Local artist and all round good guy, Jerry has been crafting some smooth shots from behind the lens lately.
It hasn't been all that long since Jerr took up photography but the kids got a good eye, is swift at putting together a composition and his latest batch of shots are really delving into Australian landscapes and capturing that feeling of sweet sweet serenity that Darryl Kerrigan optimized in The Castle.
July 29 || Weekend Sessions || Last weekends antics
As this weekend starts and the smell of another swell kicks in, we look back to last weekend. Last weekend was big and mental. Winter ground swells lashing the coast with clean conditions. Bretty C and young Azza stepped up to the plate and took on some south coast bombs, with J Trist behind the lens.
Azza has been nominated for wave of the weekend on Coastal Watch, with Azza and Joel in the running to take home a drone each.
Watch the clip and sling a like for Azza and his nuggety barrell over at Coastal Watch by hitting the link below.
Our dear friend Lee Mc has been smashing it for a while now and creating graphics for the likes of the Dune Rats, DZ Deathrays and brands like Mambo. This week Lee's graphics have been turned to life with the release of the Dunie's new single 6 pack, teaming up with Vorn Hunt and the lads from the band. The result is epic and we're pumped to see Lee's work take on another dimension.
July 2 || RAD.one download || Get yourself a copy!
Fuck. RAD.one has been available for download for the last 12 hours, we copped it as soon as it went up and we've watched it 3 times today.
Adam Harris aka @radstick has bled black and blue for these 24 minutes of bangers. And it shows. Adam is fast becoming a boss behind the lens, with crew requesting his skills and grit on jobs for snow and skate, traveling far and wide to capture shots and shape his craft. RAD.one has been Adam's passion project for the last little bit, filmed in and around his hometown with a local cast of shredders.
It's now available for streaming or download via the Radstick vimeo channel. Jump on and support our homie.
Rad One is the third full length Skateboarding feature by long time La' Division affiliate, Adam Harris. Choosing not to complete the trilogy of the Jim Barrie films, this production takes a different turn from the raw gritty homie style flicks Adam has previously made (Jim Barrie 1 and 2).
This film delves a bit more into the characters and lifestyles of the featured riders away from the skateboard. But this is no soppy skateboard documentary there is a hell of a lot of hard hitting, nail biting gnarlitude of shred you'd expect from guys like Ray Macken, Stevie Adams, Keiren Woolley, Jarryd Rees, Mitch Lee and Brian East. There's also some old bastard named Kane Horspool.
Adam Harris has been developing his film skills over the years both on the streets chasing urethane but also on the slopes chasing snowboarders all over the world. It has definitely broadened Adam's understanding of what is possible.
Here's some photos of the people involved in this production.
Premiering Saturday June 24, 6pm
At Moving Mountains Gallery - 193 Crown St Mall, Wollongong
Keiren Woolley is the young gun in the deep end. -Boneless, photo Adam Harris.
Steve Adam is an all terrain killer and a mysterious individual.
Jarryd Rees brings the raw and gritty streets into this film. And he does it with style. -Nose Manual, photo Ryan Grant.
Mitch Lee has been dropping bangers for years and he brings a few classic Kiama spots back to life. -Kickflip, photo Adam Harris.
Ray Macken never seems to disappoint and somehow always gets gnarlier and gnarlier. -Nosegrind, photo Kane Horspool.
The man of the hour, Adam Harris getting all those angles.
Bam Monorom mangaged to film his part before he had to go back to Thailand and do his military service. Bam is one of the Gong's favourite shredders with a smooth and creative style, he'll be surely missed but I know he will come back firing.
Brian East was the young gun who's grown up to dish out man sized hammers. - Backside 180, photo Kane Horspool.
The old dog, Kane Horspool. Every homie vid needs an old dog. -Boneless, photo Ryan Grant.
Ray Macken -Curb cut to curb cut Ollie. Photo Kane Horspool.
Steve Adam - Kickflip fakie. Photo Kane Horspool.
Kieren Woolley - Boardslide. Photo Adam Harris.
