EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH MY DOG SIGHS ABOUT UKRAINE MURAL PRINT RELEASE
We recently featured Portsmouth street artist My Dog Sighs and his new Ukraine mural print ‘No Words’ (read about it HERE) that will be released this evening at 5pm (Friday 18th March). We caught up with My Dog Sighs for an exclusive interview about his current speaking tour around the UK, painting the original Ukraine mural and this new print drop.
You’ve travelled from one end of the country to the other with your tour, how have the events been going?
It’s been fantastic. Having spent nearly two years locked away on the Inside project, getting out on the road, painting walls and talking to people about my journey as an artist and the inside project is like a breath of fresh air. There’s been a mix of places I’ve painted before, as well as new locations.
How important is it for you to take the opportunity to paint in each of the cities/towns? What are some of the highlights so far?
To be honest, The book signing was just an excuse to get back on the road to paint walls. I wanted to fall back in love with being a ‘street artist’, finding small out of the way spaces and leaving my family of quiet little voices and other paintings around.
All the towns and cities I’ve visited have been great. I’ve met loads of artists along the way and painted in all sorts of locations like a great abandoned weapons store in Peterborough and under a bridge in Cheltenham. For the latest leg of the tour I brought my good buddy Farkfk. Together we painted in Exeter and Plymouth, even stopping off at a great unplanned hidden spot. Spreading the Southsea vibes.
…I wanted to fall back in love with being a ‘street artist’, finding small out of the way spaces and leaving my family of quiet little voices and other paintings around…
…I’ve had work get lots of likes before but this was off the scale…
What led up to you painting the Ukraine mural on your visit to Cardiff?
I was sitting in my hotel room when I got to Cardiff and after a bit of an explore I popped the news on the tv. Reports of the invasion of Ukraine was showing. The reality of the situation hit me and I felt a huge sense of sadness, anger and helplessness.
The following morning I stumbled across some blue and yellow paint in the van and decided I’d do the only thing I know and try and capture the moment in paint. It was only a small piece in a little back alley. I imagined a few hardened street art hunters might stumble across it.
It seems almost immediately after you posted up photos of the work it resonated with people. How did it feel to see the response?
Initially I was so busy setting up the next exhibition and talk that I didn’t realise what was happening online. When I did look at my phone later that night, things had gone crazy. Utterly crazy. I’ve had work get lots of likes before but this was off the scale. It didn’t take me long to realise quite how much the painting resonated across the globe. I’ve been told that there is now an almost constant queue to take pictures in front of the wall. I’ve done interviews for Canadian tv and newspapers and sites across the globe in the last couple of weeks. Crazy.
Very quickly the image inspired other people, from them sharing it online through to school children creating their own artwork. What are some of your favourite ways the Ukraine artwork has been used so far?
Seeing photos and news clips of protesters in Russia, Paris, Korea and Japan carrying posters of the wall in protests was quite mind-blowing. And watching so many people’s Facebook profiles change to the eye was quite staggering. I had friends telling me their aunt in Australia had it as their profile picture and they knew nothing about street art.
The best thing was all the responses from kids recreating their own versions. Quite moving.
How did the print of the Ukraine mural come about? How did the 3030 Print and Hello Blue get involved?
I knew I had the opportunity to make a difference but just didn’t know how to go about it. The logistics of something like this is pretty epic and with a crazy schedule with the book tour and only my wife to run distribution I was struggling, but Hello Blue who I’ve worked with before said they’d like to do something and offered to run the print as their donation which is incredible. I chose the Disasters Emergency Committee as they support all the major charities that work in disaster zones. Let’s not forget that there are people across the globe currently suffering war.
We’re keeping the print an open edition so as many people as possible can get one.
After the print release, where are you off to next on your tour? And do you have ideas for more murals to paint on the way?
I’ve got a couple of days at home re-packing the van with paint and books and heading north to Yorkshire, Lancashire and Scotland next week. I’m planning to paint on every location (multiple times if I can) but I haven’t got a plan as such.
…We’re keeping the print an open edition so as many people as possible can get one…
Print Release on 18th March
With many of people asking how they could both get a copy of this artwork and support people in Ukraine, My Dog Sighs with Hello Blue and 3030 Print are releasing an art print of the mural that will be available online on Friday 18th March at 5.00pm. The print will be an unsigned edition of high quality 30cm x 30cm 315gsm fully archival, fine art giclee prints of the Cardiff mural. The prints will be released online via the online gallery www.3030print.co.uk and will cost £100, including free worldwide shipping. 100% of the profit will go directly to Disasters Emergency Committee.
Hello Blue are producing the print and to 3030 Print who are releasing the print at cost.
Photos: My Dog Sighs