SECRET ARTISTS

NeinBirmingham isn’t so famous for its artist community, but locked away in suburban spare rooms, an army of underground digital artists tinker with old games consoles and 80s computers in search of inspiration and nerd-out bliss.

Walter Newton is one: Glaswegian by birth, he moved to Birmingham simply to be with his girlfriend, now wife. A freelance illustrator – with clients like Paul Smith, GQ Magazine, and Friends of the Earth under his belt – he also turns his hand to screen printing and loves being surrounded by old technology. Why? “It serves absolutely no purpose”. A proper artist’s response.

His London agent gets him jobs, but Walter doesn’t need or want to live there: “It’s
so massive, expensive and spread out. But Birmingham is great; it’s nice being somewhere I can walk everywhere in the centre.”

Many more like Walter live in Brum. But don’t tell.