The artist talks us through his contribution to Air-Ink.
Tiger Beer has teamed up with Air-Ink to do something pretty revolutionary. Anirudh Sharma, the latter’s inventor, turns air pollution into safe usable ink for his pens, and in a new worldwide project, emerging artists are taking the dirt from the streets and turning it into something beautiful, something that contributes to city life rather than detracts. A collaborative force between the artist and the city, between art and science, this cyclical journey began in London and has since spread to Berlin, New York and Singapore; Sharma suggests it has the potential to provide up to 30 trillion litres of cleaner air for Londoners annually.
Having kicked off last month with the launch of the world’s first Clean Air Gallery in Brixton (a poignant location choice as this year Brixton surpassed its annual pollution limit on January 5th), we caught up Mr. Doodle, one of the artists featured, who’s attempting to coat the world with his complex graphic illustrations. Already his work has found its way onto chairs, shirts and skateboards as well as the sides of buildings, interacting with object and space in a subversive way; below he fills us in further.
So how did you get into doodling?
I have loved doodling since I was a little kid, maybe three years old or so. I loved the art on cereal packages, in video games and in comics like the Beano and Dandy. I used to copy these characters and eventually make my own, that’s how I learnt to draw.
Where does your inspiration come from?
I am inspired by people like Walt Disney, Bob Ross, Picasso, Van Gogh.
Can you tell us about some of the most exciting projects that you’ve worked on.
Painting campervans and making giant chalk drawings outside.
And a favourite?
My favourite project was probably painting my big tunnel piece in Shoreditch, or the big doodle over Rita Ora in Oxford Street because they were fairly big doodles!
You mainly work in black and white. What attracts you to monochrome?
I just like drawing rather than colouring, I like to make the lines and shapes and using colours would make it more complicated for what I want to do. I’d have to make more decisions that would effect the work in a way I might not intend. All the colours have connotations whereas black and white is simple and natural to me.
Tell us about the project that you are working on with Tiger.
I love this project; I was really excited to use the ink made from pollution. It works really well, just as good as my other pens. I was also excited to work on the project because I knew the whole branding and concept involved black and white art. The whole thing has been a very cool thing to work on.