Posts tagged Typography
10 Questions with Steve Leadbeater
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With his exciting blend of typography and photography, and his use of minimal materials coupled with a primal attitude, Melbourne based artist Steve Leadbeater wants you to be challenged by his drawings and paintings. His upcoming independent show Within Us inspired No Cure to delve into his creative mind and explore his raw and dark artwork.


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Could you please introduce yourself to the world?
Hi. I’m an independent artist from the Eastern suburbs of Melbourne. I write with dark humour and paint from the heart. My middle class story is one many would hide, but I’ve embraced it. Yes, Leadbeater is my real surname.

How would you describe your artistic style?
Primal and emotionally layered imagery that explores the human condition - OR - Like looking in a mirror with transparent skin and your heart on fire.

Which projects are you most proud of and why?
I’m most proud of my 365 Days of Leadbeater project where I shared new work on Instagram daily for a year. The challenge made me hardcore disciplined, defined my direction as an artist and significantly grew my audience.

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Many of your pieces incorporate words and text. What drew you to experiment with type?
Sometimes words are more powerful than images. I have a graphic design background and have a passion for typographic communication. The designer in me wants to connect with you any way I can.

Tell us a bit about your artistic process. What materials do you like to use in your artwork?
I constantly take photos and write ideas on my phone, draw in a visual diary, read books and collect reference that speaks to me. When the pressure of all the inspiration has built up I create things until the energy has gone. I work on whatever material is in front of me.

"I’m most proud of my 365 Days of Leadbeater project where I shared new work on Instagram daily for a year. The challenge made me hardcore disciplined, defined my direction as an artist and significantly grew my audience."

- Steve Leadbeater

How do you think Melbourne has shaped your art?
Melbourne shaped me so its effect on my work is profound. It’s hard to separate myself from my environment. I’m very lucky that I live in a city that is so committed to the arts with businesses that are finally acknowledging the value of creativity. I’m in the right place.

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What would you like your work to tell your audience?
People have extreme emotional reactions to my work (positive and negative). I want them to be reminded of the immense power, vulnerability and mystery of being human. I diffuse this seriousness with contemporary references and irreverent statements using high impact type.

What are you currently working on?
100 LEADBEATERed Selfies, where people send me selfies and I create work using them as a base. It’s an awesome way to stay fresh working with unexpected images. It gives an insight into my process seeing the before and after.  

Could we hear more about your future artistic goals and your plans of world domination?
Hahaha - that comes from a Venn diagram I did a while back. My plan is to keep creating, keep improving, keep sharing my stories and to live off my work. I tend to inspire others. I show them that a public educated, suburban bogan with a family, a demanding career and zero time can still follow their dream - regardless of how impossible everyone says it is. So if that’s possible, anything is right?

You describe your upcoming show as your most ambitious and risky endeavour yet, what can we expect from Within Us?
It’s ambitious narrowing my focus to a single theme and creating new work while ignoring hundreds of others. It’s risky putting myself and my work out there with everything on the line. What you can expect from WITHIN US is some wild and confronting art, amazing live music, great beers and a sea of horrified onlookers. Basically, if you like independent art, good times and you’re in Fitzroy North - you’re also in luck.

The opening night of Within US will be held on Friday 20 April 6-11pm, 151 St Georges Rd, Fitzroy North.


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Rose spends most of her time up ladders painting murals, hand-lettering signs (and inappropriate words), installing sculptures, or pasting up giant illustrations. She feels most at home with a paintbrush in hand but also likes the feel of a pen, spray can or Wacom tablet. Rose’s ‘career’ path was determined when, at 18 years old, she shut her eyes and pointed at University offers to decide which course to accept for the next few years. It just so happened that she blindly pointed to graphic design. Several years later, Rose decided to throw caution to the wind and abandon her formal graphic design training, opting instead to pursue a multidisciplinary art practice. It must be noted, however, graphic design provided her the skills to understand composition, conceptual thought, scale and typography. 

Rose says, “Making the leap to freelance was more seamless than I expected. I picked up some jobs painting murals and whilst it was challenging, I really enjoyed the process.” She has spent the last several years pretending to be a gypsy – rarely in one city for longer than a few months – completing art commissions for clients in Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney. She also finds herself working with several festivals throughout the year and making up other vague excuses to be covered in paint most of the time.

In 2015, Rose really hit her creative stride, especially as her murals were gradually getting bigger and bigger. Rose explains, “There is nothing like feeling content and happy with the work you produce.” More recently she found herself in Mexico with graffiti artist Phibs, painting a 5-storey complex out in the poorer suburbs of Guadalajara. Rose admits, “Any travel is pretty amazing, but I can’t really describe how both humbling and exhilarating it is to paint in a new country, especially with someone whose art you’ve respected for so many years.”

Alongside the highs, there are creative lows to deal with. Rose is no exception, no matter how positive she remains. “The most heartbreaking experience is when you’ve worked on a project and your endeavours never see the light of day. I’ve had a couple of jobs where the work just hasn’t been used or the project might have been cancelled at the last minute. It’s particularly devastating when it’s a project that I am really excited about. It’s best not to dwell on it when this happens, which is easier said than done, but you just have to believe there will be more exciting projects in your future. Also, I might add, you have to go out there and make the more exciting things happen – personal projects are the bomb-diggity,” Rose says.

With many artists, the most difficult creative decision is uncovering the purpose of the work being created. Some artists dismiss the idea, but others are more interested in exploring their reasons. Rose explains, “I tend to cultivate an individual meaning for each new project I work on, which makes defining an overarching ‘purpose’ for my work a difficult task. I can say that I like using what I do as a form of problem solving and as mode of communication. This means that I need to figure out what I want each work to say and how I will relay this message in a creative form. I guess this in turn implies that the purpose of what I do is to facilitate communication through a combination of colour, line, shape and form. I’d like people to connect with what I do, or at least have some sort of an emotional response to viewing it.”

Catch the full story in the latest 'Fresh Blood' edition of No Cure magazine available in newsagents Australia wide and in our online store.