Edward Acton, a station assistant at Barnham, on the Southern network, moonlights as a graffiti artist. But don’t worry, the station’s walls are safe.
Instead, the 37-year-old is developing a reputation for his quirky and colourful graffiti-style work on trainers, high heels and other items of clothing.
He began customising footwear and clothing a couple of years ago after being inspired by a YouTube video. He was looking for reviews of basketball boots online (helps run the Chichester Knights basketball club) when a video popped up showing someone transforming a pair of shoes. Quite taken with the idea, Edward invested in his own paints and brushes and has since customised as many as 50 pairs of shoes.
His weird and wonderful work incorporates a wide range of themes from the Joker, Peter Pan, flowers, Nightmare Before Christmas, Harry Potter and Minions. And he is currently in the process of customising a black jacket for a bride to wear on her wedding day.
Pictures of his creations are even brightening up stations on the Southern network, and can be seen at Littlehampton, Chichester, East Croydon and Barnham.
Married father-of-two Edward enjoyed art at school, gaining a GCSE in the subject, but he hadn’t done anything arty since then. Edward, who lives in Tangmere, said: “I never really thought I was any good at it and I gave it up. It was only a couple of years ago I decided I would start drawing and painting and it’s just gone from there.”
He added: “I only charge enough to be able to replenish my paints and buy brushes, I don’t do it to make a profit because I enjoy doing it. I do it in my down time as a hobby. It’s a nice way to unwind while listening to music. If something looks fun and exciting to paint, I’m down for painting it.”
Edward’s boss, Barnham station manager Tessa Moss, likes his work too: “It’s different and it catches your eye, so you have to take a better look at it. The youth that travel through our stations also relate to it and I like the way they comment on the footwear.”