It’s a beautiful sunny day in Cardiff and the perfect time to catch up with fellow Cardiff Times writer and local artist Nathan Wyburn. We decide to meet at the Cameo Club on Welfield road in Roath. Nathan has some of his work proudly displayed here. As you walk through the door you will no doubt spot the portraits of Welsh legend Tom Jones and Gavin and Stacey’s very own Nessa (a.k.a Ruth Jones). Look at little closer and you will also spot that these aren’t just regular portraits, they are rather special and unique. You see, Nathan Wyburn doesn’t do regular……
Always thinking outside the box and adding creative spin, these portraits are a perfect example of what makes this particular pop art so special. Tom Jones is made entirely off cassette tape, while Nessa has been created using Stella beer mats and labels. How apt? Well yes, actually.
It was while Nathan was growing up at his family home in Ebbw Vale that he discovered a love for drawing. It wasn’t long before that love turned into a real passion, taking art as a GCSE, A level and eventually leading to a degree in fine art in Cardiff. It was during Nathans time at University that he started to explore more unusual ways of presenting his art. This included the use of food, including the well-known portrait of Simon Cowell made entirely of marmite on toast, because you either love him or hate him right? He started his own YouTube channel, filming his art coming to life, the subscriber numbers started to grow at an encouraging rate.
If you have seen Nathan appear on Britain’s Got Talent, you may believe that this was the moment that launched his career, in fact due to the success of his YouTube channel, a successful business venture had already taken off. Selling portraits on Ebay brought home a steady income. Off the back of Britain’s Got Talent Nathan was signed to Simon Cowell’s management, however Nathan decided that this wasn’t suited to his craft and decided to manage himself.
Since then Nathans art has become hugely popular, as he admits himself the positivity has been overwhelming at times. His intention has always been to make art assessable for everyone. Whether you like his art because it’s aesthetically pleasing and ‘fun’ or you see the irony behind it, it really doesn’t matter. Appreciating it and welcoming it is what Nathan finds hugely satisfying.
The last 12 months have been a particularly exciting time, Nathans art is now part of the curriculum in a number of schools, he regards this as one of his greatest achievements to date, and it’s easy to understand why. He regularly gets invited into schools to provide workshops and tutorials, it has become a real privilege to see the children’s art work come to life with the help of his guidance.
This month will see the launch of Nathans book ‘Not That Kind Of Art’ – The pop art portraits of Nathan Wyburn. The book is a collection of some of Nathans favourite pieces to date and so much more. Although the launch date was expected earlier this year, it was delayed by request of the Tate Modern, who wanted to add it to their new collection of art books sold within their stores. So Nathans book will sit proudly alongside books from other artists such as Andy Warhol. Confirming the direction of his career, we are guaranteed to be talking about Nathans art for years to come.
Nathan is now an established entrepreneur, providing commission portraits, providing art for advertising, public appearances and so much more.
At the age of 25 Nathan has achieved things that others can only dream of, it’s taken hard work and dedication. What’s really encouraging is how supportive Nathan is of others, his message to all young people is to follow your dreams, no matter how tough it can be, never give up, and never worry about conforming. Since our meeting Nathan has also been chosen by Pride Cymru as a Youth Ambassador. Another reason to make us incredibly proud of this young man and to support him in all his future projects.
You can keep up to date with all Nathans projects at www.nathanwyburn.co.uk
Book is out NOW on Amazon.
Catch his live art work on YouTube
Information regarding his book at www.candy-jar.co.uk