June 17 || LA' store is open, come on in + GIVEAWAY
Hey HEY, we are open for business. We've opened up the roller door and it's not closing. We're like a 7/11 but 24/7 and with goods that aren't going to give you diabetes.And to celebrate our freshly stocked store of goodness we're going to give away a Crew Pack, consisting of - A Longsleeve tee + waterbottle + 2 patches. All you have to do is tag us at #ladivisioncrew on instagram with a photo/drawing/illustration/artwork/video/or anything you've created recently and we'll pick a winner on Saturday July 1st.
Hit the store tab or the link below to enter the carhold of goodness
So you two boys have teamed up and started blending your works into one (which look amazing), how did this idea come about?
BEN - We were at a show at the Steyne (hotel) in Manly last year and got talking after a few beers and decided it would be fun to collaborate and do a show together. We didn’t discuss what that would actually mean at the time - we had no venue / theme / date / idea - we were just fans of each others work and thought it would be fun to do something together. I recently also teamed up with Steve Cohen (@mongofreak) in Melbourne for a show too - I am the old bastard in the team and it is fun working with younger mates whose art , and practice I really admire. So over time everything fell in to place, and here we are.
So Kenny you’ve looked up to Ben for a long time since moving to Australia, how has getting to know him influenced your art?
KENTARO - It’s been really good to call someone I have been following for long time as a friend and now doing some good stuff together. Especially process of this dual show, I have worked on the top of Ben’s artwork (or the other way round), I saw his fresh work so closely and was impressed with the style and beauty of his drawing again. it’s like I have re-learned fundamental, but important things for drawing, like balance of detail, composition and correct figure for human or skull etc again from this process.
Ben you’ve been around this art world for a pretty decent amount of time, do these kind of collab projects keep motivated to continue creating? What would you say has changed the most since you first started getting payed to draw and paint?
B - Yeah - it is great fun working with friends on projects like this - I used to play in bands when I was in my 20’s - and the underground art scene now reminds of that - people getting together to do shows / gigs / projects - I’d say with the advent of social media and the culture/scene that has emerged in the past 10-15 years, it is much easier to see the work of your contemporaries and inter act with them - so this keeps me really motivated - seeing really cool work and techniques etc. - wants me want to incorporate those attitudes and ideas in my work - and hook up and have a few beers and party!! ha ha - In a broader sense that world has leaked in to the mainstream and it is possible to make living doing illustration and design work that appeals to me - getting paid to do fucked up stuff!!
It’s been pretty exciting seeing these Rumble artworks come to life and both your styles blend so well together, has it been an easy process? What parts of this project have been the most fun for you both?
K - I was actually surprised how smooth all process went. we both have worked together on few projects before anyway. We came up with 4 random ideas each, and illustrated half first and passed them to others. It was really fun when stuff came back from Ben or new ideas came from him. and seeing how both of our drawing coming together was really really fun. Apart from that, I had heaps of beers with Ben at local bowling club for last few months and we most likely got wasted and that was other fun part of this collab projects. haha
Did you find that you both have super similar techniques while working on this project or did you both look at each other and think “really thats how he does that?”
B - Yeah - the latter. - When ever I work with other people it is always super interesting to see how we all employ different techniques and work practices to reach similar conclusions and goals. Ken and I work very differently. He thinks more about outcomes - I dive in blindly not knowing what will happen at the other end. Ken is really good at managing and communicating.
We also have pretty different drawing techniques - he likes to do everything on tablets digitally when we are in the early formative stages of things - where I would use paper / pads etc. (old school vs. new school!!) - although I found it really useful working the way we did using tablets to create ideas digitally that we could email between each other and work directly on to the same file etc. - I have started using my wacom a lot more.
When it came to painting the canvases we had pretty different ways of doing things too - but I think that is always the case working with other people. Its a good positive thing - you can learn a lot from it.
Have you guys had any physical rumbles? I know Kenny you took on Le’ Grizz in your kitchen in a mano a mano sumo match up. Will we see some sumo challenges soon?
K - Hahaha definitely not. we are always chilling and just down for beers. Hopefully Grizz turns up our show and I will challenge him sumo match up again.
