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Creating Spray Paint Art One Galaxy At A Time: Interview with Brandon McConnell

by Geoff Talbot on February 17, 2013

Brandon McConnell Space PainterOne of the latest art trends is video art, where people document the process of creating art and then post the video online. It’s a great way for young artists to get exposure for their work and also amazing to watch. With that in mind, we are pleased to introduce world-famous spray paint video artist Brandon McConnell. Known on YouTube as Space Painter, his channel has over 55,000 subscribers and nearly 52 million video views. Born and raised in Chula Vista, California, McConnell is a self-taught artist with an incredibly innovative painting technique.

In addition to having his work appear in the New York Times, McConnell has been flown to Tokyo to paint live on a variety show and has put on a painting show at the Kennedy Space Center. Perhaps one of the most remarkable things about his work is the speed and the quality of his paintings. You can watch this Super Sprayer video to get an idea of his skill and the pure momentum he has while creating his space-inspired art.



We recently caught up with Brandon McConnell to learn more about his spray paint art and his use of video to promote his work. On his website, Brandon explains, “Spray paint art has opened up a whole new world for me, it allows me to express my feelings through my imagination.”

When did you first realize that you loved are and that you had a gift for it?

Brandon McConnell: I’ve been an artist as long as I can remember. I first realized it in elementary school when I noticed I was just drawing all day in class. Once I went to high school, I started drawing comic book characters and was really surprised with what I could do with no special training. I won first place in an art contest in high school for one of my ink and airbrush paintings.

What was it about spray paint art and space that first captured your imagination?

Brandon McConnell: In the late 1990’s, I took a day trip to Tijuana, Mexico and there was an artist on the sidewalks making beautiful paintings with spray paint. I was instantly captivated by the speed at which he painted, the vibrant colors, the basic tools he used, and found the texture of his paintings amazing. I knew this was something I had to try for myself. So I bought a bunch of his paintings and carefully studied his techniques.

A day later, I had a bunch of spray cans and the materials I needed. I went to work trying to understand how it could be done.

How long did it take you to do your first spray paint art piece and what was it like?

Brandon McConnell: The first painting I did took around ten minutes. It was like nothing I had ever done before. The first results were not very good, it looked kind of muddy but with practice and determination I started to get the results I was looking for.

You’re known for your incredible speed, what is the fastest you’ve ever created a piece of work? What was it? 

Brandon McConnell: Thirty-nine seconds is the fastest I’ve ever done. It’s a planetary moonscape. You can check it out below.

You are often credited as a niche leader in the area of spray paint video art. What encouraged you to grab a video camera, film yourself painting, and then post it on YouTube back in 2007?

Brandon McConnell: Like all artists, I wanted to find a way to make money from my art so that I could do what I love. That is the main reason I make YouTube videos so I can earn money from advertising to support myself as an artist.

Do you practice making a piece of work before you roll the camera or does it happen spontaneously? 

Brandon McConnell: No. I don’t practice at all first. I just roll with it and make what ever comes out in that moment.

Can you tell us a little about your video team? 

Brandon McConnell: The video team is made up of just me. I simply set up the camera in the best possible position, hit record, and paint. I do the uploading and editing, as well.

How can people learn more about your art?

Brandon McConnell: You can visit my YouTube channel, or visit my website.

Which one of Brandon McConnell’s spray paint videos is your favorite? What would you like to see him paint next? Let us know in the comments below.

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