Joe Charman is a 34-year-old artist and social media entertainer from London England. The artist amassed a large social media following over the last 10 years from creating comedy sketches and skits and in 2014, went viral with his ‘Skills Guy’ character. Now with over 2 million followers worldwide and an estimated 1.5 Billion views on social media, the artist is launching his fine art career, specialising predominately in street and graffiti art.
“Art has been a huge part of my life for as long as I can remember. My father Barry is also an artist and I don’t ever remember a time when art wasn’t being created in the house and he also took me and my brother to galleries and museums all over the world seeing famous pieces from a wide range of artists, looking back It almost feels like I grew up with creating art as a second language. I’ve always had a pen in my hand and I owe that to my Dad.”
“I grew up in a town called Borehamwood on the outskirts of London. Feeling like somewhat of an outcast in my formative years I soon found similar and likeminded individuals. We skateboarded, we graffitied and rebelled. All of my friends encouraged me with my artistic endeavours and our love of skateboarding took us to places where I really developed a love of graffiti art.”
Growing up in the 90s, the artist notes he leans heavily on the nostalgia from that time period and the artists associated with 80s and 90s street art. Influences such as Keith Haring and Jean Michelle Basquiat play a vital role in the artist's expressive approach which is evident in his bold style.
“I don’t like to plan anything. I start with an idea in my head and then try to transfer that to canvas. This often leads to on-the-spot decision-making and quick changes in direction. Often I layer, re-arrange, cover-up, disguise and deface the piece until it tells me it’s finished. I mostly try to aim for a pleasing composition or colours where each square foot could be its own isolated painting.”
Joe works with a blend of street art techniques, often encompassing many of these individual elements into singular pieces. He often uses a multitude of materials on a single canvas to achieve the final product, which often incorporates a mix of; spray cans, acrylic paints, paint pens, rollers, stencils, oil sticks and paste-ups.
“I’ve always enjoyed drawing cartoons and over time that has developed from doodles in the back of school textbooks to skatepark walls and now large canvases. It’s just felt like one continuous arch that has just led to natural progression over time.
I love the feeling of nostalgia, a common feeling we share with a select group of people who also remember a period in time. A popular TV character, a long-forgotten brand name or logo and old technologies, can transport you back in time and unlock a wealth of childhood memories. “
Joe often reserved his art as a very personal element of his life for many years. However, in 2020 he began to share this side of his creative ability with his following and in 2021, began to gain viral success with his art. The art created in Facebook videos on the back of his shed door soon became a brand and recognised on a global basis.