1. What’s your story? Where are you from?
My name is Brolga. I’m an artist and illustrator from Australia. In Aus, a brolga is a long-legged water bird and I got the nickname as a kid because I kind of looked like one!
2. Tell us about your aesthetic.
It’s fun and colourful with lots of strange-looking cats.
3. What is your favourite medium and why?
A simple pencil. Digital art is still a little way off eclipsing the feel of pencil on paper.
4. What is your artistic process like?
It’s usually a pencil sketch that I make into digital artwork. From there it can go into a painting, a mural, a toy, or any number of ways.
5. Who and/or what inspires your work?
On a typical day it might be things like… that crushed cardboard that I saw behind the markets, those half-torn concert posters stuck all over the city, that huge Great Dane that lives in my apartment building that would make a good character, that rough and overlooked old shop signage. Whether I like it or not, I’m constantly thinking about stuff like this!
6. What role does art play in your life? How does it change the way you view the world?
It sounds like pretentious nonsense, but I reckon creative people really do view the world a little differently. I saw a study once where there was a picture of a woman in an abstract picture and creative people saw the woman instantly while more left-brain-orientated people took a long time to see her. Walking around in everyday life, I’m seeing abstract things all around me while I think some people are just seeing things for face value, like a tree for a tree. And then being conscious of art and what art is adds a whole other layer to that! Like walking into a bodega and thinking that the whole shop could be an art piece!
7. Where did you study?
When I was straight out of high school, I studied multimedia, but it was lots of coding and my brain just isn’t wired for that! A bunch of years later, I was travelling around the world and finally landed in New York. I tried out some illustration classes and felt like I was in exactly the right place. I went back to New York and studied illustration at Pratt for a few years. At the same time, I started experimenting with street art in Brooklyn and everything just snowballed from there.
8. Where do you see yourself in five years?
Ah, god. I would love to have a Warhol-type factory space somewhere.
9. What about in ten?
Living in a big old mansion somewhere, soaking in a hot tub with my soulmate… Just joking. I’d just like to be healthy and happy, surfing a lot and absorbed in whatever work I’m doing at the time.
10. What do you hope to achieve with your art?
If I can get through one lifetime sustaining myself by making artwork, I would be a very lucky person. That’s all I could ever ask for.
11. Now, tell us a little more about you as a person: what is your favourite food?
I eat lots and lots of bread, so sandwiches are right up there! I’m also Aussie, so a Sunday roast is the ticket.
12. Favourite book?
Trainspotting by Irvine Welsh or The Town and the City by Jack Kerouac.
13. Favourite genre of music?
Indie, folk or house music. My all-time fav band is probably Air.
14. What are your hobbies?
I travel a lot, I’m going to Bhutan next week! I try to go surfing whenever I can. I’ve started gardening a little bit. I love Australian rules football. And I like to paint murals for fun.
15. If you weren’t an artist, what would you be?
Honestly, probably working in the family business and pouring beers for a living.