xoxomagazine

We talk Australian industry with Makatron (part one)

Allow me a moment to introduce myself... Mike Makatron


Ø  
What is your artistic discipline?

Majority of my time is spent painting walls,  but I also spend time on canvases, illustration, installations and some sculptural projects.


Ø  What was your first job?
I was a newspaper delivery boy when I was about 10, I ended up basically doing this job as a bike messenger  from 17 years old for about 10 years in 10 cities,  while studying and traveling and doing various other jobs.



Ø  What gets you fired up?
New experiences, music that brings on emotions, art that I would find hard to do, sex with someone special, travel to interesting places and great food.


 


Ø  What’s the hardest lesson you’ve learned?
early communication is key to avoiding problems.



Ø  When have you been most satisfied in your career?
I dont think that has happened yet, but I guess at some point the main goal at the time was achieved many years of being sustainable, but the best part of my art career is that there is always the next challenge and I'm always learning.



Ø  What are your thoughts on the Australian Industry?
I grew up in Adelaide, and I think most people who are hungry or wish to strive to be top in their field have to leave Adelaide to grow, which I think relates to Australia as a whole, but we are also very lucky to live in this developed beautiful country.

 

Father Superior creative director Jodee Knowles...part two


Ø  What are your thoughts on the Australian art Industry?
I don’t think about it, I hope it’s going well. 


Ø  Have you ever worked overseas or thought about it? Where would you go and why?
Yes I have, it’s great, Australia is home to me but I do love Los Angeles


Ø  How do you measure success?
When one feels safe
 



Ø  What’s one responsibility you really wish you didn’t have?
Being responsible for my responsibilities


Ø  What gives your art meaning?
The viewer. My art only has meaning when viewed by the anonymous public

 


Missed the first part of our interview with Jodee? Read it >> here <<

Taking risk's with J2ske... (Q&A part two)

Read part one of our interview with J2ske here


What risks are worth taking?

HAHAHA I probably am the worst artist to ask this question, because I have never really stuck to any type of formula, or “look” in my work. I mean, you can tell I made it, but there’s nothing really there that ties each work to the next, except maybe some recurring compositional devices. I make all my work thematically and I base it on the imagery which tells the story, so it’s hard to really stylise that without detracting from each images own merit. In that sense I take the risk of my work being attributed to other artists who make similar stuff…that happens a lot, both ways actually.

From an actual risk perspective, well I’ve been known to dabble in some nocturnal outdoor typography on the odd occasion, not so much these days but in my youth I did a bit of that sort of business. I think that is a very important part of the development of any Street/Graffiti artists work. Learning speed, the ability to overcome situational problems, having to change your idea and adjust on the fly due to paint problems, scaling up an image….all that is a huge part in the development of the skillset required to make this type of work with any real style and resolve.


If you could make one rule that everyone had to follow, what rule would you make?
Not one for rules. Fuck em
 


Where is your happy place?
The coast. Love me some good coastline


What’s the first career you dreamed of having as a kid?
I wanted to be an Ichthyologist actually, since I saw jaws when I was a kid. I even went to Uni to do the course. It didn’t really pan out. hahaha


When people come to you for help, what do they usually want help with?
Moving house haha, nah, I have a fairly broad range of “clients”, for want of a better term. I have businesses that want to install a mural, or get a shop fit, or a logo. I have peers who want to discuss materials, or work or ideas. Dudes always wanting to borrow tools and shit hahah.
Yeah Not sure really, that’s a situational one.

Missed part one of our interview with J2ske? Catch up  >>Here<<

Alexandra Lederman about her biggest teacher's and lessons in art (part one)

Allow me a moment to introduce you to... Alexandra Lederman


What is your artistic discipline?

I specialize in painting and use a variety of media such as acrylic, oil, watercolour and inks. I’d like to think that my dad jokes are pretty creative too…


What’s the first career you dreamed of having as a kid?
I can’t remember which came first… sushi chef, professional soccer player, or the 6th Spice Girl.


Who, or what, was your biggest teacher?
Probably my mum, who showed me that it was possible to establish a career that combined both creativity and therapeutic support.