Any last words before wednesday night?
K - Please come and check out our weird but fresh visual experiments and heaps of beers. Then watch state of origin down stairs (downstairs of GOODSPACE is a nice classic pub.)
B - Come on down and get a beer - check the art - and watch the footy… maybe those NSW boofheads can take it to those upstart Queenslanders!!!
May 24 || Traits 8 || w/ IRENE FELEO
Welcome to a new segment brought about by O.G Trait.
Every week Trait slings out 8 questions to one of the Local Artist Division crew and they reply with 8 pics and 8 answers. That simple. While you get a brief insight into the wildly talented people that make up our humble artist collective and not to mention some radical inspiration.
Enjoy week 1 with Irene Feleo and be sure to check out her website and gram below!
From Sydney Australia but currently based in Brooklyn New York.
2. What’s your origin story? How did you become a creative person?
Same as most artists, always loved drawing as a child and throughout high school. I wanted to be a comic book illustrator but ended up randomly taking digital media in University hoping it would get me some work in animation. After Uni I worked in advertising doing motion graphics and design, while still doing personal illustration work on the side. Eventually my illustration work became a little more stylized and I started getting freelance work in illustration and animation.
3. What’s your favourite tool to work with?
I like working on my computer and usually paint straight into photoshop. If I feel like mixing it up I like drawing in ink and painting with watercolors and gouache.
4. What motivates you outside of art?
I am obsessed with food in general so learning how to cook properly has been a fun experience. Every time I make a dish that isn't terrible I am pretty stoked haha.
5. What are you working on at the moment?Any projects in the works?
I am currently working on a series of super short animations about a sneaky snake called Sneak Snake. They are a bit random and strange but it has been a fun little project to work on while I have some down time.
6. What does your average day look like?
I work full time at a production studio in midtown so any day can be different - we work on a range of things from broadcast ads to online content. I think pitching is one of my favourite things to do because you get to have a go at a creative brief and create pretty style frames to get a client excited about a job.
7. What’s your favourite project/artwork you’ve worked on?
I think my favourite project so far has been my risograph printed zine 'Within'. It consisted of a series of sequential illustrations that were all a bit moody and simple, but I really liked learning the process behind making a zine, printing in risograph and the final body of work. I am also really enjoying the process of making a personal short animation. It's been a nice experience to use the skills I have learned in my studio job and apply it to a fun story based project.
8. Tell us a bit about these images. Any good stories?
I tend to make work in a series which is a sort of new thing that has developed. I will think of a super basic concept and apply that to a number of illustrations, for example right now I am drawing a lot of masks because I want to develop my skills in character design a little more. It's a good framework to within if you have creative blocks and need a simple idea to work with.
May 20 || Nick and Brett do Europe
A visual Journey into Jealousy. Living life vicariously as Nick and Brett gallivant around Europe with their ladies... Though if there were two kids that deserved a vacay it'd probably be these two. Enjoy eggs.
May 5 || Bad Acid group chat || Pt. 3 - pulling through the vortex
The final installment of the Bad Acid weird chats.
Check out this killer little teaser clip by Billy Zammit too!
If you're in Sydney tonight head on over to the Alpha Gallery in Newtown, crack a beer with the boys, buy some art and get sucked into the vortex.
Alpha Gallery, 226 Union St, Newtown
Bad Acid - Social Video
May 4 || Bad Acid Group Chat Pt. 2
The Trip Continues as Luke Okay pinballs around between the matrix and never never land with the Bad Acid boys.
Tomorrow night at Alpha Gallery Sydney
226 Union st, Newtwon
May 4 || Radstick goes next level
Our dear friend Radstick has been busy. Real busy. He's been stepping up his game and has been landing jobs for exotic snowboard vids and all kinds of craziness.
We're pumped he's producing his own jam too, launching a new teaser for his "Rad.One" skate vid to be released in June this year. Stay peeled. Check out this teaser!
April 30 || Bula! || A quick trip to Fiji with the DP team
I get a quick phone call on Thursday afternoon as I'm getting ready to go back to work on Monday...
