Metro hasn’t simply made artist Bob Timmer’s commute more informative; it has also given Timmer a daily canvas for his unique take on the word “Metro.” A member of the Netherlands-based graffiti crew Team Dead Fly, Timmer, 35, has earned the nickname “Mr. Metro” because of his colorful, stylized drawings of the Metro logo, done every day to pass the time on his hourlong train commute to work.
“I always grab a Metro, and [one day], I looked at the front page at the Metro logo and thought, ‘Let’s pimp the logo!’” Timmer explained. “The next day I was like, ‘Let’s do it again.’ And the day after again, and the day after … but each time it went better, and the pieces became bigger.”
Timmer admitted to taking two Metros from the newsstand every day: “one to draw on and one I leave in the break room at work. That one I use for the before and after pictures,” he said, referring to the many Metro graffiti-style pictures posted on his @82timerbomb Instagram account.
Timmer, who works for a fruit company, said that his fellow train-riding commuters have come to recognize his artistic endeavor, and they watch him work.
“Some say something about it; others just watch, and when I look at them, they quickly look away,” Timmer observed. “Some people sit right next to me, seeing me draw, and then they accidentally hit me with their arm because they are busy with whatever. … But it’s all good – all part of the game.”
Timmer, who has never had any professional training in drawing, received some much appreciated New York editions of Metro from a travelling colleague who brought them back from the U.S., a country that Timmer has yet to visit but that provides ample inspiration for the artist.
“I’m still a big ’90s hip-hop fan. If you get into my car, you still will hear ‘Ms. Fat Booty’ by Mos Def, ‘Renee’ by Lost Boyz and ‘Shook Ones’ by Mobb Deep,” Timmer revealed, adding that he has now drawn on approximately 125 Metro papers.
“Every day, it’s a freestyle, really,” Timmer said. “Usually, I don’t have a plan before I’ve seen the front page.”
Timmer’s fixation with Metro does not extend to any other newspapers, as he admitted that only Metro gets his artistic attention.
“Why? Because I’m a loyal guy,” he joked. “So actually, I go with the flow and the end product kinda happens along the way, while drawing.”
Follow Bob Timmer on Instagram @82timerbomb.