Boredom sparks Bangor artist into impressive mural business

By Annie Stewart

A BANGOR artist has taken a ‘boredom hobby’ and turned it into a successful mural business.

Ian Lowry, who has just completed a George Best mural on the side of Teddy’s Bar, in Bangor, has been a mural artist for almost eight years after he began drawing out of boredom.

“I used to work for an air conditioning company and we had to work in England and Scotland and you’d be there for two weeks at a time which would be night shift,” he explained.

“So you’d be sitting in a hotel all day with nothing to do so I started drawing just out of pure boredom. I put a couple of pictures up on Facebook and people started getting in touch like, can you paint my dog? Can you paint my family, that sort of thing.

“It just took off from there. My brother in law got a new house and he had a spare room, and he said to me I’d love you to paint like superheroes or something.

“So I painted a few bits on his wall and that sort of got the interest going for me. It was just the power of Facebook, the more you share, the more interest you get.”

Ian’s family is very supportive of his career with his mum and dad commissioning a Game of Thrones-style mural for their spare room and his mother-in-law Bridie Hagan pushing him towards an interview with a certain local paper, as ‘he’s just so talented’.

“Mum and dad are very supportive, one of the very first murals I ever did was a Game of Thrones one in my mum’s spare room,” said Ian.

“One that I did to get the hang of things and get a bit of practice with complicated and detailed work.”

Ian says people just tell them their ideas and then he gets to work.

“I really loved doing the big Viking from the game Assassin’s Creed in July 2023. It had the boat and everything in the background.

“Sometimes people want something very specific and other times people throw ideas at me and say ‘so what do you think?’ I do get some really random ones.

“I cover the whole country, so if I’m in an area doing something, you’ll find through word of mouth I’ll maybe get another one or two in the same place a couple of months later.

“I’m absolutely flat out, which is great and I can’t complain at all.”

Ian’s work can be found on his Facebook page – Ian Lowry Art – where he is also able to take commissions.