DP: Keen to come to Fiji and shoot for the weekend JT?
JT: What, this weekend?!
DP: Yeah, we're flying out early tomorrow morning
DP: Friday til Monday
JT: Whattt... (laughs)
JT: Let me check a few things, but consider me in!
So there it was...jumping on an early flight after hearing there was going to be a few lines popping up at Cloudbreak over the weekend.
Little did I realise there would be some of the best waves I'd ever seen...
Here's a little clip and some shots from last weekend's trip!
DP in Fiji
April 21 || The Wanderers || Documenting Art on ABC
It's super rare we feature something that our crew isn't somehow involved in, but this series by Selina Miles was far too good not to.
The Wanderers is a six part adventure featuring six artists that call Australia home. Each episode features an individual artist, taking them to remote and unexpected towns around Oz. The artists dive deep into the town's history and the people that make the town unique, firing up inspiration and references for the artists to draw upon while they create large scale artworks which are gifted to the town.
The series is beautifully shot and directed by Selina Miles and features street art heavy weights GUIDO VAN HELTEN, ELLIOTT ROUTLEDGE, GEORGIA HILL, DABS MYLA, AMOK ISLAND and RONE.
Jump on ABC iVeiw and emerse yourself in the art of wandering. Link below.
Click the names above to dive into their instagram profiles and see more of their work.
Broken Dreams tee designed by Brent Smith
Circle Tee designed by Luke Okay
Spraykay longsleeve tee designed by Luke Okay
LA' Camo wide brim hat
Lucky Red Hat, featuring corduroy and embroidery
LA' Division x Mizu stainless steel water bottle designed by Adrian Repeti
March 1 || Space Bat Killer || Mini profile vid
If you haven't seen or heard of Space Bat Killer by now, you should probably push that giant boulder off your house. Sean Bernhardt aka Space Bat Killer is one hard working mother fucker, with his creepy dark tropical illustrative steeze. It's rare a day goes by where he hasn't pumped out an artwork or illustration and having caught the eye of the global surf and skate communities he's created amazing designs with his prolific style for a bunch of big and small brands around the globe, not to mention his own label Evil Paradise.
This is a sweet little mini profile on our homie from New Jersey produced by Mike O'loughlin, detailing how and what makes Sean, Sean. Enjoy.
If there was ever a dude you'd want as your best mate it'd be this guy. Nick Clifford is one of the LA' crew's originals and is one of the best blokes you'll ever come across, humble, down to earth and loyal, loyal in the way that he's going to have your back through thick and thin and he's going to work damn hard to get you out of whatever hard spot you might find yourself in. Most people would like to think they have this quality for their crew but when push comes to shove, it can be a damn hard task to keep that persistence burning at 100%. Nick does that.
Not to mention he has oodles of style when he jumps on a board.
That's why we love Nick. Kudos to you good buddy, kudos.
Photos Joel Trist.
February 24 || Jones Beach weekend session || J Trist
A photo essay of a session last weekend at Jones beach by Joel Trist.
February 21 || Travelogue Japan || Navo cafe house
Its not the places you go and things you do, but the people you meet along the way. The Aussie Traveller's last post was all about mingling with the locals and the tips and benefits that come with spending just a little of your time with the people that call your travel destination home.
Recently Brigid and I arrived back in Aus from the land of the rising sun and one of the stand alone moments of the trip was meeting two young legends Takê and Tucker. Two Japanese entrepreneurs that set up shop as an organic and vegetarian cafe/restaurant in Furano, (a relatively small ski town on Japan's north island, Hokkaido). Unlike Australia, vegetarianism and organic foods are really unheard of in Japan, so to open an eatery specialising in those two things is a massive punt, and we had no idea what we were in for before we rocked up.
Peering in through falling snow and flapping Himalayan prayer flags as we walked into the courtyard we could see a big smile from behind a green velour hat and a friendly wave that beckoned us into the kitschy DIY tree house. We sat down in the cosy wooden den, marveling at Takê and Tucker's craftsmanship. Tables, chairs, frames, shelves, the bar, everything that made Navo cafe house was hand crafted with a set of artist's hands, their hands. We immediately got talking on food and drink suggestions, and before long we were three quarters through our amazing vegetairan izakaya meal and talking snow sports, youth culture, art and how Tucker had lived in Australia for a while and decided that riding his bicycle from Cairns to Sydney would be the best way to see the country.
