The artist “Spray Paint Art JB” creates fantastic worlds and fascinating utopias on canvas in his artworks. He paints exclusively with aerosol cans, but has developed an interesting variety of various techniques. For example, he integrates foam into his works and sprays on it. In the meantime, JB shares his experience and regularly publishes informative tutorial videos about his art. On Youtube, Facebook and Instagram he explains how to use different paint and spray techniques.
The motifs of JB’s works often depict space scenarios, mystical beings or the magic of nature. The colours chosen are intense and wide-ranging, but JB has a special preference for the colour green, which also appears again and again and is a fundamental part of his logo. In an interview “Spray Paint Art JB” tells us in detail about his art. The conversation is filled with great photos and videos from the artist. Enjoy!
When did you start doing your art and how did you actually get in touch with it?
I would firstly like to answer the part on how I got in touch with this kind of art. As a young boy I always liked to draw with pencils. Didn’t really enjoy using colours in my drawings. No idea why. Once when I was around 10 years of age, I was on holiday with my parents and that is the first time I saw a spray paint artist. He was just spraying some paint over his paper and using some strange tools and pieces of paper to make strange textures. The process was mesmerising and at the same time it didn’t make any sense to me what was he doing. When he started to remove all the stencils, he started drawing trees and that is the moment I was hooked. To answer the first part of the question, many years passed before I actually tried spray painting for the first time. I like to travel whenever I can, but at the weekends I normally hike in the beautiful Slovenian mountains. But in 2018 every weekend was a rainy one, so that was when I found the time to try cans for the first time. I bought some cheap paper and even cheaper industrial spray paint. Needless to say, the first pictures where a total mess, haha. If the reason to start spray painting was weather the reason to start editing Spray Paint Art videos is the current corona situation. You can find them on my Youtube page or on IGTV.
Why this type of art, why these instruments? You could choose music or forming a sculpture. So why spray cans and what is your fascination about it?
I don’t have an answer to this question to be honest. Why we do what we do? I can say that spray paint it’s more difficult as it seems on videos or when you watch a spray painter on the street. You have to plan and visualise the picture in advance and that’s what I like. I can totally switch my mind off and forget about my daily job. I found it so relaxing and that’s why I actually paint, to relax. And have fun at the same time hehe. About the music topic, you really don’t want me to hear singing haha. About sculpturing, in a sense some of my foam paintings are a part painting a part sculpture. To be honest I’m very proud about the fact that I had an idea someday to use foam in my paintings and do some amazing 3D texture. And it gives me a great pleasure when other creative people contact me regarding this technique. A few of them actually tried to make some foam paintings.
Tell me more about the whole techniques you use. Is it only with spray cans or do you use as well airbrush? I am sure you have a huge assortment of instruments. But how do you use it and why did you choose this kind of device?
I only use spray cans, but to be honest I saw a few friends of mine on Instagram who make amazing pictures whit airbrush. So, I think that my next step will be to learn to use airbrush. I got the impression that using airbrush you can make more precise strokes and more delicate lines as whit spray cans. About tools I use. I must say I don’t have that many. I mostly use pieces of carton board for the details, a few brushes, chisels and stuff like that. The numbers of cans on the other hand hahaha. I have so many cans! I think that every spray painter is like that, at first you buy a few then you want to have the whole palette of colours available to you.
Explain me a bit more about the foam painting technique. How does it work?
Oh yes the foam paintings. Well I personally love this type of paintings, you can do such beautiful textures whit it. Well the process to make a picture like that takes a few day. First I make a spray painting on glossy paper. Then normally I cut the painting in pieces and glue them on the canvas. Then the duct tape orgy begins, to secure al the part of the paintings that I glued on the canvas. After that I start whit applying the foam on the painting. If you ever used foam in can you know that it inflates quite a bit. I took me a while to figure out what to do to manage the expansion of the foam. Then in the final stage I spray paint the foam. You have to be careful using foam because it is very sticky and if it hardens too much, it’s very hard to remove the duct tape. At the end I give it a nice transparent varnish coat, so the colours pop up a little bit more.
I recognized as well some other paintings where you put in elements like screws or little wooden pieces.
Yes I do that. I like to experiment whit new things, and mix other materials on my paintings. I don’t know, I see something an idea pops up in my mind and I try to find a way how to make it happen. To solve a problem I guess, hehe. I don’t know if you saw my mandala spray painting. Some girl asked me to spray paint a mandala for her. I love mandala drawings, but to spray paint one without spending an eternity to make the stencils was a real challenge. The solution was to make just 1/12 of the stencil and then turn it around the centre. The wooden pieces of bark from an old tree that I picked up on a hike. I just saw the texture of the bark and it popped up in my mind that this is a great way to make an asteroid belt. Oh the screws picture. As you know, spray painters use some weights to put on the stencils so that the paint doesn’t go below the stencil and you get a nice clear line. But to the picture you are referring too, that’s a funny story. I posted that picture online as a work in progress, and I got more likes than the finished version, hehe. A friend of mine called me asking me if I can sell him the screw painting. I tried to explaining him that this was just a work in progress picture not a finished one. He is a mechanical engineer so I guess it’s normal that he likes screws haha. Oh now I remembered that I still owe him a picture!
You said before, you like to add 3D-Effects. Tell me a bit more about what you use else for that.
