Tell us a little bit about yourself. How did you become an artist? What path did you take to get here? Did you complete any study?
I have been doodling and drawing for as long as I can remember. It always came quite naturally, and I just found it really relaxing. Like a lot of other kids, my school books were covered with more scribbles than anything else. In junior school, these scribbles were mostly of skate and surf brand logos. They then slowly progressed in complexity as the high school years rolled in. After school, I still didn’t really think (or know) I might be able to pursue this hobby as a career. I owe a huge thanks to my mum, who enrolled me in a graphic art college on the Gold Coast, and it is there that I obtained my diploma. Upon graduating, I went straight into the design industry as a graphic designer/artist.
How long have you been an artist? Where have you worked previously?
I have been working as a graphic artist full-time for almost 11 years. So far it has been a really exciting and rewarding career path, and it has taken me all around the world. I have worked for a lot of surf/skate companies, such as Ripcurl, Volcom, Billabong and Element. I have also had the privilege of working with a few higher fashion brands and retailers, like Vivienne Tam, Roccobarocco, Next UK, and Marks & Spencer.
How would you describe your style?
My work is often symmetrical and features bold over saturated neon colours with bold line work that is visible from afar. Intricate line work is a major constituent of my pieces, and it often produces a different story up close. I use all types of media, but often prefer to just use basic tools such as sharpie pens and highlighters. My art aims to keep the classic art from the skate surf culture alive. I attempt to capture the essence of those eras, whilst making it relevant for today. I maintain a personalised, modern aesthetic, as I nod to the past.
Where do you find inspiration?
The inspiration for my work comes predominantly from all the amazing skate and surf art I grew up with as a kid. One of my fondest memories as a child was walking into the skate shop to buy my very first skateboard, and just being blown away by the choices in design for the deck itself. Just the vast raw detail and vibrantly colourful art on the boards, coupled with the “in your face” spirit that they possessed really captivated me. I think I spent close to an hour admiring them, before even beginning to decide on one. My dad used to buy me a lot of Mad magazines as a kid too, so I spent a lot of hours studying them. The art in them contained a lot of great parody and satire for social commentary. They made me realise that art could be more than just a drawing. It could really contain a message, or tell a story! I learnt that art can capture a mood or tone, and it doesn’t always have to have serious undertones like the fine art world might suggest.
Who are some of your favourite artists?
I take my hat off to the some of the great artists of the early skate era, such as VCJ (Vernon Courtlandt) and Jim Phillips. More recent artists to emerge that I admire include Brian Romero, Chris Yee, Mander, and The Bicicleta Sem Freio Duo, who are also doing amazing stuff!