Talks of what mountains we'd be riding ensued and when Takê found out we weren't having much luck getting a back country guide as a result of a bad weather window he picked up the phone and dialed up every one of his mates in the business... turns out we were shit out of luck but the effort and gesture were more than enough to put a smile on our faces and through laughs and a bunch of high fives we became friends and said Sayōnara.
Brigid and I didn't really let our bad luck of not getting a guide stop us and the next day hiked around Mt Asahi-dake, an active volcano and had a blast creating our own trails.
Stay tuned for more to come in the next chapter of Travelogue Japan.
The Woolley boys Kieren and Daniel have been killing it all summer. Both are progressing so fast and they've been racking up the results from Bondi Bowl to the recent Globe Bowl Riot in Melbourne.
So this weeks Gong Life weekly update features a handful of picks by Mark Woolley of their summer shredding.
Daniel - frontside air on the Barry Ramp - Fairy Meadow
Kieren - Front feeble at the Bondi Bash
Kieren - Frontside air down south.
Daniel - nose grind at Noble Park
Kieren - backside air at Noble Park
Daniel - front smith at the Globe Bowl Riot
The Wooley clan - Kieren, Mark and Daniel.
February 4 || The Aussie Traveller's || Mingle with the Local's
This week we are back with an AMAZING hike we did in Montenegro, which we both agree is one of our favourite countries we visited in Europe! We have so much info on this AMAZING country and so many cool places we went to but this post is on one particular thing we did and it was one of the highlight's of our WHOLE trip!
Hiking To The Gate Of Wishes
Deep In the canyon of the Mrtvica river, you will find The Gate Of Wishes.
This is our story and Experience of Hiking to the Gate Of Wishes!
After spending a few days exploring the breathtaking Durmitor National Park with thousands of other visitors we were ready to go off the beaten track. We researched hikes to do in the mountains of Montenegro and came across one that looked like it could not be missed. We put the address into our GPS ‘Larry’ and set off on a day filled with adventure and mishaps.
We drove down the windy mountainous range in our old boy Carlos and took in the magnificent views of the Tara canyon which is also a must do while your there.
Before we knew it Larry was directing us off the main road and down a narrow dirt track (this was a regular occurrence usually leading us a stray). The road was filled with potholes and a steep decline leading to an old rickety bridge, we were sure it would not hold Carlos’s weight thank god it did and we are still here to tell the story! :)
After the bridge the road lead us to a field with a a sign “Private Property, must pay to park”. With no one around we didn't really know if we were in the right place, though we sore some red markings on the ground so we started following them until it really became unclear of which way to go next. We walked around in circles for about half and hour and almost gave up. Then suddenly from out of know where we were met by who we would come to know as ‘Vesko’, he locked the gate to the field with Carlos inside and off we went.
He was an interesting character, missing his front teeth, wore no shirt and shorts with binoculars hanging around his neck. His english vocabulary consisted of ‘Australia’ and ‘Orange’. Having seen the sign “Don’t go alone to canyon, go with guide” we assumed he was a guide leading us to the hike, instead he lead us up a bush track past his many animals to a decaying house that looked like a scene from the Texas Chainsaw Massacre.
This is where we were sure we would be murdered as Vesko insisted we follow him into the house. No phone reception, the van locked in and alarm bells going off in our heads (Hannah was actually crying and about to run) .
Vesko returned with some freshly squeezed orange juice which in our state we did not take as we thought it may be drugged. At this point we both asked him if we could leave and repeatedly asked " Where is the gate of wishes " After dissecting his broken english we worked out that he was a guide.... He also handed us a piece of paper with his phone number and when we returned we were to call him so he would unlock the van and accept his payment of €5.
