A STREET painter has spoken of his inspirations after unveiling his latest work in Southend.

John Bulley has become well known in the seaside town for his huge and very impressive works.

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He has created works in tribute to a variety of stars including Star Wars actress Carrie Fisher and, at the weekend, singer Keith Flint.

He said: “I failed everything in my life.

“I wouldn’t employ me if I were you But I have worked all around the world.

“I have always been passionate about street art and my inspiration and driving force is that I want my work to be seen.

“It is a form of democracy, it’s free for everyone to look at it.

“It is about discussion and a free gallery, I loathe galleries where artworks are closed behind doors.

“I also enjoy not being constrained by being sacked by a boss, I have the freedom to pretty much do what I like.

“I am very conscious that I do offend some people but I do try not to be offensive and not be contentious.

“I also try to make it witty. I have no respect for rank or status and that also drives me forward.

“I feel I utilise the streets and consider myself a painter.”

He said people should be critical and not just accept work and he said he finds strong comments against his work ridiculous.

The self proclaimed street painter said he embraces strong criticisms and wants to share them.

Mr Bulley said “I obviously take criticisms seriously and I am my own biggest critic- most of my work I want to redo after it’s finished.

“I have painted a series of murals of celebrities who have died and that just happened.

“I did the Princess Leia painting as a homage to her, I fell in love with the character.

“The Keith Flint mural wasn’t my idea but I thought it would be nice as he seemed like a good guy.

“I wanted to make it a bit more gentle, most of the images I’d seen of him made him look a bit scary.”

The Southend painter said he wants his works to make people smile.

He said a bit part of his inspiration is satire and traditional English humour and he tries to incorporate that in his works.

He said: “I am against covering everything with graffiti and know that not everyone will like my work.

“You are never going to please everyone in life no matter what you do.

“The Italian Job inspired mural near The Railway Hotel, Southend is one I love as it’s about my culture, working class and is very English and I thought the film was hilarious.”

Mr Bulley said he has a few more street painting in the pipeline but he is unsure where to put them yet.

Like them or loathe them, his works are set to brighten the town for some time yet.

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The force - John with his Princess Leia mural, showing the late Carrie Fisher

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