Waterlooville artist pledges to paint 'a mural a month' for a year on his garden gate after it becomes a popular feature in neighbourhood

A KEEN muralist has set himself the challenge of painting a mural on his front garden gate every month for a year.

By Hollie Busby
Thursday, 7th April 2022, 9:38 pm

Jonjo Rowlands, a digital marketer from Cowplain, started painting empty spaces in need of some TLC at his house in London Road during lockdown.

It started off as a hobby, painting Buzz Lightyear on his son’s bedroom wall.

But after painting a mural on his front gate, he noticed his art was ‘putting a smile’ on the face of passers-by.

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Jonjo Rowlands is painting a mural a month for a year on his front garden gate.

After such a ‘positive’ reaction in the community, Jonjo is pledging to paint a mural a month, based on popular children’s books or TV shows, to make use of what would normally be a wall of ‘wasted space’.

This month, on April Fools Day, he painted Mark Corrigan from Peep Show as a comedy reference to make people laugh.

His previous four murals featured Bart Simpson writing ‘I will not instigate revolution’ on the school chalkboard, Horton the elephant from the Dr Seuss book Horton Hears a Who, The Lorax and inspirational song lyrics from British-Irish rock band Idles.

Jonjo, 32, said: ‘People walk past it and you see them smiling and looking at it and it's just a great thing in the area.

Peep Show mural by Jonjo Rowlands from Cowplain.

‘I look for interesting things that are going to either make people either laugh or smile or think.

‘There have been a couple from Dr Seuss books because I think they've got really good messages, and they're good children's books.

‘I overhear people all the time saying positive comments. I see people stop and look at it and smile. Lots of people take photos. I quite often hear people that have seen it multiple times and I overhear people say, "oh look it's changed".

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Bart Simpson mural on front garden gate by Jonjo Rowlands.

Jonjo, who works as a lead SEO developer at digital marketing firm boxChilli in Waterlooville, explains that through his monthly murals he can push himself more as an artist.

‘It's space that's there that I can change and work on for clients. When I go and do it on client’s walls and things, which is what I want to start doing more of, I can work faster, I can get better ideas and improve it.’

In the space of an evening Jonjo paints the whole garden gate to unveil to the public the next day, on the first day of the month.

Brainstorming for his next masterpiece, he plans to incorporate outer space and science.

Horton Hears a Who mural by Jonjo Rowlands from Cowplain.

‘Really I want to do more and more. My favourite thing is doing kids bedroom walls, turning a boring white wall into a giant super hero or something that they love.

‘I want to do this as well as my job. I get lots of people making requests,’ he said.

Mural by Jonjo Rowlands inspired by Idles song.
The Lorax mural by Jonjo Rowlands from Cowplain.