We finally started the hike Vesko in front, though after about 20 minutes he told us " this is where I stop you go alone from here and it should take you about 2 hours each way follow the red markings "
So we set off into the unknown following our red markers, crossing rivers, scaling cliffs, hiking through farms and under apple trees every corner was something more amazing then the last.
Six hours later, a cliff fall, one broken phone, bruises and Chris’s pride, we met back up with Vekso. He gave us high fives, hugs and sent us on our way…Turns out he was actually a really nice guy and didn’t want to kill us after all. ;)
The whole hike we literally saw 4 other people apart from ourselves and Vesko it was amazing to just be out in the wild not actually knowing where we were going but getting to the Gate Of Wishes was amazing and it was so worth it!
We would highly recommend this hike to anyone who travels's to Europe and especially if your in Montenegro put it on the top of your list!
That's all from us this week guy's!
Until next time legend's!
C & H
Febuary 1 || Gong Life - Weekly wrap
This weeks selection of photos all come from Wollongong photographer Matt Lee (@peace_ave). These are just a handful of crisp black and white images Matt has dropped on his Instagram account this week.
Jarryd Rees - Pole Jam
Nicolas Rojas - Frontside grind into the hip.
Patrick McKinnon - Nosegrind.
Steve Abercombie - Ollie the bike.
Matt Ball - 50-50.
January 27th || The west is, and always will be... || J Trist
Views are changing on the day that is...
Anyway, we won't get into the history that makes it what it is.
We recently went on a short trip over to some of WA's finest spots, and of course the odd winery and brewery.
If you haven't been over, it's definitely one we recommend!
There's something about waiting for film to get developed from a trip, that makes it so much more worthwhile than shooting on digital.
January 26 || Tidal - Conservation is a Conversation
It's coming up to a year since we put on the Broken Dreams exhibition for Take 3 For The Sea and our conversation we started back then about Take 3's important message of conservation is still super relevant and still needs to be echoed into the future.
With the news of party goers celebrating NYE in Sydney this year and completely trashing beaches and leaving tonnes of rubbish to make its way into the ocean and into the stomachs of our wildlife, we need to keep the conversation going and make sure we're Taking 3 (or a lot more) every time we visit the outdoors.
Conversely we also need to slow down our consumption of single use plastics and other daily items that can be easily traded for items we don't throw away. Things like re-usable drink bottles, keep cups for coffees and re-usable shopping bags.
Our friends at Tidal magazine covered our Broken Dreams show and put together this awesome piece in their latest issue a little while back, featuring interviews with Tim Silverwood from Take 3 and our Kentaro Yoshida and Luke Okay.
Photos courtesy of Angus Kennedy from ASK Design for Clean Coast Collective and our homie Gerard Grizzle
January 22 || The Aussie Travellers - Vanlife pt 1
Yo Guy's Chris & Hannah here!
Getting back to Aus after a 1 year stint in Europe, Luke got in contact with us and brought up the idea of doing a weekly post of the Adventures we got up to while we were over there. So every week we are going to put up post of a different country or experience we had, as well as some tips, guides and photo's of things we wish we knew before heading over there for that long!
We thought we would start with Vanlife In Europe!
Life in a rolling home means the adventures are endless, you can wake up listening to the waves crashing on the shores of Spain and fall asleep that night surrounded by the mountains of the French Alps. How could anything compete with that? The ability to travel as far and wide as you wish while spending very little money. Sounded perfect to us.
Vanlife is the simple life, you will have only the necessities and it isn’t for everyone. If you have a free spirit, love an adventure and don’t mind weeing in the wild, vanlife in Europe in our opinion is the best way to travel. You also have so much freedom with where you can go and what you can do if you love a place you can stay as long as you want and if you dont you can move on to the next!
Another great thing is you do not need a big budget! We know, We know for Aussies, Europe is usually a VERY expensive trip. And yes getting the van set up is pricey, but for us staying in hostels (from €20 a night per person in peak summer!) and catching public transport was just not foreseeable for a 6 month trip to 17 countries. We decided to think outside the box, buying a cheap van and trying our luck at it getting us all around Europe seemed like the best idea. With endless free camping spots in Portugal, Spain and France, we spent very little money on accommodation in 3 months we spent €14 to be exact staying in a camping spot near Valencia in Spain.
