into the method behind the madness
For those who do not know about you, tell us who you are and what you do?
I’m Conzo Throb (‘heartthrob’ minus the heart!) a Illustrator / street artist from Glasgow. I paint and draw rounded cops, terror chebs and in general any kind of mischievous element in mascot inspired way...mostly.
When did you discover that you had a
talent for art?
I guess it was the way most kids discovered the condition, I got a few more gold stars on a drawing compared to my math work and P.E ability, so I kind of just stuck to that. Ha.
You have a kind of signature character
style that you use often. Can you tell us more about this guy?
My main lineup of characters and style came about from years of development, learning new
tricks and a heavy inspiration from 50’s cartoon product advertising. But if I was to say who my main character was (one with the flick) to me, it’s my innerkid.
Last year you were involved in Secret Walls. Can you tell us a little more about Secret Walls and how you found hosting these events last year?
In a turtle shell pitch, Secret Walls is a black & white live art battle for illustrators / graffiti artists and alike to all compete against each other in a tournament regardless of where they rate in ‘fame’ and ‘notoriety’. I got involved with Secret Walls back in 2009 when I competed in London and joined the team in Barcelona in working with Reebok at Bread & Butter. So I asked the boss of Secret Walls ‘Terry Guy’ if I could bring it to Scotland as there was nothing like it at all here (you will now see many nights doing similar things inspired by the black marker on white wall / live art throughout the UK because of it) so myself now along with co-organizer Steven Turner (founder of Studio Native) have been running the Glasgow Secret Walls front.
Hosting Secret Walls is full of surprises, it takes allot of hours and days to arrange a good night and something unplanned will always happen, whether it’s weather, venue closure, boards being water damaged or an artist going missing. The morning after minus the stress head is when you can appreciate it as an organiser how fun it was.
Some of your work has a bit of a cheeky theme about it. Any reason why or are you just a bit cheeky yourself?
If you know me, you would learn fast that I don’t have the ability to carry a joke even on the odd chance that it’s funny! So it’s easier to be cheeky, snidey with a bit of tongue in cheek in my work.
We always find it amazing that graffiti artists can draw on such a large scale, was this something that came natural to you?
It didn’t feel natural right away, it always felt like I was painting with a fisheye lens for vision. What would look fine up close would suddenly be mutated from a distance. But practice and can control helped allot.
Your piece about the Glasgow council workers scrambling up the statue of the Duke of Wellington is hilarious. What was the idea behind it?
I did a scrap sketch of this back in 2011 then forgot about it. It was originally poking fun at an article I read about the owner (or some sort of title) of the Glasgow Museum of Modern Art (of which the wellington statue stands in front of) in how he hated the cone and always demanded it be taken down. Then just less than a year ago, the council were going to spend allot of money to have the plinth raised to stop people climbing it (dictating to Glaswegians is never a good idea) This outraged Glasgow and a successful petition went out and it gave me an adrenaline rush to paint it in 5 days as it was too perfect and freaky that I predicted this years before in a sketch with the raised plinth.
We (Lovelin) love your work and absolutely love the design you did for our campaign to raise awareness of Animal Cruelty. Can you tell us how you came up with the design?
I wanted to make something positive and funny about the design and message. So I started off with my usual scrap idea sketching (which is allot like visual tourettes) I liked it being something quite daft with a bit of strength and simplicity which I look for in a good tee design. I got round to the idea of a top half only ripped character showing off his ‘puppies’ as literal puppies. Finally, in my room I have a ceramic wally dog from the 70’s that sits in the corner (I have no idea where it’s other twin is) and it inspired the best possible comical fit to show off them puppies!