It’s been a few weeks but my favourite part of the blog – artist interviews – is back, back, back! This week I have been fortunate enough to speak with the duo of Bumble and Worm about themselves, their art and a mutual love of fishes.
Hi guys, how are you? Tell us a little about yourself.
Bumble: Great, I am Sarah Charlotte Watson I was born and raised in Mallorca (Spain) with foreign parents from Denmark and Canada, and family from Mexico where most of my inspiration comes from. I paint since I was a little girl, it has always been a part of me. I also enjoy restoring vintage furniture and currently own a furniture and decoration business with my mum called FRIDA WATSON in Palma de Mallorca. My other hobbies and passions in life would include anything to do with crafts, cooking, skateboarding, traveling, dancing and spending time with Worm.
Worm: All is great! Thanks for having us on Nogreywalls. I am David Goode Hill, kind of the same as Sarah, I was born and raised on the island with foreign parents, from England and Uruguay. I´ve been painting my whole life, if I´m not really painting I´ll still be thinking about it. I love making murals using spray paint and spend a lot of my time making oil paintings.
I met Sarah about three years ago, ever since we have blended our lives together painting and traveling as much as we can, we both like the same stuff and spend most of our time together cooking up ideas.
How did it all start for you? Where you the type of kids always scribbling on notebooks at school?
Bumble: When I was a kid I did not speak much and was quite a loner, my only mission was to draw all day and make crafts like beaded necklaces, most of the kids around me were not really into that. I feel like painting is a continuity of my childhood it still gives me the sensation of play and keeps my mind away from the negativity and I find myself in peace.
Worm: It´s all I did while at school, once home even more so. I was lucky to go to a very artistic minded school for the first years of my childhood, my parents were very supportive when it came down to buying me materials, my bedroom was basically an art studio.
What was the first `spark´ for you to pick up a spray can and hit the streets? Where you ever into graffiti and tagging your name or did you you jump straight to murals?
Bumble: Graffiti caught my eye from a very young age, when I was 16 I got caught by the police with my Minnie Mouse stencils and got afraid of tagging anything else again so immediately switched to safe murals.
Worm: For me it all took off with tagging. I remember being around 12 years old and asking my dad what ¨OVAS¨ meant, whatever his reply was only deepened the mystery. This guy was up all over the place since I was a kid, I was fascinated. One day two jaw dropping silver pieces appeared on the side of the motorway, by german writers VEGA and ALERT, the love for those graffitis are what got me into it. Eventually running into trouble all to many times got me into more dedicated pieces at legal walls or easier to hit spots, I love abandoned places and discovering a random wall in the middle of nowhere.
What´s the graffiti scene like in Mallorca?
Worm: I think it´s great. As in so many other places the scene has had it´s ups and downs but we have always had really good graffiti artists from the beginning, to name three that come straight to mind OVAS, SCAWT, HOCK, these guys got everyone else into it. In more recent years with the appearance of more train lines and a small metro system many foreign writers have come out to join the party. Nowadays I would say the scene is pretty hot with heaps of new kids doing crazier stuff than ever. It´s gone bombing mad. Street art in general has an evermore important presence in Palma.
Where does your artistic inspiration come from?
Bumble: My artistic inspiration comes from different cultures around the world, such as Mexican, African, Aboriginal and Native American.
Worm: Over the years so many different cultures and artists have inspired me, but in the end it´s nature in itself. Nature is everything!
Do you have a plan in mind when you start a piece? Or do you like to look at the wall and the surroundings and take inspiration from there?
Bumble: We do both things. We usually have and idea of what we are going to do but then adapt to the surroundings, improvising plays a big role.
With this in mind what do you find to be most difficult part of the creative process? I´ve read other artists speak about the fear of the blank page/canvas, do you ever get this?
Bumble: The most difficult part for me is starting, once I do I just flow with it and let it be what ever it has to be, I don´t worry that much in the end you only live once and its important to be able to have fun while you paint.
Worm: Same here, I try to follow my excitement and enjoy the experience, sometimes the piece might not be as good as we thought, other times we surprise ourselves. The act of painting in itself is something that makes me happy. The difficult part usually involves other stuff related to painting, like a few months ago we got totally lost in Cologne and spent hours looking for a wall in the middle of no mans land.
Do you have a favorite city or place to paint? Is there a dream city or country or wall even that you´d like to paint?
Bumble: Home is where i most enjoy painting, but traveling and painting is always a great formula.
In a near future I would love to do something big in Mexico. We enjoy painting in Barcelona, the scene is huge and it´s a stone throw away from where we are.
