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EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW BY EDINBURGH EVENING NEWS

The man who designed SpongeBob SquarePants is opening a new show in the Capital exhibiting his paintings of glamorous Hollywood nightlife.

Todd White, who was also the official artist of this year's GRAMMY Awards, will stage his first Scottish exhibition in Edinburgh.​

His iconic pictures of musicians and movie stars have won over a crowd of celebrity fans, including Sharon Stone and Michael Douglas, and he has been dubbed "America's coolest artist."

Original paintings by White are currently being snapped up by investors, with some rising value by around 3000 percent over three years and now selling for more than GBP 75,000. Prints of his work are already among the best-selling in Britain.

The Hollywood resident will be speaking about his work at the opening of the two-week exhibition on April 6, as part of a 12-date UK tour. One visitor will also win a unique chance to have their caricature sketched by White.

He said; "I've never been to Edinburgh before and I'm very excited about it."

"My work is inspired by people I see around me. I take a sketchbook wherever i go, and I might see someone in a cafe and draw them. I want people to be able to relate to my work and see a bit of themselves in it. It's more important for me to draw a scene and an expression than be anatomically correct. I got into animation and that taught me a lot about drawing. I worked on SpongeBob for four years, and I still feel the character's mine. I miss the camaraderie of being around other artists."

White was working as a tennis instructor when his work was spotted by animation bosses at Warner Bros. He worked on Tiny Toon Adventures, before becoming lead designer on SpongeBob SquarePants in 1996.

White was working as a tennis instructor when his work was spotted by animation bosses at Warner Bros. He worked on Tiny Toon Adventures, before becoming lead designer on SpongeBob

However, White quit the show and decided to pursue his passion for fine art. He set out to capture both the glamour and the seedier side of Hollywood nightlife.

Exhibition organiser George Rendall said today : "His prints are probably our best-selling ones. I think part of his appeal is that people can see themselves and their friends in his characters. They have all got that cheeky look to them!"