What is next? Where are you heading with your work?
That’s an exciting and scary question. After my most recent exhibition in Melbourne, I am ready to try a new direction with my art making. At the moment I am collecting and storing ideas and images that inspire me, and I hope to get creating again soon.
 


Knowing what you know now, what advice would you give yourself when you started in the arts?
Two things. Firstly, create for yourself and if people like what you do, that is an added bonus. Also, If you have moments where you don’t feel like physically creating, it doesn’t mean that you aren’t soaking in your surroundings and building up inspiration for new work. I feel that once you find that you get enjoyment and satisfaction through creativity, it will always find its way back into your life.

What gives David Kurzydlo's art meaning? ...part two

Read part one of our interview with David- HERE

Ø  
What are you addicted to?
Ink Master. I know it’s ridiculous. I have no tattoos. Don’t want any. The show sux. But if it’s on I'll watch it. Don’t judge me
 

Ø  What gives your art meaning?
My art is very personal and is a pouring out of emotion. I think the audience is able to connect with these emotions as we all feel, hurt, love, hate etc and this is the reason I make art. My work is honest and from the heart. I try to be original in a world saturated with imagery. I think about my work for a long time before I start making it. Thinking about the work takes way more time than actually putting marks on a surface. I take a lot of care with the things that I make
 

Ø  Knowing what you know now, what advice would you give yourself when you started in the arts?
Networking is as important as actually making the work. Go to as many events as you can. Expand your audience with social media. It’s not enough to just produce. People need to see it, and as many people as possible before someone with more exposure starts ripping on you’re shit lol. I don’t attend half the events I should and have to force myself to use social media. It has probably hurt my career but whatevs. I’m still emerging. I have time right?
 

Ø  Have you ever worked overseas or thought about it? Where would you go and why?
I lived and worked in Berlin for a while. In Berlin you can do whatever you want. It kinda restored my faith in humanity. I had shows in LA and NYC at the end of 2016. That was fun. I have Italian heritage and feel at home in Italy so I’d love to live and work there for a while. Lets face it I want to go anywhere I haven’t been before
 

Ø  What things do you not like to do in your art?
Dealing with framers. I do a lot of work on paper, so dealing with framers is a must. If you find a good framer stick with them. I have a couple of excellent framers I deal with but it took a lot of trial and error to find them, and still they occasionally do my head in with the work they present. I’m always on the lookout for the perfect framer. I also dislike shipping work around. Like artists don’t already have enough costs to deal with and things to stress about !

Q&A with Western Australian painter Wayne Herring .....part two

Read part one of our interivew with Wayne HERE and details to connect HERE
Ø  Where is your happy place?

Definitely the beach. I love water. I love the reflections on the sea bed and the colours. I’m also happy with a good book and a coffee, or a coffee and great company. I could sit for hours on a secluded beach just taking in the world around and pondering. I love to ponder, don’t you?
 

Ø  What are you addicted to?
See above. Coffee, coffee coffee.
 

Ø  What gives your art meaning?
Surprisingly, emotion. There is so much emotion that goes into my paintings. Under all my acrylic pieces is a painted work or poem about something I’ve encountered or felt. Appreciation also gives my art meaning. Knowing that someone else can see and appreciate my creations just gives me a warm fuzzy. You know the type.....

 


Ø  What is a dream you have that you’ve yet to achieve?
Well I’m about to realise one of my dreams of owning a villa in a tropical climate. Somewhere to ponder, relax and eventually retire. One of my biggest dreams is to find someone to love and cherish. Someone to be my best friend and partner. Someone to laugh and cry with and someone to help me sit and ponder. On that beach or in that villa. Someone to complete me and share life with....... gosh I’m such a romantic at heart.


Ø  If you loved everything about your job, and were being paid well for it, what kind of offer would make you consider changing careers?
Well this is true. I have had a lot of jobs in different fields over the years. My current job as an onboard manager for Qantas is the longest stint I’ve had in any job. I just love it. I love meeting such diverse characters and working with some of the most caring people in the world. However, if you offered me a job to paint all day, create set design and create memories and to blog about them, all whilst sitting on that tropical beach or in the villa I wouldn’t say no.  

