EVERY driver has seen a dirty van with the words ‘clean me’ written on it, but not many people have seen one transformed into a masterpiece by a modern day Vincent ‘Van’ Gogh.

Harwich and Manningtree Standard:

Talent - James Gibson creates the murals

James Gibson, 43, has been praised by celebrities and social media users for creating artwork, which has gone viral, on the back of vehicles in need of a good clean.

Some of his most recognisable work includes portraits of world heavyweight boxing champion Anthony Joshua, English boxing champion David Haye, grime and hip-hop artist Stormzy, and Tottenham striker Harry Kane.

Harwich and Manningtree Standard:

Creative - Pennywise the clown from the IT movie 

James, said he was touched that David Haye called him to say he saw his portrait on social media and thought it was “incredible”.

Stormzy also saw James’ work on twitter and shared his portrait on his feed for his one million followers to admire.

James, who lives in Barrack Lane, Harwich, discovered his talent for creating murals on the back of vans earlier this year.

The gas and heating engineer said he felt inspired to create murals after he saw a portrait of Ed Sheeran on the back of a van when he was stuck in traffic.

Harwich and Manningtree Standard:

Retweet - Grime artist Stormzy retweeted James' image of him

He said: “I wanted to put as much detail in a picture as possible, and for my first drawing I found a picture of the footballer Harry Kane and created him on the back of a muddy van.

His second mural was of David Haye.

James said: “He actually called me and said he saw the picture online as it went viral and said it was incredible. I was so made up that he called me and touched that he liked it so much. I was not expecting it.”

James then went on to create murals of Anthony Joshua, local boxer Tommy Jacobs, as well as drawings signifying Remembrance Day and Christmas.

Harwich and Manningtree Standard:

Icon - Boxing star David Haye called James to thank him for his mural 

The Remembrance Day mural was even shared on Facebook more than 70,000 times.

James, who has lived in the town for 30 years, said the artwork takes him a couple of hours to complete and he has to make sure that he does not make mistakes as they cannot be rectified. And if it rains midway through a drawing - James said he is “doomed”.

He said he spent about four hours creating a mural of Tommy Jacobs to get his features accurate and said the Remembrance Day piece took the least amount of time to finish.

He said: “I like the fact that my creations are disposable pieces of art and I am not making money out of them.

Harwich and Manningtree Standard:

Festive - A Christmas creation 

“I create them because I want to and if they make a person smile when they are stuck in a traffic jam, then it’s all worth it to me.”

For his next project James said he would like to create a piece to spread awareness for post traumatic stress disorder.

Harwich and Manningtree Standard:

Boxer - Harwich boxer Tommy Jacobs 

He said he would like to draw a soldier holding his head in his hands to convey the psychological impact of conflict as opposed to the physical impact of it.

He said: “When I started the neighbours thought it was mad. But as I went on I have got positive feedback for my work and some of the pictures have gone viral.”

Harwich and Manningtree Standard:

Viral - James' Remembrance Day mural was shared Facebook more than 70,000 times

He has also been asked by some shops around London to create murals on their windows with snow cans this winter which he is thinking about.

James’ work can be seen on the Facebook page JG van art, or on his Twitter account @van_ksy.