Something that we didn’t expect was that if you do it with your partner it can progress your relationship more than you can ever imagine. Living in a confined space and spending day in day out together builds a different kind of love and respect, you will truly know each other inside out, the good the bad and the ugly!
Have a killer w/e legend's! Get out and explore, we will be back next week with our first European Adventure post!
Has there ever been a person that's married rock n roll so harmoniously with art and illustration? ....
You might answer Yes. But fuck we'll be damned if Sindy Sinn's name wasn't mighty high on that list.
The rock n roll lifestyle that courses through Sindy's veins is the life blood that spills through his work, from band posters, to t-shirts to Harley Davidson motorbike helmets, everything he does is stylised in his unique way, keeping his signature style consistent from small intricate designs to large scale wall pieces. Did I mention he's one of the nicest, lovable guys in the game, behind his big beard, tattoos and biker look you'll find a guy that's always up for sharing his time, knowledge and a hug.
Support a local artist and give bearded guys a hug.
The best images of the week as picked by @gong_life.
Lennon Strachen - backside blaster over the hip t Fairy Meadow at sunset. Photo Ryan Grant.
Pat Mckinnon - Fakie 360 flip over the pine. Photo Matt Lee.
Ray Macken - Curved 50-50 on a high rail with a sloping run up and a tree to navigate. Photo Kane Horspool.
Dani Campbell - Frontside flip where most can only carve on The Barry Ramp at Fairy Meadow. Photo Mat West.
January 14 || FIEND FEATURE || Troy Langendoen
Troy Langendoen captures life's most mundane and sedate moments, the moments that drip dry like paint in everyday suburbia during the week. The mall carpark or the dreary bust stop down the road on the way home from work, moments that pass people by without a thought, to boring or too hidden in the monotony of the everyday.
Contrast that ability to frame the mid-week monotony in pure effervescence with the intermediate splicing of youth culture in the bright lights and pure fire blur of the weekend. Fast gigs, fast parties, fast kids in an haze, fitting in as much creative destruction before the monotony of Monday kicks in again.
If you've bought any of our goods you'll notice Troy's photos are also the main feature on our swing tags. To notice more of Troy's work jump on the links below ;)
The mind of Brent Smith is a weird and wonderful trip - His art will take you there in an hyper-speed blur of colour, skulls, fruit and plants.
The talented and long term fiend of LA' Division is one of those creative people that is multi-skilled in a bunch of disciplines... Cans, brushes, pens, mouse - as an artist or designer, the freelance warrior delivers massive murals, t-shirt designs, poster artwork and comic illustrations like a boss and is little wonder why his client list includes the likes of Red Bull, Westfield, Globe Skateboards, Mambo, Universal Music and No Cure Magazine to name a few.
If you dig Biffy's work, click our store button and make a purchase on his "Broken Dreams" long sleeve tee or check out more of his work at:
Ditch the plastic single use bottles, save resources and the environment from choking and get your hands on our light weight, BPA free, LA’ Division x @mizulife_ausnz water bottle. Designed by our homie Teem - @adrian_l_repeti
Every bottle we sell we'll donate $5 to Waves For Water - An initiative to provide clean water and water filters for those in need around the world.
Jump on the link below to our store to get your mits on your own.
The saying goes "when many hands come together, it makes for light work" or something along those lines. This collaborative project sees two sets of hands come together in Trait and Ryan Grant from Steel City skate. Trait's masterful aerosol work of finely crafted hands around a skatepark and Ryan Grant's handy work behind the camera framing local legends doing their dance on a fingertip's edge, provides another perspective of what skateboarding is. It's more than trickery and it's definitely not destructive. Having these hands hold and frame skateboarders lines and manoeuvres begins to show skateboarding as it's own art form.
To follow this project as it continues to evolve jump on the linked names below
What a year it's been for young blood Kieran Woolley.
The kid is unstoppable, landing sponsors left right and centre, laying down constant webclips, winning and making massive leaps in competition, skating in exhibits all over the country and not to mention getting invited to compete and train in the U.S.