Reintroduction to David Kurzydlo ...part one

Allow me a moment to introduce myself.
My name is.... David Kurzydlo
Ø  What is your artistic discipline? Painting and drawing. I trained in natural history illustration and oil painting

Ø  What was your first job?
Picking blueberries in Corrindi

Ø  What gets you fired up?
Watching the place where I live become overrun by rules and regulations. I lived in an artist’s co operative for a period of time and on the fridge door was a sticker which read ‘Australian rules, there’s a new one every day. This is kind of how I feel. There are  so many aspects of the modern world which get me fired up but I’ll stop my rant here. I’m trying to be a more positive person lol

Ø  If you loved everything about your job, and were being paid well for it, what kind of offer would make you consider changing careers?
Perhaps if the location of the new job was more interesting than where I was presently working


Ø  What risks are worth taking?
Risks for love. Risks for happiness. Risks for innovation. Risks for life. All worth taking
 

Ø  Where is your happy place?
Working in the studio with no phone and no distractions and no time limits on how long I can stay there.

Wayne Herring ...part one

Allow me a moment to introduce myself...
My name is:
Wayne Herring
What is your artistic discipline? There are a few. Ive always been creative and studied design at university with an honours degree in set design for theatre. I’m a self taught artist and tend to stick to acrylic and watercolour though pastels and oils also feature. I’m fairly new to watercolours and love the fluidity of it. Switching between acrylic and watercolour has its challenges as they both require very different application techniques.  
 

Ø  What was your first job?
My very first job was a newspaper round but then moved to working in a bakery at the early hours of the morning to pay my way through university. I’m definitely not an early morning person!
 

Ø  What are some of your technical/artistic/personal “rules” that you never break?
Honesty and integrity have always remained my personal values. When it comes to my art, Ive always been of the opinion that one must create work for fun, learning and expression and not for the dollar value. It gives me some sense of happiness whenever I gift or sell a painting knowing that a part of me has a good home and is appreciated for what it is.

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Ø  What are some things you’ve had to unlearn?
Wow. Lots. Ive really had to learn how to let go of things. That’s quite a challenge when someone such as me becomes attached to ideas, ideals, art and people. Learning to let go of who I thought I was, society’s ideals and people’s expectations. I’m my art Ive had to unlearn perfection and perceived perfection. Learning to stop adding when you thinks it’s done.
 

Ø  What is next? Where are you heading with your work? 
I’m just starting... what is next? Well I think I’d love to explore more. Explore more self expression. I’m just learning that I do have a style and that I need to let people appreciate it. For years I always thought that I wasn’t good enough to sell and always had in my mind that “I will never be as good as them”. In actuality I’m heading in a direction of creating and refining my brand. I’m currently developing a Kimberley series in the north west of Western Australia.  
 

Ø  What things do you think should be done the old-fashioned way
Manners. One should always be polite and have manners. Oh and phone calls. These days people rely too much upon sms and email and the like and it’s very hard to get someone’s intentions this way. I love a good chat on the phone or over coffee. Emotions and intentions are so easily read this way and communication is all about body language and tone. The other thing that should be done the old fashioned way is dating. No one seems to date properly anymore, I dunno, call me old fashioned and a romantic if ya like.

Apeseven on living and painting by his rules ....Q&A part two

Read Part one of Apeseven's interview HERE

Ø  Where do the majority of your paid jobs come?

Murals

Ø  Who is your role model, and why?
Mohammed Ali, stand by your principals no matter the cost.

Ø  Who has impressed you most with what they’ve accomplished?
My parents

Ø  What risks are worth taking?
Being LVL 12 in Elder Scrolls and seigeing a castle by myself.

Ø  If you loved everything about your job, and were being paid well for it, what kind of offer would make you consider changing careers?
All offers would be considered/listened to by none taken.

Ø  What gets you fired up?
The death of street art

Ø  Have you ever worked overseas or thought about it? Where would you go and why?
Yes. USA, because every person there is not trying to shut you down. they see you working hard to instigate change and fully support it.

