More recently Austin settled on northern New South Wales’ Byron Bay as the ideal location for a more permanent base. It’s here his current project, Nitsua, has been developed. In its earliest incarnation, as The Marvel Street Gallery, Austin would periodically empty his home in order to recreate a gallery. The events hosted numerous artists, bands and live art performances. Though the project no longer exists in that form, its spirit lives in on through Nitsua, a homewares brand taking inspiration from street art and rejecting mainstream trends.
“I wanted to keep designing textiles and not have to be stuck in a trade where I would have to create for fashion trends. But yeah, aside from that I guess many trips to collecting from op shops over the years gave me the drive to start a business where I could keep the same designs available with a self taught printing method, which I had found to work on almost anything.”
Aesthetically you can’t deny the distinct tones reminiscent of the 70s. “I've always had a love for retro styling, the 70's had it. The colour, the contrast, the feeling, so much groove! I have heard some say I give a coastal style, although this was never my intention. I guess this has become of my environment, living the dream you could say. Surf, eat, sleep, paint, skate and create!”
It’s a life that is probably the envy of many but Austin doesn’t believe it need to be as difficult to attain as many seem to think, putting it down good vibes. But what is the key to these vibes? “Cultural connection, Led Zeppelin, painting because you got heaps left from the last job, the dream machine, uncrowded waves with your mates, freedom, old school skateboards, babes, waterfalls and positivity.”