After fire devastated Springburn launderette The Wee Steamie, owner Hardip Singh wanted to give the place a new look.
“I wanted something really different and stylish, not the kind of thing you’d expect in a launderette,” he grins.
“But I wanted it to be very Glasgow too, something attached to the history of the city.
“There used to be an old steamie just up the road from here, and many of the people who come here remember it, or remember their granny talking about it.
“So that got me thinking about bringing back to life some of the old steamie memories…”
Hardip, 35, hooked up with Unhinged Creatives, a new design company founded by Glasgow artists and illustrators Stephen McDermott and Alan Earlie.
The result is a stunning collection of wall murals and artworks, depicting scenes from Glasgow’s old steamies and tenements. It includes soap powder box adverts, women doing the washing and the ‘greetin’ faces’, a giant drawing of women moaning, with blackboard speech-balloons to allow customers and staff to add their own thoughts (within reason).
It is all hand-drawn by Stephen and Alan, and Hardip is delighted with the end product.
“One of my favourite bits is the clock tower, which they drew around the existing clock we had,” adds Hardip. “That clock has been there for four years and no-one has ever mentioned it – now everyone talks about it.”
Stephen and Alan set up Unhinged Creatives last year with the support of North Lanarkshire Council’s business support initiative Starting Point.
They met by chance, but discovered a shared passion for hand-drawn, imaginative art.
Alan grew up in Cardonald, and had always loved drawing.
“I set up my own custom trainers business after I left school and it really took off, and then I branched into murals and interiors,” explains the 28-year-old.
“It just snowballed from there.”
Stephen , a former Glasgow School of Art student, found his way into animation after a chance conversation in a pub.
“I got chatting to two guys who had worked on Who Framed Roger Rabbit? and they told me about a new studio opening up in London, headed by Steven Spielberg, who were looking for animators,” he recalls.
“I went down, got the job – that was in 1990 – and started working for Universal Studios, before moving on to Disney.”
Stephen, 49, has worked on 15 feature films, including Tarzan, Mulan, Lilo and Stitch and The Emperor’s New Groove, moving between the UK and America.
He is now back in his home town of East Kilbride to concentrate on Unhinged Creatives, whose diverse projects so far have included a Beatles mural for a wash room, an American diner-style interior for a café and, of course, the Wee Steamie.
“We’re proud of what we have achieved in such a short time,” explains Alan.
“We like to think we don’t just go into a business, do a bit of painting and then leave. We are mindful of what each client wants and how our artworks will add to their business and help them connect with their customers.
“We put heart and soul into each project, and hopefully that comes across.”
For more information, visit www.unhingedcreatives.com
Source: Evening Times