For a while I’ve wanted to brighten up one of my scooters. When I was riding my Lambretta home from the Big 7 rally in Kent I had one of my brilliant ideas (which don’t always turn out to be brilliant), which was to get the panels and horncover painted by a street artist. I’ve been photographing street art for a couple of years, having learned of its history on a hip hop tour of New York. I then started tracking it down, mainly in Brighton but also further afield in Toronto, San Francisco and Lisbon.
Getting just the panels painted would be cheaper, easier and quicker than getting the whole scooter done, but would tick my boxes for wanting something unique and colourful. I ran it by Lee, my husband, who is my yardstick for whether my ideas are indeed brilliant or not, and he was surprisingly positive so I set to work to find an artist and choose a design.
Choosing a street artist
I really wanted to use an artist that I knew, and also one from Brighton as it feels like home these days because I’m over there so often. It was a post on Instagram which inspired me to ask Snub23, and a garden wall he’d painted which captured my imagination
The wall featured Snub’s trademark isometric shapes applied skillfully using stencils, arranged to give a 3D effect. I thought it looked amazing and would work really well on a scooter.
I first met Seth and his girlfriend Amy (another artist whose tag is Sprite) on Christmas Eve in one of the most popular locations for street art in Brighton, Trafalgar Lane. I was in the middle of chemo, looking like a bloated hamster from steroids and frumpy in my wig, on one of my regular pilgrimages to this colourful street. We were checking to see if my angel wings were still there, and coincidentally they were being painted over right then by another artist, Ed209.
I introduced myself to Snub, and asked who he was (it’s an odd thing when you meet an artist because you probably know them already from their work and their ‘tag’). When he replied ‘Snub’, I was slightly in awe having photographed his work around the city for the past couple of years. It was like meeting a celebrity!
After a quick hello we left them to get on with their murals while we went for lunch and by the time we’d returned the walls were finished and the artists were long gone.
Here are the Christmas Eve walls!
I kept in touch with Amy and Seth and when I saw the garden wall they’d painted I knew that was design I wanted. Seth is very into his maths and has been painting the isometric designs for a few years, so I dropped them an email and luckily they said yes!
1. of or having equal dimensions.
2. relating to or being a crystallographic system characterized by three equal axes at right angles
Here are some other ISO walls Seth and Amy have painted.
They are really busy and in demand for private commissions and one-off pieces for other artists, but luckily managed to squeeze my scooter in between other jobs so we dropped off the panels and horncover and waited to see how they would turn out.
Spraying street art on the scooter
It turned out that scooter panels, and particularly the horncover, are a bit more tricky to paint than a nice flat brick wall. There are pesky corners and curves involved, and it’s on a much smaller scale. Seth had to make bespoke, mini-stencils and used a special technique to accommodate the curves.
Amy sent me these progress pics and I was so excited! The brief I’d given them was that it needed to be bright and colourful, and they certainly ticked that box.
After a week we went over to Brighton to pick them up, and I was so pleased with them. The next step was to get them lacquered, and there was only one man for that job – Dave Rose, aka DRC. Dave has sprayed a few of my scooters over the years and always does a superb job. For this project he applied seven layers of clear coat, which produced an awesome, shiny finish. The isometric cubes really ‘pop’ and the 3D effect is just what I wanted.
My street art scooter
Lee put the scooter back together, and changed the rubbers around the horncover from their previous grey to black, which looks a lot better.
The next step was to take the scooter back to its spiritual home in Brighton for a photoshoot. We went on Pride weekend which posed a challenge as the town was heaving, even on the Sunday, and there were many roads closed.
The perfect spot was in front of one of Seth’s large wall murals next to the Trafalgar Street car park.
Model : Spanish Lambretta LI125
Paint : Seth aka Snub23
Lacquer : Clear coat by Dave Rose aka DRC
Engine : Built by Gary at Allstyles Scooters using a Comet 186cc kit and Sito Plus exhaust
Next we went to find the artists! They were painting a wall next to the Prince Regent swimming pool so we scooted over there. They were amazed by how well the scooter had turned out when it was all put together. We got loads of attention from passers by, all stopping to take photos! It had been such a brilliant project, working with two really great people.
We had to get a photo of Seth and Amy on the scooter. I think it suits them although their electric bike is probably more practical for zooming around Brighton.
Who is Snub23?
Snub23 is otherwise known as Seth, a full time artist based in Brighton. He works with girlfriend Amy, aka Sprite, on street art commissions and other pieces.
He comes from an artistic family, surrounded by creative people, and after gaining a graphics degree in London the financial crisis hit and jobs in that industry were harder to find. He became involved in the graffiti scene there and ended up working for an exhibition company, creating stencils for corporate clients and at events such as music festivals.
This led to him working on commercial projects and now he is in demand for all sorts of commissions which he works on with Amy. On their days off you’ll find them painting walls all over Brighton and beyond.
Seth’s robot artwork originates from comic book drawings, and is paired with the isometric blocks which are used on the scooter. He loves mixing digital with analogue, the idea of ‘ordering the chaos’ using regimented geometric shapes, and how different colours are used to produce the 3D effect.
To contact Seth and Amy about commissions or buy one of their pieces click Snub23.com or visit Snub23 or I.Am.Sprite on Instagram.
I can’t wait to ride the scooter more, and it’s just about run in so I’ll be able to open it up a bit more to really test it. If you see me at a rally or rideout please stop and say hello!
WE SMASHED IT, QUITE LITERALLY, AT URBAN ARTISTRY’S JUNK YARD JAM IN CREWE.
We were in our element on the Junk Yard. Surrounded by filth, rust and smashed up electronics and cars. The junk yard felt like a dystopian cyber wasteland which fitted our style perfectly, we had to take advantage and paint as many beautifully gnarly surfaces as we could.
We woke up bright and early on the day of the jam as we were eager to get started. The first thing we painted was a 6 wheel fibreglass Mini Bus. We started by throwing buckets water over the Van and painting it as the water dripped off to give a distressed background. On top of this we painted a SNUB Robot and Orange Isometric Cubes.
Next we painted an old metal drum which was inside one of the Junk Yard Jam warehouses. The drum was covered in rust, peeling paint at massive dents. Everyone was confused as to why we wanted to paint something so awkward and messed up, but to us it was perfect.
We painted the drum with SNUB23’s Iconic Robot and Red Isometric cubes. Then to make the whole piece feel like it had always been painted like that we took a scouring pad to the whole thing and scratched off the paint to reveal the beautiful rusty textures underneath.
Our final piece at Urban Artistry’s Junk Yard Jam excluding a few cheeky ISO’s hidden in places was a giant metal box. We have no idea what this was originally but it had the perfect rust surface which we utilised to our advantage and only painted the outline of the SNUB Robot so it looked like the rusty metal was the surface of the robot.
OH WE FORGOT TO MENTION ONE THING…
ONCE WE HAD FINISHED PAINTING THEM… THEY CRUSHED THEM!
We cannot thank the Junk Yard Jam Guys enough for their incredible hospitality and general greatness. We had the best time.
Other great artist who painted alongside us who you should also check out are:
To find out more about the Junk Yard Jam and Urban Artistry you can find everything here: