Artist's first class skills with stamps
A FORMER Bristol schoolboy, who also plays saxophone with the stars, has been chosen to design stamps for the Royal Mail to commemorate the Football Association's 150th anniversary.
Andrew Kinsman, who attended St Bernard Lovell School in Oldland Common was selected ahead of several other talented London artists to create the unique stamp collection by using existing photography.
All 11 players featured have been inducted into the National Football Museum's Hall of Fame.
They are England's Gordon Banks, Bobby Moore, Bryan Robson, Kevin Keegan, John Barnes, Sir Bobby Charlton and Jimmy Greaves, Wales' John Charles, Northern Ireland's George Best and Scotland's Dave Mackay and Denis Law.
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Originally from Oldland Common Mr Kinsman, 42, moved to London after school to pursue his dream as a self-taught artist and musician.
At first he had to work in a factory to supplement his music and knocked art on the head to focus on just one of his talents.
Eventually he saved enough money, allowing him to stop work at the factory, and was playing as many music venues as possible, gracing stages and recording studios in Cyprus, Italy, and the UK.
His talent for music saw him recording with musicians including Noel Gallagher, Gruff Rhys from Super Furry Animals and Nadine Coyle of Girls Aloud.
Mr Kinsman, who can also play the clarinet, flute and piano, has also played with The Levellers, The Specials, and Kasabian.
The move eventually proved so successful that he was able to focus on his artwork again and now he has painted commissions for celebrities and royalty.
His work has become increasingly popular and he has been awarded numerous prizes for his artwork, including the Holburne Portrait Prize 2006 and 2010, BP Portrait Prize 2008, and the RWA Academy Painting Exhibition 2009 and 2010.
But Mr Kinsman, who moves back to Bristol later this month, says the Royal Mail commission is still one of his proudest achievements.
"It is certainly an honour," he told The Post. "There is no better way of getting your paintings out there than having them on a stamp.
"I have been interested in art since I could hold a pencil and am completely self taught – I think that's the best way to be honest.
"I also wasn't very good at being taught so while I was starting out I would work in factories to supplement my income."
Explaining his Royal Mail commission, he said: "We all had to do a test painting of Bobby Moore and I was delighted when I heard I had been chosen to do the job. They then decided they wanted all the players to look like they were in one squad.
"It was a very challenging project and I had to use a lot of imagination. It took me about five months.
"The painting is in oil paints on canvas that was about 9ft by 6ft. Those who buy the collectors editions well have al the stamps and can see the squad version as well.
"I am now looking forward to coming back to Bristol. I love the city and I look forward being close to my family again."
The stamp collection is due to come out in May.