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Ross Blair: Edinburgh's Street Artist

Thursday, 15 May 2014

How did you get into the events industry and into mclcreate?

I had been playing in bands since I was a kid and studied Art and Music after leaving school. So when the time came to get a ‘real’ job, somehow audio-visual seemed to provide a tentative link to my main interests. I became an AV technician and worked my way through various AV companies until I was asked to set up a hire department with MCL Edinburgh. I’ve been building the department and branch reputation up ever since and now with mclcreate we have the opportunity to expand our offering even more.

How would you describe mclcreate as a company?

There is a real buzz around the company as employees and clients alike see the potential of the brand. With such a skilled and motivated team already on board, it really is an exciting time to be part of mclcreate. 

What has been your most memorable experience at mclcreate so far?

I don’t think I could narrow it down to one particular event. Designing and delivering building projection and creative lighting for a the Edinburgh Botanical Gardens certainly sticks out in the mind, and our work over the years on many interesting shows at the Edinburgh International Festival gives us many challenges.

Getting involved with such creative and diverse events is really rewarding. Clients come back to us year after year and treat us as part of their own team, and that’s a great feeling.

Your other passion is street art – how long have you been doing this? When and how did you get into it?

I’ve been involved in Art and Music for as long as I can remember. I discovered graffiti and street art as a teenager, discovering films like Wild Style, an early 80s documentary looking at the New York City subway and inner city graffiti boom. As a young artist it was a pretty exciting art form to be involved in and once you have the bug it never leaves you. 

I’ve probably been painting seriously for at least 20 years now. I became known for my stencil work and then moved on to larger walls working freehand under the alias Trench One. I work across many media, from pen and Ink Illustrations to biro portraits, from spray paint to stencils: anything that makes a mark.

What’s your greatest achievement/proudest moment in the world of street art?

Again, it’s hard to pick one moment. Probably working with brands like Havana Club design, painting and installing large portrait pieces and elaborate multi-layered stencils in bars across the city. Every painting has its challenges and you aim to better your style and technique with every new piece.

Do you think there’s any crossover of skills or inspirations between being TrenchOne and being Ross Blair at work? 

You certainly gain an eye for detail from the arts, and that’s essential in the events industry, along with an ability to think out of the box.  As a founder member of the Edinburgh-based collective Projector Club, I’ve been able to combine my technical, events, art and music skills.

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