Brickie Callum aims to build new life as an artist

By Andrew Morris | Llanidloes | Entertainment | Published:

An artist from Mid Wales is hoping he will soon be able to ditch his bricklaying for good and take up the paint brush full time as a TV painting show comes to a conclusion.

Callum Stephen, 23, of Llanidloes has been taking part in the BBC’s Big Painting Challenge and is into the semi-finals, where he is hoping to get to the final and become the winner.

So far he has progressed through the rounds, and the artist who produces realism images, is happy with how things have gone so far.

He said: “It has been going really well on the show. It was filmed some time ago but at this point it was very stressful.

“You feel out of your comfort zone due to things such as painting outdoors.

“After the show my dream would be for someone to pick my art up so I never have to lay bricks or blocks again.

Callum Stephen on the BBC’s Big Painting Challenge

“My dream is to be a full-time artist, and I won’t stop until I make that happen.”

A self-taught artist, Callum has juggled his brick laying commitments with his art, and his work even led to being spotted by US-based Grammy Award-winning and official Disney fine artist Jim Warren.


Callum had one of his own Disney paintings on a door shared on Warren’s Facebook page to tens of thousands of followers.

He was then offered a place as an artist in residence at the Chateu Orquevaux in the Champagne region of France early next year which he has accepted. The 23-year-old is now living in France and was given the nod to appear on the BBC One show just moments after being told his drawing’s were not up to scratch.

A local gallery owner said they weren’t good enough, and Callum then received a call from the BBC who saw his work on Instagram and now he is on the cusp of the final.

When he got in to the show, he said: “I had taken my work to a local gallery, but they denied it and didn’t use it. My drawing wasn’t up to scratch according to the gallery owner.

“As I walked out I had a phone call from the BBC saying that they had checked my work out on Instagram and wanted me to come down for an audition for the show the following day.”

Andrew Morris

By Andrew Morris
Local Democracy Reporter - @AndyMorrisLDR

Local Democracy Reporter covering Shropshire.


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