SMUG has created popular murals such as Saint Mungo, Fellow Glasgow Residents, St Enoch and Child, The Swimmer, and Honey … I Shrunk The Kids.

The Australian-born artist – real name Sam Bates – is originally from Nowra in New South Wales. He has lived in Scotland for 16 years.

Do you have a favourite among the murals you have painted?

I don't really like to pick a favourite. Usually it's the most recent thing I've painted. But the one on High Street [showing St Mungo and the Bird that Never Flew] is generally the public's favourite.

How do the ideas for your art come about?

Normally, I have a rough idea about positioning or the angle I want the character to be in, but I like to keep the process as organic as possible and take cues from the model I work with and the people around us to come up with something that has a little bit of them in it. I try to capture something of the person I'm painting, whether that be an expression, an emotion or just an overall vibe.

How long does each one take to produce?

It depends on the scale and the subject matter, but it generally takes up to a week for a gable end.

What materials do you use?

I use spray paint and occasionally masonry paint.

READ MORE: Artist James Klinge on painting Glasgow's latest street art mural

How did you first fall in love with graffiti and contemporary street art?

I first found graffiti as a teenager through skating and hip hop. I loved the rebellious nature of it and the speed in which everything was created; it kind of becomes an addiction. It was years later when I started painting things that people actually enjoyed looking at, but I fell in love with the urgency of graffiti and the absolute need to paint every day.

What was your first project?

My first serious commission was in the Merchant City on wooden boards around the empty block on Candleriggs and Wilson Street. I painted a collection of characters and monuments in Glasgow with an arts theme, such as music, dance, theatre and visual arts. It was during this project when I decided to paint murals full-time.

What would be your dream space to create an artwork?

A multi-storey, smooth-rendered concrete wall in a picturesque location.

READ MORE: Artist James Klinge on painting Glasgow's latest street art mural

What are you working on?

I'm currently in Nullawil, a rural town in Victoria, Australia, trying to complete a mural on a 28-metre tall grain silo. Unfortunately, it seems the drought always breaks the moment I start working in these places so it's proving to be a long process. Then for the rest of summer I have projects in Boston, Paris, Berlin, Colorado, Rotterdam and Helsinki.