Furloughed dad quits mechanic job to become window 'snow painter'

A mechanic on leave whose fantastic fake snow and airbrush images became so popular during the lockdown that he gave up the job to create them full time has received praise from her mother for his portrait of tragic TV star Caroline Flack.

With no artistic training, Scott Wilcock, 33, had briefly tried painting glass windows with snow spray, which is normally used to decorate Christmas trees, as a hobby.

But when his wife Melissa, 31, who lived with and worked closely with children with special educational needs and mental health problems, saw the results during the lockdown, she was so impressed that she posted photos of his pictures online – and his phone rang off the Schneider, when people want him to paint their windows too.

Scott, from Wigan, Greater Manchester, who has two daughters, Maisie, 8 and Alice, 4, said, “By August 2020 I had so many jobs that I resigned as a mechanic – just for my boss to ask about him to paint a window!

“It wasn’t until I was on vacation that I started to take my artistic streak a little more seriously.

“Now I make hundreds of pounds for pictures – depending on where they are and how complicated the work is – and have orders until 2022, with requests even coming from London and Scotland.”

And while snow pictures are the mainstay of his portfolio, he also makes airbrush portraits with water-based paints – one of the tragic Love Island presenter Caroline Flack makes him particularly proud.

To urge kindness during the lockdown, Melissa, who teaches children with special needs, suggested Scott paint the monochrome painting on a wall in nearby Ashton-In-Makerfield on the anniversary of Caroline’s death in February – and it contained that Quote from the moderator: “In a world in which you could be anything, be kind.”

It was discovered by the late star’s mother, Chris, who called to thank him.

He said, “She said it was beautiful and she would like to see it one day.

“Melissa and I are both deeply committed to mental health concerns, and this was one of the best moments I’ve had since I started doing art full-time.

“But it was freezing all week and both the airbrush and paint were frozen and the strong wind kept blowing the paint off the wall as I tried to spray.”

Caroline’s mother Chris said of the portrait: “I thought the whole idea was beautiful and I know Carrie would have loved it.”

With his wife’s encouragement, Scott’s first detailed snow spray can portrait of Boris Johnson and his message “Stay Home Save Lives” was painted with snow on his living room window in March, which took him four hours.

That was followed by one of Captain Tom Moore, and then some local NHS heroes – with each amazing job leading the demand for his “snow graffiti” windows to a snowball.

After one of his early works – a 6’6 “x 4’6” picture of the Robbie Williams album cover – The Christmas Present – was made especially for Melissa, who is a huge fan, by the living room window – and lasted 13 hours – when a storm came down, it followed with another of their pleas last Christmas.

This time, she wanted to paint a scene from the family’s favorite feel-good movie, It’s A Wonderful Life, on her downstairs front window, while he recently painted her a picture of Friends on the same window.

Scott said, “I had never drawn seriously before. I left school and became a mechanic. “

Scott continued, “About three years ago I watched a video of Tom Baker with fake snow and tried it out. So far, I only know five people who do this.

“But it was a learning curve. I initially used the wrong spray and went through three cans without even finishing the picture. “

Scott, Mel and their daughters at Disney

When he was on leave in April 2020, he experimented with other air rifle techniques and his assignments soon began.

He said, “I offered to build a wall with pictures of bodybuilders like Arnold Schwarzenegger in a gym for free.

“Someone saw it before I was finished and asked me to make a wall with 13 singers in their restaurant.

“I was wondering if I could paint portraits with snow spray too, so I did it at home, Boris and I gained confidence.”

Scott continued, “Then I asked people to nominate NHS heroes to do on my own windows.

“A lady also contacted me and asked if I could take a portrait of her mother who died at a time when no one could go to her funeral.”

Since Scott left his job as a mechanic, he’s been so busy that he has to refuse the job.

By the end of last year I had made well over 100 snow windows.

He said, “I’ve worked on both types of pictures – airbrushing and snow painting.

“By the end of last year I had made well over 100 snow windows.

“People asked about scenes, animal portraits and movie characters.”

Scott added, “My prices vary based on size, complexity and location, but I’ve increased prices as I’ve gotten better and done more complicated work.

“I calculate the airbrushing on a daily basis, depending on the degree of difficulty and location.”

For his snow pictures, Scott glues black plastic to the outside of the windows with suction cups, then sprays snow inside before carefully brushing off and using a plastic scraper for shading and details – a bit like a scratch board.

He does not use stencils and the more layers he applies, the whiter the picture will be – they look best from the outside in daylight and from the inside at night with the room lighting switched on.

Portrait of Scott's friend Friend

Christmas demand for Scott was particularly good after Melissa posted a video on Facebook showing his technique using snow spray, which was seen by 500,000 people.

He said, “Mel asked me to take a snow picture of It’s A Wonderful Life as we see it every Christmas. I painted it on the living room window and it got a lot of compliments from people who walked by. “

Scott added, “I was asked last year to make nearly 100 Christmas snow spray pics for things like the Coca-Cola truck out of Christmas advertisements. People start asking me long before Christmas. “

Now he’s an expert at creating paintings depicting everything from Star Wars to Disney characters, and has even painted pictures of the homeless for a charity.

He picked Chris Gardner, the former homeless multimillionaire, and said, “I made a window for a homeless charity and then they asked for an airbrush mural of Chris. Somehow he saw it in America even though it was only half finished and he said I should visit him sometime.

But his friend window, painted for Melissa in honor of her nightly viewing the sitcom during their 15 years together, and painted last month to mark the cast reunion, has received the most compliments.

When Melissa posted a picture of it on Facebook, it was liked 12,000 times.

Scott, who now has his own Facebook page called Snow Graffiti, said, “Half the time, I don’t know she posted anything until the phone goes crazy.”

Now I’m being asked to do bigger projects and I’ve been to Birmingham before. I asked people not to contact me until August.

Scott continued, “Now I’m being asked to do bigger projects and I’ve been as far as Birmingham. I asked people not to contact me until August. “

Scott keeps each of his paintings on the windows at home for a month before scratching them off and starting again, saying that his work has now inspired his daughters.

And for Halloween 2020 they each created a ghost scene on the living room window.

Melissa said, “I find what Scott does fascinating and sometimes I would sit there for hours and watch. It was like our downtime at the start of the pandemic.

“I like to have ideas and he just breaks them.

“Now I can think of a good one, but I won’t tell you yet!”

Melissa continued, “When his pictures are on the windows, the neighbors have a lot of fun too.

“And when Caroline Flack’s mom called out of the blue after seeing her picture online, we were very proud.

“I like the spray, but I like the windows with the false snow more.

“And judging by the avalanche of orders, his orders should continue to be snowball-like.”


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