“Without my elders to seek advice from and contemporaries to push me I wouldn’t have had half the fun I’ve been having "

We headed to Shoreditch, East London to meet street artist and animator  Squarms. She took us around to a few of her murals which definitely has her playful stamp. We sit down and have a quick insight into the artist and her work. 

So tell us who is Squarms? What is your background and where did the name come from? 

Hey I'm Squarms, an artist from London. My main interests are illustration, design and animation; a few years ago a friend and I started a creative collective called Beefy Squarms, since moving back to London the nickname stuck. Back around 2014 a friend of ours was telling us some slang, Beefy and Squarms came up so we can't take full credit for that, we had a really good time doing poster and apparel design as well as creative direction with other local collectives and venues when we lived in Leeds for a few years. The hope was to encourage others to use a creative outlet for the promotion of better mental health, through that experience I can say I met so many interesting people that led me to want to change paths and become a full time creative.

You have developed a skeleton character in your art which has become your signature. Tell us about how that came about.  

I'd describe this character as a mascot of my youth, as a child I really enjoyed drawing and coming up with my own worlds and found a lot of comfort in watching cartoons. I think the freedom to create exaggerated and high budget scenarios on paper excited me, and I felt as though the enhanced descriptions of feeling and emotion was something I wanted to translate to my own work. The skeleton to me is representative of humans of all forms, under our skin we carry them around; it's been amazing to see the public response and the way people have related to them has been really encouraging to me.

What in your opinion is integral to the work of an artist? 


Are there any artists you take inspiration from? or have indeed mentored you?  

For my work I think the biggest inspirations I’ve had would be to do with experiences and emotions, these are the things I try to take to my designs. I’m really lucky that on my journey I’ve been encouraged and supported by some talented and pioneering artists, who gave me paint and invited me to come out with them - the last two years have flown by. Without my elders to seek advice from and contemporaries to push me I wouldn’t have had half the fun I’ve been having. I have also been inspired by graffiti around NW5 in the 00s.   

What would be your dream commission?  

That's a good question, there are so many things. One dream commission would be a massive skeleton on the side of a building. 

What is Squarms hope/aim for the next couple of years?  

In the next few years I hope to have some clearer vision of where I'm going though I'm assured that clarity is hard to come by. I'd love to keep learning and growing with painting, and expand with my community outreach work. Working and engaging with local people and creatives is something that I really enjoy. 

Here at The Hobo Journal we love to travel hence the name, where is the best place you have visited and why?  

Again I feel really lucky to have visited some amazing places as most of my family live abroad, though I’m yet to really travel and explore. Since taking art more seriously I’ve wanted to go on painting holidays, it was just a shame the pandemic turned that plan upside down. As a Brit I am a big believer in enjoying the UK when trips are out of reach, I think my favourite holiday as a child was to Blackpool. We went for the illuminations, and spending time at the Pleasure Beach and Blackpool Tower has been a massive inspiration to the playful nature and elements of chance I wish to convey in my work. 

More images below from Danny Woodstock Photographer  


Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.