Ø  How do you measure success?
Getting to paint whatever I want without some capitalist entrepreneur telling me what to paint.

Ø  If we're sitting here a year from now celebrating what a great year it's been for you, what did you achieve?
Painting as much as possible living by my rules for as much of the year as possible.

Ø  What is a dream you have that you’ve yet to achieve?
When you live the way you want you no longer dream of what might be.

Ø  What gives your art meaning?
"ME"

Ø  What are you addicted to?
Muesli/oats

More Q&A with W.A artist Chloe Wilder ....part two

Ø  Where do the majority of your paid jobs come?

Mostly from word of mouth or from social media, being that i live in a rural town word of mouth is more common. I'm fortunate to have lots of lovely friends and clients that are willing to spread the love even more thickly than I spread peanut butter, which is despicably thick.
 

Ø  Who is your role model, and why?

As high profile role models go probably Baddie Winkle ....you have to look her up to understand just how few fucks she gives. Unapologetically herself. Badass. But in that same breath, anyone who has found in themselves the freedom to be comfortable and happy in being themselves through and through confidently, all of those people are my role models. Its not an easy thing to do. We are all pigeon-holed in one way or another and its so inspiring to see people letting all that shit go. I strive to be like those people.
 

 

Ø  What are some of your technical/artistic/personal “rules” that you never break?

I always like to know how to do something technically before I break it otherwise what is the point, for example I like to be able to paint a face realistically before I do some strange abstraction to it so that the product is a forceful departure from the normal rather than simply a happy accident, it forces me to think critically about what I am really trying to say. I also have this thing about never using black, I feel like there are more creative ways to show the shadowy side of life, it also is a little mantra just for myself about not taking things to a dark place, I have spent too much time there already, there is nothing you can’t say with colour…. Except maybe “this is what the colour black looks like”

Ø  What is next? Where are you heading with your work?

I am at a bit of a cross roads as I recently finished a series I’ve been working on for a number of years on female strength and sharing. I want to do another soon with a deeper message but I’m not sure where I will begin, it’s still percolating. For now I am enjoying not having a specific area to explore and I’m just practicing, doing smaller form and tone and depth studies and having fun being a little looser.

Ø  What are you addicted to?

Peeling dry paint off my palette and touching the smooth underside. I don’t know why I just admitted to that.

Sydney muralist Apeseven answered some questions for us ...part one

Allow me a moment to introduce myself.... 
My name is: Apeseven
What is your artistic discipline? Painter and installation artist

Ø  What was your first job?
Dish pig at a Butchers shop

Ø  What’s the first career you dreamed of having as a kid?
Architect

Ø  Who, or what, was your biggest teacher?
Skateboarding was my biggest teacher it taught me that no matter how many times I got fucked up and destroyed that I should get up not whinge, persevere and play the best hand dealt to me.

Ø  What are some of your technical/artistic/personal “rules” that you never break?
Never put acrylic over oil paint.

Ø  What are some things you’ve had to unlearn?
Love after every interation of it.

Ø  What things do you not like to do in your art?
Dolphins and rainbows.

Ø  What is next?
My  Solo exhibition in November “LAZARUS RISING”

 

Where are you heading with your work?
My work has gone down a more ephemeral, esoteric tapestry of old world occult imagery heavily laden with symbolism.

Ø  When people come to you for help, what do they usually want help with?
Grabbing something from a high up.

Ø  If you could make one rule that everyone had to follow, what rule would you make?
Keep to the fucking left.

Ø  What things do you think should be done the old-fashioned way?
Everything

Ø  Where is your happy place?
Studio, just finishing a painting.

Ø  What kind of art do you enjoy most?
I enjoy laughing at home renovation “art” .

Q&A with Chloe Wilder ... part one

Allow me a moment to introduce myself...
My name is:
Chloe Wilder
What is your artistic discipline? Oil painting and avoiding getting up in the morning, I’m very artful in that respect
 

Ø  What gets you fired up?
I get fired up in an angry way every time I read an article that entails feminine repression of any kind of which my male partner lovingly bears the brunt of my inequality rage despite the fact that he himself is a raging feminist. And I get fired up in an arty way every time I go to Melbourne and see all the works of beautiful friends and colleagues and how they have developed and progressed and particularly fired up after storing lots of energy from the cheap dumplings I eat exclusively whilst there like a bear preparing for a cold hard winter. 
 

