Created by British artist Joe Hill, our latest Houston/Project mural is certainly engaging those who pass by. That’s nothing new for Hill – he has enthralled people all around the world with his trompe l’oeil triumphs for over a decade.
He reveals the inspiration behind his latest work and the exciting projects he has on the horizon…
What originally sparked your interest in creating 3D pavement illusions and how did you master your talent?
As a child I had always loved Holbein’s Ambassadors with the stretched skull at the bottom of the picture. On a pavement art tour of Spain, my friend Max (Lowry, Hill’s late artistic partner who tragically passed away in 2010. Hill continues to work under their collaborative name 3D Joe and Max) and I had the perfect opportunity to start playing around with making simple chalk drawings 3D. It took a couple of years to get our heads around the best way of really lifting the pictures.
How do you ensure that your pieces come to life the way you envisioned?
I often work from a sketch but nothing beats being on location and coming up with something there and then – you can incorporate real world features into the picture. This often makes the picture come to life more than anything you pre-plan.
What tools do you work with?
Depending on the location, I use a combination of household paint, acrylics and chalk.
What was the inspiration behind the Houston/Project mural?
I used the old rag and bone men as inspiration – the horseshoe, hay; a certain eclectic feel.
How long did it take?
It took a couple of days. The conditions; the rain and cold, were against me.
You have worked on so many diverse projects around the world, what’s been your favorite?
My favorite piece remains The Blue Room (in Paris for Google’s annual party in 2010). It was the last picture Max and I did together before he passed away.
Can you share what the working dynamic was like between you?
We just had a fantastic time together. Max always said the moment we stop enjoying it we should stop. It was a fantastic collaboration – by the end, we rarely needed to explain to each other what we were going to do on the picture, it just happened organically. We never analysed anything too much, we just went for it. And importantly, we only worked on projects we were excited about. Max was all about the adventure of the process.
What is your next project?
I’m doing a large piece in London at the beginning of May centered around the World Cup.
As such a creative individual, do you have any other artistic outlets?
I’m a screenwriter too. I started the art to support my writing. My first feature film Blackwood is being released later this year.