There aren’t many illustrators that know more about office mural art than Sweaty Eskimo. Also known as Tahgasa Bertram, Sweaty Eskimo has produced office wall murals for a strong portfolio of clients across his native Birmingham, London, Europe, and the rest of the globe, for more than a decade. But here’s the thing, he moved away from creating hand-painted murals a long time ago, instead he creates the most amazing custom vinyl wall stickers.
Tahgasa, who joined Column’s Illustration Agency in 2014, has produced murals for the likes of Twitter, Adidas, the NHS, and several high-profile London communications agencies.
He answered a few questions for the Column blog about his practice and career path. Check them out!
How and why did you move from hand-painted office murals to custom vinyl stickers?
I got into vinyl wall stickers by complete accident. I started off hand-painting murals a few years ago. When I was commissioned by Twitter, I followed the usual process. Sketch the artwork, project it onto the wall, draw the artwork in pencil and then paint it.
When I got to Twitter’s office, the company I had hired a projector from had double booked the machine, and I couldn’t find a replacement in time. I suggested to Twitter that they have a vinyl sticker instead. From that moment, vinyl stickers seem to make-up the bulk of my work.
Do you think there are benefits to using vinyl wall stickers over a hand-painted mural?
Time and cost are the biggest factors. It’s a lot quicker for me to create the mural digitally, email it to the printer, and have them install the vinyl stickers, rather than create a digital mock-up, project the artwork onto the wall, and then spend a number of days painting.
It also means travelling to a client’s location daily from Birmingham or staying in a hotel. Both will increase the cost to the client, as well as taking me away from other projects for a few days.
How would you describe your process and your style?
My process is to fully analyse the brief and sketch anything associated with the company. The sketch is bounced between me and the client (and internally amongst themselves) until they’re happy with it. Once the sketch is signed off, I start working digitally. Any additional changes are added before I started playing around with colour (if given the freedom). The final artwork is then emailed to the client.
I’d describe the style and tone of my illustrations as colourful, fun and busy. I’ve always aimed to keep my illustrations detailed and interesting, and always try to give the viewer something new to find each time they look at my work.
I’ve always been a fan of colour and always try to use bright colours in my artwork. Together with the style of my drawings, the colours create an engaging and interesting experience, and hopefully leave viewers with a smile on their faces!
What’s your favourite mural out of all those that you’ve created?
My favourite mural would probably be one of two I created for the Adidas store in Birmingham, but sadly it wasn’t installed due to a refit of the store.
Of the ones that were installed, I’d say the one I did for the Twitter office. The theme was one which I enjoyed, given my love for London and London hosting the Olympics that year. The client was great to work with too.
If you would like Tahgasa to create a mural for you, please click here to contact us.
Column Arts Agency are an illustration agency that represents commercial artists. We specialise in working with the advertising, publishing and editorial industries. Column Arts Agency have links in Birmingham, London, and Manchester. We were established in 2011.