Posts tagged artist
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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Combining beautifully curated colour palettes and a sprinkle of childhood nostalgia, Kyle Hughes-Odgers splashes brand new worlds on to walls internationally. With the successful release of multiple childrens’ books, Hughes-Odgers is taking the art world by storm. Here at No Cure we love to sneak inside the brains of great creatives, so we sat down with Kyle for a chat! Here’s what we found out...


Tell us a little bit about yourself!
I'm visual artist based in Perth, W.A

What does a typical day in the life of Kyle Hughes-Odgers look like?
I wake up, hang out with my son, coffee, emails, catch the train to my studio in Fremantle, coffee, painting, emails, go home, hang out with my son.

Amongst many other achievements, you’ve written and illustrated your own children’s books including titles such as ‘Ten Tiny Things’ and ‘Can a Skeleton Have an X-Ray?’. What drew you towards creating work for children?
Children's books are still broadly accepted in the conservative adult world when they are very strange and unique. I have always loved this, like little creative revolutions sitting patiently waiting to be considered in homes around the world. When I was small it seemed like a dream that adults could draw and make strange books for a living. Most of my work is narrative based so a children's book is a good way of extending concepts and ideas.

Much of your work is quite soft and playful in colour and subject matter. Where do you draw your inspiration?
I make lots of notes around narratives and concepts I find interesting / little drawings of compositions or spacial balance that I might see in nature and want to remember. I like to use colours that are more sophisticated and muted than loud and obnoxious.

Do you feel as though your style has changed much over time?
Yes, it is constantly changing. 12 years ago I only drew black and white posters of people with tattoos and 10 double chins. I think it's important it grows and moves as I get older and moves with what I find interesting.

You recently completed the painting of 4 silos as part of Art in the Wheatbelt. Tell us a bit about the project!
I was commissioned to paint 4 x 35m silos in Merredin in the wheatbelt of Western Australia. The work is part of a bigger project called the public silo trail in Western Australia and aims to cast a light on these beautiful, distinctive regions. Tourism maps will connect the completed silos for visitors to tour. It was a great and challenging project to paint at such an extreme scale.


"I was commissioned to paint 4 x 35m silos in Merredin in the wheatbelt of Western Australia. The work is part of a bigger project called the public silo trail in Western Australia and aims to cast a light on these beautiful, distinctive regions."

-Kyle Hughes-Odgers

Is there anything you aim for people to take away from your art?
Recently I have been actively trying to make more positive narratives / works rather than focusing on the negative. Making paintings about celebrating human problem solving and ingenuity and also playing with colour and abstraction. Focusing on the broader idea of human spirit.

Tell us a secret...
Secrets are for creeps.

What can we expect to see from you in the near future?
More public art, I have solo exhibitions in Madrid and Melbourne next year, and working on more book ideas.

Any advice for the kids of tomorrow?
Don't wait to be magically basquiated into the artworld. Work really hard.

Go Suga - Time Traveller

As the winner of the Gold Coast Cultural Precinct’s mural competition in 2015, Go Suga’s art has been featured as both a bright and cheerful public art installation and at 19 Karen Contemporary Artspace. With his upcoming solo exhibition, Time Traveller, we spoke with Go about his unique style and becoming a part of the Aussie art industry. 


Introduce yourself!
My name is Go Suga and I’m a Japan born / Australia bred artist who loves surfing, my wife, my pet dog Lui and vegemite. (I have two vegemite tattoos on my arm.)

How would you describe your art style?
I would describe it as mixture of few different styles. Symbolism, surrealism, cubism, even a little pop in there because of the colours. Not sure what to call it but I sure do like looking at different styles of art and picking a few things and adding it on to create my own style.

What materials do you use to create your pieces and can you talk us through your artistic process?
I used to use posca pens for my paintings but for this new line of work, which I prepared for my upcoming show at 19 Karen, [I used] acrylic on board. It was my first time using a paintbrush and it was really fun! Self-teaching is the best way to go when it comes to art I think. Once you learn from an art class or a teacher you kinda lose that fun part when you find something new out by trying it all alone by yourself. That’s the fun part of art I think, experimenting and finding out something new that excites you. Also it’s kinda boring when technique determines the outcome. By self-teaching you develop techniques and styles that is unique to yourself. At the moment my process would go something like this:

  1. Surf (this is important as it gives me happy vibes which comes out as colours on canvas!)
  2. Figure out what I want to paint or keep note of whatever good idea comes to mind.
  3. Surf
  4. Do some sketches and from these sketches choose the one I want to paint.
  5. Go buy board from Bunnings
  6. Surf
  7. Prepare board with 2-3 layers of gesso.
  8. Draw outline of the painting with pencil
  9. Start painting.
  10. Create whatever colour I like to use at the time and keep it in a small jar for future use.
  11. Surf.
  12. Once finished I get it framed and all done!