Ø  When have you been most satisfied in your career?
Right now. As soon as I stopped trying to do things that I thought people would like, my own style came through and it’s never been as true as it is now, I get to see myself improving with every new work and it's thrilling to be able to surprise myself and be expressive without concern. 
 

Ø  What is the most significant project or accomplishment that you’ve achieved in your career?
Simply getting to this point. It’s such a hard thing to be motivated to create every day that each day feels like an achievement. Ooo and working recently with the lovely Jack Francheschini @jackfran not only did he invite me to be part of an exhibition but he taught me a lot about painting on the street and it was a joy to work with such a wonderful artist and human.  

 

 

Ø  How do you measure success?
By the amount of happiness I glean not only from work itself but from how well it lends joy to all of the other parts of my life, and my family's, life.

Ø  What kind of art do you enjoy most?
I enjoy works with a strong feminine message but I also like art that can shock or accurately reflect a pointed topic, I often find myself drawn to political art or psychedelic vintage band posters. Which sounds weird, I don’t even think most people would consider that a form of art but they can be so beautiful. In a gallery however most of the time works with beautiful colour fields can make me feel all the feels.

Hayden Dewar. (part two)

Ø  Where do the majority of your paid jobs come?

It was storyboard art but at the moment it's mural commissions and I also teach in the design department at Holmesglen Tafe


Ø  If you loved everything about your job, and were being paid well for it, what kind of offer would make you consider changing careers?

It's really hard to see a creative career change because I'm really trying to develop a personal aesthetic and artistic vision that I would love to have the opportunity to apply to a range of platforms: Murals, books, film/animation, concept art for film. But in terms of changing from being a visual creative to another creative field I think if someone gave me complete creative freedom and a bunch of money to either write a book or write and direct a film I would take it, but not if it meant I could never go back to drawing. I can't really think of a non creative career change that I would be happy in, I love cooking but doing that for a living seems too stressful. I love making salsa, so maybe if someone offered me a lot of money to develop my own range of salsas I'd do it!


Ø  When have you been most satisfied in your career?

I can't pin-point a particular job or moment but over the past two years I've gotten mural commissions with creative freedom. These have lead to other commissions where clients ask for the kind of imagery that I love to create. I heard someone say on the Bench Talk podcast that it's really important to always create the kind of work you want to be hired for, and while I've only really done this consistently in the past few years, it's really paid off and resulted in a lot of creative satisfaction.

 

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Ø  What are your thoughts on the Australian Industry?

I haven't worked overseas and don't have a good comparison to make between Australia and elsewhere. But I think in terms of opportunities on offer it's smaller than other major economies (America, U.K., Europe), then again I don't know the numbers on how this evens out per capita. Still I think it's small enough here for talented motivated people to make a real mark and big enough for a large amount of the population to pursue a creative career path. There is a lot of government funding for murals at the moment and also a lot of public acceptance of the art-form that results in private commissions. This probably has an expiry date but it's great at the moment. In terms of the decline of illustration and graphics in print media it seems like there still isn't a clear equivalent way of how to monetise that in the digital world. As a parent I see first hand every night how many quality Australian illustrated picture books there are out there so it's good to see that there is a visual genre of the print medium that is still healthy (even if there isn't much money in it!). In terms of other areas, as a teacher I know that in Australia there are roughly 50% more design graduates than what the industry can absorb. I think the design industry is very healthy and has a lot of jobs but the amount of design courses offered by institutions trying get as many tuition dollars as possible is a bit questionable.


Ø  What are you addicted to?

I quit cigarettes almost ten years ago and I don't even drink much these days. I think I've replaced those two things with Podcasts and Coffee! Love a good podcast (The best show, How did this get made, Hollywood Handbook, Crimetown, Invisibilia, WTF and Bench Talk are recent bingeworthy faves). But lately I think my stomach is telling me it's time to switch from Coffee to Tea!

