A graffiti artist has said he is “honoured and emotional” to have painted a permanent tribute of the Queen at a pub named after the late monarch.
Scott Wilcock, 35, who works under the name Snow Graffiti, created a mural with the words “thanks for everything ma’am” on a wall at the Queens Arms pub in Audenshaw, Manchester.
Mr Wilcock told the PA news agency: “I don’t normally work on weekends but when the pub contacted me about doing a tribute to the Queen, I just thought it was such an amazing idea.
“I’ve done hundreds of murals but this one was especially emotional and I felt honoured to have been asked to do it.
“All through the day I had people coming over to talk to me and take photos while I was working, one woman even started crying.”
The 35-year-old artist, who lives in Wigan, was approached by the family-owned pub after one of the owners spotted a previous mural he had done titled ‘Football Icons’ for a pub in Prestwich.
To create the mural, Mr Wilcock projected an image of the Queen onto a blank white wall and mapped out an outline, including the eyes and mouth.
He then set to work from 7am on Saturday morning airbrushing the portrait, and it took him a day to complete the artwork.
“When I do a piece, there’s no other way of explaining it, I just zone out and it’s like I’m in a different world,” Mr Wilcock said.
“But when I finished this one, I turned around and I hadn’t even realised that a massive crowd had formed behind me.
“It was a bit overwhelming but it was really nice and the atmosphere was just so positive.”
General manager Cara Campbell said she had decided to commemorate the late Queen with a permanent tribute since the pub is “literally named after her”.
Ms Campbell, 47, told PA: “When it was announced that the Queen had passed away it was such a shock and everyone in the pub just went silent.
“We thought it would be lovely to have some kind of remembrance of her because, after all, the Queens Arms is literally named after her.
“When Scott had finished his mural it was just surreal. He has exceeded our expectations and managed to capture her likeness so unbelievably well.
“It’s been so lovely watching the public reaction to it and seeing people pulling up to take a photos of it.”
When Scott had finished his mural it was just surreal. He has exceeded our expectations and managed to capture her likeness so unbelievably well.
Mr Wilcock, a former mechanic, only began painting when he was furloughed during the Covid-19 pandemic but eventually quit his job to follow his dream.
He said: “I always had an idea that I wanted to paint and I liked the idea of using an airbrush but I’d never done it before.
“I was furloughed for six weeks during the pandemic, so I invested in a brush and a compressor and just trialled it in the gym when they were closed, where I painted three portraits.
“Everyone loved it and that was the beginning of everything.
“I loved my job as a mechanic but not long after I returned to work I handed in my notice to follow my dream of becoming an artist.”
The father-of-three now travels the country creating bespoke murals for clients and has even encouraged others to follow their dreams.
“I’m still learning as I go along but I’ve had people approach me for advice and I take a lot of pride in that,” Mr Wilcock said.
“Especially when its people who have always dreamt about doing this sort of work but never had the confidence to go for it.
“I always try to talk them into it,” he added.