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CICADA WHEELS INTERVIEW

The guys at Cicada Wheels, a motorcycle and art website recently got in touch to ask me a few questions about my background in design and to chat about some of my work.

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Fist approach with Art
I grew up on the Gold Coast in Australia, so from a very young age I was always surrounded by surf and skate culture. Going into the shops with my older brother, I was always drawn to the colourful board graphics and the sticker cabinets. So from around the age of 5 I was always drawing surfing stick figures or doodling my favourite skate or surf logos.

Artistic Background
I hated school as a kid and knew early on that university wasn’t an option for me. Luckily my parents let me take a day off school every week so I could work. I was always drawing and playing around with graffiti so at the age of 14 I got an apprenticeship painting surfboard graphics for DHD. They have World Champion surfers such as Mick Fanning and Stephanie Gilmore riding for them so as a young kid it was the dream job.

What got me into graphics and using a computer came a little later on. An older kid down the road had just started a graphics course and was knocking out fake ID’s for everyone at school. I went around to his house photo in hand and he showed me a program called photoshop. Up until that point I had no idea what graphic design or photoshop was. Shortly after finishing high school I did a basic design course that taught me all the programmes etc and I’ve been blagging it ever since.

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Icons in Art
Storm Thorgerson is one of my favourite artists and I was very fortunate to have met him a few times before he passed away. He created some of the most iconic record sleeves for groups such as Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath and a bunch more. Theres so many others…people like Keith Haring, Craig Stecyk, Mark Farrow, Wes Humpston, Ed Roth, SEEN the list could go on….

Icons in Life
Roy Orbison.

Main sources of inspiration for your work
I have a lot of stupidly talented friends so I’m always getting inspired by what they are doing.

Fashion Photographer, London.

A place or maybe a song or a particularly moment during the day ideal to create
I always tend to work best late at night listening to music. I really struggle to be creative before lunch time.

Are you a biker? What do you Ride?
No Im not a biker, but I seem to be around them a lot for someone that doesn’t ride. Im into 50’s kustoms and hotrods…my dad has always been a car guy so I guess thats why I’ve always been into cars.

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What are your main projects concerning Two Wheels?
I’ve just finished designing the graphics for an upcoming chopper show at House of Vans London that Dice magazine and The Great Frog have been putting together. Go Takamine, Max Schaaf and a few others are coming over from the US with their bikes so I’m looking forward to that.

Vintage, the past as a source of inspiration for design, fashion, art in general. What’s your relation with it?
Since I was a young kid I’ve always been fascinated with 50’s, 60’s and 70’s American culture, and have always been collecting old bicycles and clothing or just random crap I probably don’t need. With my design work, I always tend to find myself looking through old Swiss design books or logo books from the 60’s and 70’s for inspiration.

What are you working on? Current projects and collabs
Over the past few months I’ve been putting together the second issue of my fanzine called the Vanzine. Its a small A5 zine that looks at the rare and forgotten design and illustration work that Vans produced during their golden years (1966 – 1996) when it was still being produced in the USA. A good friend of mine (@pillowHeat) has a shop in London filled with nothing but vintage Vans items so the idea came from spending so much time in his shop drooling over all the old graphics. You can follow the project on instagram @thevanzine or buy a copy through my online shop. Shameless plug.

I’ve also been working on new packaging for the guys at Dark Arts Coffee in London, plus some apparel for Adam Brinkworth of Brinkworth Design.

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The Future: projects, artistic dreams
Future, Im thinking of releasing a third and final issue of the Vanzine. Im hoping to have an exhibition/closing party to mark the end of the series with Henry from PillowHeat.

Dreams, I have always wanted to self publish a book and theres a few book ideas that have been in my head for a number of years. Hopefully one day soon I’ll get my shit together and actually make them happen.

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