PopbangColour (Ian Cook) in action
As part of the Creditplus Advent Calendar, we’ve been giving away some fantastic prizes. On day eleven of the competition, we are giving away a fantastic print from PopbangColour, the alias of Ian Cook who creates fantastic artwork just by using toy and RC cars. We found out a little bit more about this unique artist.
PopbangColour began when artist Ian Cook was given a RC (remote controlled) Lightning Mcqueen from the film Cars for Christmas. Told not to get any paint on the toy, Ian was inspired and began using the wheels as a paintbrush. Having grown up with a love of cars, Ian had originally planned to become a car designer like his uncle, even taking up a work experience position at Jaguar. His perspective changed when he reached higher education. “From university my artwork was always about cars and using toys as a theme, whether this was with to paint with or use as a theme. I once built a sculpture entirely out of cutting up toy cars.” Ian continued to use toy and RC cars in his artwork. Some of the first paintings he made with this technique were completed at the Wolverhampton shopping centre, drawing attention to his unique artistic technique from the local media. Buoyed by the positive response, Ian looked to expand on his increasingly popular style.
“Following this I approached the Heritage Motor Centre, Warks to attend a Land Rover event – as a bit of a LR enthusiast. From doing this I then approached other events to create as a feature and an idea was born.” The big break came in 2008 when Ian was spotted creating one of his pieces by someone from M&C Saatchi – one of the biggest and most successful ad agencies in the country. He was creating a painting of Lewis Hamilton and the ad man saw potential. He was soon hired to create an impressive piece of art.
Ian at work on the Lewis Hamilton painting.
“And this is when I created the Giant portrait of Lewis for Reebok, which was the size of a three storey building and hung next to Tower Bridge in the run up to the 2008 Brazalian Grand Prix.”
The massive painting made news across the world, launching PopbangColour into the big time.
To truly understand how unique the PopbangColour artistic style is, you have to see it in action.
Utilising the wheels of toy and RC cars, you would expect the artwork to be more chaotic. And yet, the level of detail is incredible, with the use of wheels to paint giving each work a dynamic edge.
“The process can look quite simple and can be explained as simply as the paint is applied to the paper and then the cars are run through the paint. Though prior to any painting being created there is a great deal of preparation to choosing the correct image (even with car companies, some images won’t look good) and then there is also the timing, if an artwork is done at the wrong time. Through development and over time I have wanted to improve and add more into the image. It’s a mixture of the fine art side and my illustrative training. I like to improve and better myself.”
Ian has a fleet of 20 RC cars that he uses to create his paintings, as well as an assortment of toy cars. If he works with a specific manufacturer, he may use cars and models from that particular make.
“Over a year I will generally create between 75 and 100 artworks, this is dependent on which events I attend, and who with. Often artworks are commissioned prior to an event for specific clients.” PopbangColour continues to grow from strength to strength. Appearances on Top Gear and Blue Peter (earning Ian a coveted Blue Peter badge) are just the start. Travelling internationally, Ian continues to create unique car art for an increasingly wider audience.
On day eleven of the Creditplus Christmas Advent Calendar, you can win a 280mm x 227mm print from the artist’s online store. All you need to do is visit the Creditplus Advent Calendar, open door number eleven and put in your details. Its free to enter and open up until 23:59pm on Friday 12th December.