NEWTOWN MURAL COLLAB PROJECT
ALEX LEHOURS - ARTIST
Tell us a bit about the mural collaboration with Authority Clothing and Monkey Shoulder?
I was commissioned by Authority Clothing to create a mural in conjunction with Monkey Shoulder Whisky. I was given complete artistic control and I wanted to create a piece that reflected both myself as an artist as well as something that the public and in particular the people of Newtown could enjoy.
Coming from an illustration and design background do you find it more challenging working on walls?
Its not so much more challenging but a different experience all together. I use my illustration skills to help develop my concept before it hits the wall so each element works hand in hand over the whole process.
I have to admit my first ever mural was a challenge but I guess it's one of those things, the more you do it the more you learn and the better you become.
I love being able to sketch up a concept on a piece of paper and working through the stages of painting it on a wall at full scale to see the finished product. It is a very rewarding experience.
What’s the best thing about collaborating with other artists/businesses?
The best thing about collaborating with other artists is the fact the multiple ideas come together on a project.
When working by yourself you can tend to get caught up in a one track way of thinking. It is only natural when faced with a new challenge that you resort back to what you are used to.
Collaboration is a tremendous way to come across new ideas by liasing with another artist. It is so important to surround yourself with other people and things that inspire you. I feel when I have collaborated with others it has made me think in a different way than what I am used to and on certain projects we have reached a much stronger final point than we would have individually.
You are able to learn new things based on the other artist’s process or techniques and that is obviously vital if you want to develop more in your particular field.
Do you prefer working with ink or aerosol?
I am still very new to aerosol and not quite at the level I want to be in terms of can control. I naturally feel more comfortable with ink and paints but I love using both where I can. I think even if my can control gets better I will still use both mediums in the future anyway.
Can we look forward to any Alex Lehours murals popping up around Brisbane?
I don't have any planned in Brisbane at the moment but always eager for a new opportunity so let me know if any walls become available!
CHRISTOPHER SKYNER - AUTHORITY CLOTHING
The idea of bringing the streets to your sleeve is a very unique concept. What made you decide to combine street art and apparel?
It all began when I moved to Melbourne in 2012. I fell in love with the way artists express themselves and showcase works on the streets. It had a slightly rebellious nature to it which I liked.
I was working in hospitality at the time and then pretty much over night I came up with the concept of working with artists to create limited edition apparel from murals.
Also highlighted on the garments swing tag is the exact location in where you can find the mural. This innovative concept gave me freedom to get super creative with Authority.
So I saved hard to fund our first mural project with artist Steen Jones and from this mural he gave me rights to use this art piece 100 times for a limited edition t-shirt run.
Since then I have found different ways to take every Authority project to
the next level by collaborating with some insanely talented creatives to document each mural process.
This isn’t the first time you’ve worked on collaborations with Alex, how did you guys meet?
It was as easy as an introduction from good friend Eddie Zammit saying “Chris meet artist Alex Lehours, Alex meet Chris Skyner from Authority Clothing, now swap business cards.”
Eddie had invited me to a Sydney event called Project 5 in which I flew up from Melbourne. An hour in we had our introduction and we hit it off from there.
A few months later we were booking flights for Alex to come to Melbourne to work on our newest collaboration “The Beith Street Project” and now we have a few more collaborations planned.
When we can expect the exclusive apparel from this mural project?
We will have the first of our limited edition t-shirts from this wall launch this September, no exact date yet but we will let you know.
We’re sure you get this all the time, but how the hell did you get Snoop Dog repping the Authority shirt?!
Haha, I do not actually get asked too often and it is most definitely a story that should be told.
This January I received a call from an American marketing agency trying to sell me a package for $1000 a month to push the Authority brand in the US.
Part of this package was a celebrity wearing our apparel every so often.
I could not afford $1000 a month (not a chance) and I honestly believed I could do a better job myself.
I found out Snoop was soon to visit Melbourne on tour so I tried my best to get through to his agents. I found their details online and made the call. They gave me no love whatsoever. But I did not give up.
I then got in touch with a friend (a personal trainer) and asked him if he would pretend to be my bodyguard the day of Snoop's concert. He agreed.
We then rocked up to the concert seven hours before it began with Authority t-shirts in dry cleaning bags and ear pieces in. We walked straight through the venue up to the stage.
I asked for the venue manager and when she came to meet us I introduced myself as Snoop Dogg’s social media agent “Nick Alder” (I had done my research).
I said I was in a bit of a rush and needed to drop Snoop's gear off for the night. She obviously looked at Michael (my bodyguard) and noticed the t-shirts covered by dry cleaning bags.
What more do you need. She politely took my package and took it to his changing room.
That night we went to the concert to see if our ghetto plan had worked but he did not wear the t-shirt. I was a little disappointed as we had gotten so far with no cigar, but also realised it was a pretty much impossible stunt to pull off.
Then low and behold one week later he posted a selfie on Instagram of him wearing the t-shirt. BOOM.
It later seems he took that very photo whilst filming a music video “What's your pleasure”. Our tee was featured pretty much all the way through.
Success, I still find it hard to believe it today.