Vinnie Nylon talks to us about first solo street art show – Poptimism.

With Poptimism being your first solo show after 25 years in the street art business, what should people expect from the exhibition?

A whole jamboree bag of characters acting out their parts in painted form, screenprint, stickers, fanzine and 3D such as petrol cans and plush toys. It’s a good punchy looking show that takes my own spin on things that bit further than street shutters or walls.

What was your initial attraction to this brightly coloured area of the visual industry?

My main motivation is this wanting to use somebody else’s toys, not in a literal sense but to take imagery and mix up two seemingly disparate things and see where it takes me. In general the attraction has not only been the surface candy colours and wacky faces but also looking beyond that and their effect on us as consumers.

Your controversial characters are the main focus in your work, where did the idea for these come from?

I really don’t see them as controversial, more of a fun way to join in and interact with other things on the street, posters, objects etc, branding as both theft and ownership all at once. They are hybrids in a post war style that I have always been drawn to ever since collecting badges and toys as a kid. Later on they slotted into the graffiti art style nicely (going back to about 97)

It’s clear to say you take a lot of inspiration from famous cartoon characters, if you had to choose your favourite one who would it be and why?

There is no way I can name a favourite but i’m pretty obsessed with putting out messages using Michelin man (Bibendum). I also like Big Boy, Elroy Jetson, Esso oil drop and the Peanut guy!

The illustrative industry is notoriously hard to crack, what advice would you give to someone else who is also trying to get noticed for when the going gets tough?

I have been the worlds worst self promoter, lazy and difficult to get hold of all at once and anything that i’ve done has been from them finding me…somehow. How I ever got to do TV work, billboards, skateboards, shoes and design work is beyond me. Everything has changed with the internet and young people now seem to have grasped self promotion a bit too well. I was lucky enough to get some breaks without knocking on any doors and saying “hey yo check ME out!” it’s not like that anymore.

What would you say has been your biggest achievement to date?

Just to be able to do what I do and meet people, travel, sometimes I even get paid : ) the billboard for Reebok was a big payday as were a couple of others, it’s always good to get those sweet jobs every once in a while.

Where do you plan to go from here?

Very interested in doing some stuff abroad and i’m working on a project that I don’t want to give away although it looks 99% in the bag. Cheers!


High Roller Society Presents: Vinnie Nylon’s First Solo Show – POPTIMISM.
8 September – 7 October: High Roller Society Gallery – London

By Michelle Siddall

Michelle Siddall | Art & Design Editor | is a passionate art/design writer, graphic designer by trade and fashion blogger in her spare time. She loves all things bright, typographic and geometric.