The man behind several eye-catching artworks across Wirral says he wants to make New Ferry the 'mural capital of Merseyside' after picking up his first ever award.

Paul Curtis has been declared Liverpool City Region Artist of the Year by the LCR Culture & Creativity Awards 2020, following a prolific 12 months that captured the Wirral public's imagination.

The creator of now infamous Oxton mural and HMS Birkenhead masterpiece in Woodside accepted the award from actress Eithne Brown in a virtual ceremony on Friday evening.

Speaking exclusively to the Globe, Paul said: "It's brilliant. It's one thing that I've had missing. I lot of the public like my art but I've never really been recognised in an awards sense.

"To get that kind of recognition really means a lot to me especially with it being the first time. To be given the award for the whole Merseyside region, that's a big thing for me.

"I started of with a few streets in Liverpool and it's just expanded, especially over into the Wirral.

"Hopefully it's just the start of a lot more. I've just got to keep going."

Wirral Globe: Paul Curtis' incredible new mural on the side of a vets in New Ferry. Photo: Richard GarnettPaul Curtis' incredible new mural on the side of a vets in New Ferry. Photo: Richard Garnett

Paul was nominated by members of the public for the award back in November before making it onto a shortlist of three. He was also shortlisted for Borough of Culture 'Star of the year', but although he didn't win that award, he was more than happy to walk away with what he called 'the big one'.

Perhaps all the more remarkable is that the Liverpool-based creative, who has also spent time in Scotland and London - only started to toy with the idea of becoming an artist two years after he was made redundant in 2014.

His profile rose significantly last year when a row broke out about his Tranmere Rovers mural in Oxton Village, but Paul conceded that the noise around it had probably done him a favour in the long run.

He said: "It might not be a popular thing to say but actually the stuff that happened with the Oxton mural - bad press if you want to call it that - actually got me a lot of work in the end.

"Like they say, any publicity is good publicity. But the one that followed that was the HMS Birkenhead, which is really popular here.

"After all that commotion with Oxton it was great to follow it up with something that was universally liked."

Far from standing back admiring his own success, Paul has began work on the second phase to his ongoing project in New Ferry - known as 'dancing with colours' - something he is particularly proud of.

Work is already complete on a new mural of the side of a local vets which features two dogs playing together.

Paul added: "We're doing a series of small ones now but we're hoping to do a couple of big ones at the end, they're going to be the diamonds in the crown.

"I think the aim is to make New Ferry the the mural capital of Merseyside. We'll see what we can do."