Mostly I use foam but on some other paintings I also use silicon or I melt plastic. You can do nice shapes whit malted plastic. I also have an idea to use some plastic bottles in the future so that I recycle a bit, but that is still a work in progress. I also have planes to use copper wires and ropes in my paintings. To be hones I have more ideas then time to do it, haha!
When you look back to the time you started it till now, what do you think how did your style develop? How is it to create if you do this for a while and how does it change?
To be honest whit you the first paintings I did, there was no relax or fun involved. The picture was a mess, all the colours. It took me a while to get some filling how to use spray cans and mow much paint to apply. Still today when I have a longer brake, I need some time to get the feeling back. You asked me about my style. To be honest I don’t think I have a stile or want to have one. I just like to paint whatever kind of picture pops up in my mind and that’s it. No fancy story, just having fun. Regarding the development of my skills as a spray painter. I’m always trying new techniques, foam painting, bucket swinging, dipping, etc. Also, I try to use various materials in my paintings, wood, plastic, foam, concrete, etc. Ok I was joking about the concrete, but I really try to use different materials, depending on the inspiration I get.
Can you sell your artworks or do you get offers for commission work?
In 2019 I started to sell my paintings. At first, I was so happy that people actually liked my paintings so much, that they were prepared to pay for it. It was a nice feeling and experience. But after a while I noticed that this hobby of mine is turning in a second job. I remember the day I was staring at the canvas and was asking myself why the hell did I promise to a friend of mine to make him a painting of a landscape for his girlfriend. No real motivation to do it and I can tell you for sure that I was not having fun, anymore. After this moment I decided that spray paint art will be just a hobby for now, and after that I have no problem whit inspiration or motivation.
You often use very bright and intensive colours, tell me more about that.
Yes, I like to use very bright and vivid colours, that’s why I like to paint space motives. I did a few paintings in pastel colours by commission. Mostly landscapes. But I really like more vivid colours. If you imagine you are on a vacation on a coast at sea and you are watching a beautiful sunset. The ray of colours is sometime out of this world. That’s the picture I want to capture. But to be honest I still have to paint one that I really like and that captures a little bit of that feeling you get.
I often recognize the colour green in your artworks. It’s kind of an “alien green”. Tell me more about that.
Well I like green as a colour. I guess because I also like nature so much. But to be honest when I started my Instagram page I noticed that is always nice to have a logo. So I made like ten different spray paintings to decide what kind of logo to use. And at the end I chose the green one, which is my logo from the start. Wait green aliens? The ones I drink beer whit are grey hahaha!
The themes of your artworks often have a touch of utopia. There are elements of looking into space or a lake during moonlight. But you always try to give it some magical effect with your way of painting. Tell me more about that?
The simple answer is that I have lots of experiences in real life arena as we all do. Get up, study, go to work, relationship drama, etc. So, when I relax, I want something different that from real life experience. For example, I don’t like drama movies or stuff like that. I like Sci-fi movies, Star Trek, Star Wars, Aliens, etc. You know that your imagination can run wild like it did when we were children. Ok, I admit I don’t have the scope of imagination as I did as a child, but I try. So it is more a pragmatic approach. Live your life to the fullest but also dream a little.
Did you also do some spray painting on walls or in the urban space? Or are you planning to do it?
The only thing I painted was a fake brick wall in a shop. A friend of mine has a lovely shop with unique clothing. She asked me if I can spray paint a pink and gold brick wall. I turned out quite nice, but the shop smelled after spray paint for a few days, hihi. But she wasn’t complaining and at the end she was happier whit how the brick wall turned out than I was. If you are asking about street artist paintings on walls. That is a totally different technique and I won’t lie to you, I want to try it someday.
Did you try your art as well on other surfaces than on canvas? I saw some helmets on your photo gallery.
Haha, the helmets! Yes, I also do that. The first helmet I spray painted was for a colleague of mine. He bought a cheap white helmet in a super market. And he brought the helmet to my desk at work and put it on the table. I quote “My wife is making fun of my cheep helmet. I will pay you, just paint this helmet orange and do some textures on it”. I was like ok, you chose orange expecting that your wife is not going to make fun of your helmet, haha. Ok I painted the helmet and made some nice texture on it and to be honest it wasn’t that bad I might say. He liked it very much and I think that also his wife did. Not totally sure about that, but at least she wasn’t making fun on the helmet anymore. So I also did a snowboard, and after that I also painted my helmet. Which reminds me that I need a new helmet, hihi.
On your Youtube channel you have as well tutorials. So you also want to show and teach others how to do spray art?
I don’t consider myself an expert spray paint artist and there are many more talented spray paint artist than me, but I like to share what I know. I had a few friends on Instagram asking me how do you do that and that and explaining it by text is very hard. So a while ago I started to film myself, just for the sake of it. And now with this Corona lock down I finally had the time to learn how to edit videos. And to be honest I already watched so much movies in this period that I needed something else to do, haha. So, as I got more feedback related to my videos, I realised that I have to make more basic videos for the people that is nearly starting out spray painting. So that is what I plan to do in the coming year.
Artist: Spray Paint Art JB
MORE ARTICLES ABOUT SLOVENIA
>>> Streetart Metelkova <<<
>>> Streetart Ljubljana <<<
>>> Spray Paint Art JB <<<