"I definitely want people to feel happiness and peace through my art and that is the reason why I use these bright colours but the meaning behind these paintings often involves destruction, pollution and violence."

-Go Suga

How did you become involved with 19 Karen?
I started painting seriously to get into an art gallery about three years ago. I created my own style and made about 8-10 paintings. I found 19 Karen and immediately wanted to join the gallery as they had so many awesome international and local artists. I emailed them and got a reply back from the gallery owner. She told me not to get my hopes up high but she wanted to take a closer look at my work. So I went and showed it to her and she liked it! I couldn’t really believe it, it was the happiest day of my life! Here I was just a guy with no experience in art (other than my diploma in graphic design) now represented in a professional gallery with artists that have lists of exhibition shows and award winning achievements.

What messages do you try to convey through the bright and happy colours of your art?
I definitely want people to feel happiness and peace through my art and that is the reason why I use these bright colours but the meaning behind these paintings often involves destruction, pollution and violence. I’m really liking my art at the moment because of this 'gap' between the real meaning behind the art and what’s on the surface.

You describe your work as a “mystical seamless blending of cultures,” what elements of Japan and the Gold Coast do you place in your art?
I think bright colours, sun and water elements in my paintings come from Australia and surf culture for sure. I also love ancient mythologies, no matter which country and region it’s from I get fascinated by these ancient stories. Greek mythology gods and goddess appear in my paintings a lot. These human made gods have inspired me to create my own original god characters in my paintings as well. I often use Japanese words for the title of paintings but I’m not sure if there are any other Japanese culture elements left in my work. I have definitely been inspired and affected by Japanese manga comics when I was a kid but I don’t try to put it into my art with the style I’m working on at the moment.

Which achievements are you most proud of and why?
I won first place in the Gold Coast City Council’s cultural precinct fence mural competition two years ago. I’m most proud of this because I finally had a chance to contribute back to the city that looked after me through the good and bad times since I moved to this country. To be able to do this with art was my greatest achievement so far. If there’s another chance I would like to do something for this city in the future with my art.

What is difficult about being an artist in Australia?
I’m not too sure... I can only think of all the good things. I’m only a rookie in the art industry so I can’t say much but I feel we have a really healthy art culture in Australia. For example, in Japan somebody like myself who’s not an art college graduate or has no connections would have no chance of getting into a professional art gallery, but over here you have a chance as long as you can create something unique and interesting. I truly believe the art industry should be open minded and the Australian art industry so far has been just that.

What inspires your art?
I get inspired by lot of things. Surf, nature, ancient mythologies, conspiracy theories, movies, music, pictures, patterns, well known artist’s works, not so well known artist’s works and the list goes on. Often when I sketch something interesting comes out so sometimes the best way to start your creative process is to do a few sketches, even if you don’t seem to have any inspirations. Something will come out and you will find maybe not the whole sketch interesting but some part of it, and you keep that section and add other stuff onto it. In this case, you get inspired by your own creation.

What can we expect from your solo exhibition?
You can expect colours, shapes and peaceful vibes! Also each of my paintings has a storyline which leads from one painting to another so that’s something you can read at the show to see the meaning behind my paintings. It should be a fun night!

What is your next artistic adventure?
I have a few things planned this year, one of them will be on the Gold Coast but I can’t mention it until closer to the date and also maybe another in China. My dream is to do a solo show in one of the major cities like NYC, Paris, London or Tokyo so I will be adventuring until I get to one of these places! I also like to try different styles and mediums, maybe even sculpting! Not sure right now but whatever comes to mind I guess. I won’t do it unless I really want to do it. I tend to get bored by things easily so it won’t take much time for me to start exploring other creative stuff or styles of painting.

You can catch Go Suga's opening solo show 'Time Traveller' this Saturday night May 6th at 19 Karen Contemporary Artspace, Mermaid Beach, Gold Coast.