Worm: I really like Hamburg, Cologne and Wiesbaden. I used to love painting in Barcelona until the laws changed and everything became grey. It was a very exciting time to be there a bit more than ten years ago. Our goal is to paint all over the world!
I first came across you at Arteria´s graffiti event, How did that come about? And how was the experience of painting alongside so many other artists.
Bumble: Worm told me about the event, so we signed up hoping to get chosen to participate. The experience was great, the people in the event where so kind and generous with very different backgrounds, we got to meet lots of amazing artists I look up to.
Worm: It´s always nice to meet people with the same motivations.
Do you like to collaborate with other artists? Or do you feel that already being a duo brings that certain element of extra creativeness working with someone else would?
Worm: We love painting together and have our own thing going on but whoever wants to join in is more than welcome, for me it´s part of the beauty of graffiti, people blending different concepts, ideas and styles
Something I really enjoy is hearing which artists inspired other artists. Which artists inspired you growing up and who’s work do you really like just now? And is there any artist you would love to work with?
Bumble: While growing up I didn´t really have much access to information as we have nowadays, I have always looked up to my grandmother Margarethe Watson, she was an incredible artist and also my father and grandfather on my mother´s side. I come from an artist family so they always encouraged me to keep painting. There are so many artists I love but to say a few I´ll name Frida Khalo, Salvador Dalí and Mati Klarwein. I would like to paint with anyone who would like to paint with me.
Worm: This one is extra hard because I could go on forever. All the great masters have always inspired me, on the other hand lately with Instagram and pages like nogreywalls I find myself discovering so much at once I can´t take in enough names. There is truly so much great art out there!
Why do you paint so many fish?
Worm: For hundreds of reasons but mainly because of personal and symbolic reasons. I actually can´t stop painting them, I´m literally hooked. I´ve been drawing fish since I was a kid but the first big scale ones I remember painting with spray paint where in Uruguay, on the beach of Cabo Polonio, back in 2005. My grandfather got me into fishing from a very young age so I´ve always handled the animal itself. Astrologically speaking I was born on the Pisces and Aquarius cusp not to mention being raised on an island.
Us human beings are egocentric enough to think we are the center of the universe, we see ourselves as the ultimate owners of a blue planet that has a 70% body of water, most of it yet to be discovered…So my silly looking fish are here to remind us we are the silly ones. Fishes outnumber our human population, I like painting fish because they are full of meaning all over the world, they are part of a universal language that speaks about beautiful concepts such as freedom, life, birth, rebirth, creativity, happiness, change, transformation, fertility, femininity, truth, strength, knowledge and Eternity. Fish live in water, the most creative and mysterious element in our world. When you paint a fish out of the water, in open air, in the public domain…something interesting happens. My dreams and aspirations for a better world are all contained within these creations. I like to think I´m painting them swimming upstream, they are fighters that don´t give up, they are evolving their soul and for that reason I admire them. So I might be a worm but I´m speaking through fish!
Just to speak about something different for a minute, tell us something about yourself that maybe not many people would know!
Bumble: I love watching tons of documentaries, specially conspiracy theories ones.
Worm: I like to grow vegetables and go fishing.
If you could be anyone or anything for a day who or what would you be?
Bumble: I would love to be in a secret space intelligence program to see how much technology we really have.
Worm: An Alien Fish!
I should have guessed a fish would have been involved! Ok back to the art… Are you only painting murals or are you also doing canvas work, commissions etc?
Bumble: More than murals! I mostly do acrylic and oil on canvas paintings. I just finished a commission portrait of some friends of ours but most of my work is on paper and in sketchbooks.
Worm: Most of my work is plain oil on canvas, every now and then I like to mix some spray paint and acrylics in the first layers. I usually get landscape painting commissions, Mallorca is beautiful and picturesque.
Do you have any upcoming shows or projects we should know about? Are you currently exhibiting your works anywhere?
Bumble: I have a show at our favorite Mexican restaurant Xólotl in Palma de Mallorca, I´m exhibiting all my Mexican themed art. I recently finished a two week show at Bar Sa Fonda in Deià, with most of my recent dot work. We do most of our shows in Summer, in the different art fairs in towns around Mallorca, art nights have become very popular.
Worm: We are always up to something, currently we are preparing our third Bumble & Worm exhibition for the 25 th of may, at Belmond La Residencia Hotel, in Deià, Mallorca.
Is there anything else you´d like to share with us before you go?
Bumble: Sending love to the universe!
Many thanks for your time guys and all the best with your future artistic endeavors!
Bumble: Thank you loads!
Worm: Thank you, hope to catch you soon!