Hayden Dewar (part one)

Allow me a moment to introduce myself…
My name is: Hayden Dewar
What is your artistic discipline? Muralist/Illustrator/Visual artist
 

Ø  What was your first job?

My first creative paid job of any significance was a large commemorative mural for Dimmeys Stores 150th anniversary. It’s a 50 meter long mural filled with iconic Australian people, places and events. I got the job by luck while canvassing my neighbourhood for walls. I happened to ask about this very large wall on the side of the old Dimmeys building in Richmond. I was speaking to the store manager in his office who seemed to have no interest in what I was proposing but he stopped to take a phone call from a colleague at the head office and told him in passing he had an artist in his office wanting to paint the side-wall. The guy on the other end of the phone happened to be looking for someone to paint a large mural in commemoration of Dimmey’s upcoming 150th anniversary - I got the gig but quickly discovered I’d bitten off more than I could chew. The job took about ten times longer than predicted and I pretty much had to teach myself how to paint portraits with a brush on the job!
 

Ø  Who, or what, was your biggest teacher?

A combination of things. I learnt a massive amount from doing graffiti - just painting things large and quickly and also learning how to give things a 3-dimensional form whether letters or characters. I think people who do graffiti have an innate grasp of perspective just from years of giving their letters 3D form. I also learnt a massive amount from copying comic books as a kid, it taught me a lot about depicting the figure and illustrating environments. In terms of actual teachers who have really helped me there have been a handful of people throughout my life who have simply demonstrated a belief in me and that has made me listen closely to what they have to say. For me that approach has made me value what they have to offer and put it into practice. One of these was a primary school teacher (shout out to Mrs Bereen) who just unconditionally encouraged creativity in general. She wasn’t even an art-teacher but her approach really ignited a some self belief in terms of pursuing art. Another great teacher was urban landscape painter Tony Irving I met him while painting the Dimmeys mural and he really encouraged me in a time where I wasn’t feeling so great about my creative future. A few visits to his studio and just a handful of tips and advice from him taught me a lot and meant the world to me at the time. Lastly Film director Alan Nguyen who was a teacher I had whilst doing my Bachelor of Illustration commissioned me to do some concept art on a few film projects. His faith in me as a student was a great confidence boost. He really helped to broaden my outlook on possible creatively fulfilling avenues and showed me that the collaborative process can be really energising and fun.

 

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Ø  What are some of your technical/artistic/personal “rules” that you never break?

I wouldn’t say I have strict rules that I never break and I’m always leaving a little bit of flexibility in my process, but there’s a few things I need to do to be efficient and happy with my work: No music or podcasts while doing written work (emails, proposals, teaching docs etc) or while forming concepts, I just can’t concentrate and work well with the extra noise. After all the groundwork is laid the headphones go on though! In terms of process I always build form the ground up from small thumbnail sketches to finished work. I work in layers of rendering until a mural or painting is finished and I don’t do much off the cuff - I usually follow a design pretty faithfully making only a few small changes when I really feel confident in a better direction. When forming a concept I try really hard not to look at other people’s work so that the concept is as original as possible. Sometimes if the idea I have seems too obvious to have not been done before I will google it and check!

Ø  What things do you not like to do in your art?

Too many to mention! But it’s always frustrating when you get a brief that either conflicts with your personal taste or is so prescribed that there is no room for personal creativity. On the other hand it’s always satisfying when you can find a way to sneakily make such briefs creatively satisfying - sometimes you can do that by showing a sketched concept that a client hadn’t thought of but is too strong an idea for them to ignore. I really don’t like doing stuff that is overly sentimental, which is funny because there are elements of that in my work but I like to balance that with dark slightly creepy elements. I think certain clients see the more sentimental elements of my work and just want that, so it’s hard to sell them on my overall personal aesthetic of sentimental, colourful, weird, dark and creepy!


Ø  Where is your happy place?

Hard to narrow down but here’s three contenders..  1: Movie and homemade pizza night with my kids and partner 2: The final few minutes of finishing a creative undertaking 3: Playing table tennis