Is that a ‘Van’ Gogh?! Artistic delivery driver’s moving homage to Ed Sheeran
They’re commonly inscribed with the words “Clean Me” – but the white van driven by Rick Minns (aka Ruddy Muddy) is more like a mobile work of art.
For the latest of his many inventive portraits, Mr Minns has hand drawn Suffolk’s own Ed Sheeran on the back of his Mercedes Benz Sprinter.
The 42-year-old, who travels the region delivering for a wholesale florist, first recognised a canvas in the dirt for his ‘graffilthy art’ about eight years ago.
“As a driver, I’m required to take breaks, and would often find myself doodling for five minutes,” said the former Wymondham College art student.
“Now I take any opportunity. I sometimes ask the other guys at work if they’ll swap vans.”
Mr Minns, who spends up to an hour of his spare time on each piece, recently used his talent to support the ‘Hands Off’ campaign – launched by Archant newspaper titles in Suffolk and Norfolk, in conjunction with local BBC Radio, to stop motorists using their mobile phones at the wheel.
He also joined the appeal to trace Corrie McKeague by drawing the missing airman’s image on the back of a van, along with contact details for Suffolk Constabulary’s incident room.
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His newest piece is dedicated to former Framlingham schoolboy Ed Sheeran, whose Castle on the Hill single was inspired by his days growing up in the town.
“Work brings me to Suffolk quite a bit,” said the father-of-three, who lives across the border in Long Stratton.
“I enjoy listening to James Hazell on Radio Suffolk, and heard him talking about the video being shot in Framlingham, so I thought it would be a nice thing to do.”
Mr Minns starts drawing with a cocktail stick for finer details, before using a cotton bud or tissue to create bolder lines. His creations have caught the eye of numerous admirers – including some eager to own a Ruddy Muddy original.
“A few people have asked for them – but I don’t think work would be keen on me removing the van doors. A lot of marketing people have asked if I could advertise their product, but I’d much rather be doing it to raise awareness of a cause.
“I’ve only seen a couple of examples of other people doing the same thing online, including someone in Essex whose work was more abstract, and another in America who does something similar with dusty cars.”