Mulga, tell us your story, how did you get into street art?
Since I started employment in the finance industry straight out of uni I always dreamed of having a job that I loved. I never really did love having an office job, having to wear a suit and tie and shoes... and pants. I was always carrying a sketch book around and drawing on post it notes at the office so I decided to start a blog and put all my drawings on it. Those first posts are still on my website on my blog. I then got invited to have an art show at a local gallery run by surfers and from there I made t shirts and went to markets on the weekend selling my wares.
Around that time i started to think about how I could get my art out into the world more so I applied with the council and did my first mural at Bondi. It was a gorilla eating an ice cream cone. Since then I've painted a heap of times down at Bondi beach and now all around Sydney which has been rad. I still can't believe I get to make a living painting murals and drawing pictures.
We first saw your art work on Bondi Beach around 4 years ago. It was the Gorillas artwork and some Dolphins. What were the first subjects you would paint?
When I was starting to find my groove as an artist I focused a lot on painting bearded dudes and gorillas. Beards are the best so it is always a joy drawing a beard plus drawing a chin sucks, it's no fun at all. A bearded head always looks good on a t-shirt as well so that was an added bonus. About the gorillas, I went to Taronga zoo in Sydney and there was a huge gorilla there and that is what got me into drawing gorillas. They're cool creatures, so powerful and hairy.
Talk us through the beards and moustaches that appear in your artwork?
Well beards are truly magical, it's proven that a dude with a beard can achieve more than his non bearded counterpart. He is more in touch with his true self and only good stuff can come from that. When I was working my office job I felt that having a beard was frowned upon so that was good motivation to try my hand at something which was beard friendly and it turns out being an artist is very beard friendly. Shaving sucks and I don't understand dudes that shave when they don't even have to. Beards are great.
You just did a Christmas pop up store in Sydney. How did it go? We’re the Boardies® collab shorts we did a success?
The Christmas pop up shop went so good, we had it open for about 2 months before Christmas and I pretty much sold out of my stock of Boardies® collab shorts, peeps were frothing over them. I know I am, they turned out so sweet. I need more.
We spotted your artwork in Tokyo. Have you done much other international stuff?
I've done the odd random thing like a design for a t-shirt or having art in art shows and stuff like that and over the last few years I've been working with a partner in Japan to take my art there and collaborate with other brands and more recently we are looking to expand to other countries around Japan.
What’s some of your proudest work to date?
I've got 3 kids and when they have a birthday I draw them a picture and lately they've been giving me a brief, for example when my youngest turned 4 last year he wanted 'a monster with a mohawk eating an ice cream riding a motorbike and popping a mono'. It was one of my best briefs. Scroll back to around March last year on my gramagge to check it out. @mulgatheartist