Keep your eye out for big things from this pint size humble human. 2017 is shaping up to be huge and we couldn't be prouder.
Hit play and enjoy
Kieran Woolley - Rider Convergence Camp 2016
December 22 || VEIGA bespoke eyewear
We're pretty pumped when we see people and brands producing goods that are of creative nature, but when those goods are also kind on nature and helping solve unwanted waste issues too, then you know you're onto something amazing.
This is Veiga.
With a lust for innovative design and passion for contributing to solutions that could substitute current materials used across most industries, Veiga has set out to develop a product that would compliment and reflect the lifestyle of the thoughtful individual.
Eyewear that is not only sustainable but super stylish, with sunglass and optical options.
Today Veiga launch their bespoke collection. Offering carefully selected materials and giving the choice to you, the customer to design your own product combinations.
In addition to the Bespoke Collection laugh Veiga are offering a 15% discount for all online orders between Dec 22 and Jan 22. Just use the code "15%Bespoke" at checkout.
We've got two new patches. Our "Explicit patch" and our "Burner patch", which both come with adhesive backing, making it supppper easy for you to apply to your jackets, hats, tees, whatever you damn well please. All for the meazly price of $10 per patch.
If you'd like to purchase one or a bunch, email email@example.com with your name and address and we'll send you some payment details.
September 25 || grubs at a skate park
Hit play on a new skate series presented by Boardworld
Grubs: Part 1, Kiama skatepark
As summer begins to creep its way over the horizon, the warm afternoon skatepark sessions start to kick in for another year. Boardworld is proud to present 'Grubs', a new skate series based upon the positive vibes and summer sessions at some of Australia's finest skateparks, featuring some of the country's best underground talent.
Part one sees the crew tackle Kiama Skatepark, located just south of Wollongong on the NSW coast, home of RadStick and LA' Division you'll notice a bunch of awesome backdrops painted by LA's O.G
Feel the warm breeze and get a little psych to go shred your local.
Featuring: Bam Manorom, Haven Alderding, Mitch Lee, Ray Macken and Steve Adam.
Film/Edit: Adam Harris
Grubs: Kiama Skatepark
September 10 || Text convos with Kentaro || "Solo" show opening
We caught up with Kentaro Yoshida ahead of his exhibition "Solo" opening this Wednesday night (14th of Septemeber), at Good Space Gallery in Chippendale, Sydney.
Grey = Kentaro Yoshida || Blue = Luke Okay
Photos thanks to Rumimatsuzawa
August 21 || LA' crew random sticker packs
We've got a bunch of cool art inspired stickers from our homies. If you'd like to get a random selection of awesome, jump on the link to our store, make a purchase and we'll get postman Pat to your door with a sweet little pack for just 6 bones (including postage).
A couple of weeks back our youngest fiend, young Kieran Woolley found himself competing on one of the biggest stages in the world for skateboarding at the Vans Pro Skate - Park Series coinciding with the US Open of Surf at Huntington Beach California.
The opportunity was huge and Kieran did us all proud by bagging a 13th in the Under 16's division. Now lost in the American dream Kieran is traveling through the states on a teenage rampage, to not only skate all the gnarliest spots he can find but to grow and become bigger, better, badder and hungrier.
We can't wait for the young whipper snipper to come back and spill the beans on what looks like an epic trip.
Jump on the link to Kieran's instagram to follow his wild adventures...
California Dreaming - Skateboarding Southern California - USA
June 28 || Surfers For Bretto || The Fundraiser night
Saturday night was wild. When you see a packed out auditorium, prizes and donations from every business in the area, surfboards from nearly every professional surfer on the planet, signed guitars from Australia's best bands including Parkway Drive, AC/DC and Jimmy Barnes, loads of signed footy jerseys from all the NRL teams, you know the whole community has felt the impact of Brett Connellan's life in someway.
The kid is an all round legend and since being attacked by a shark on March 30 at a home beach in our small coastal town of Kiama, a large chunk of the world has taken notice of what an inspirational human he is and how with true grit, determination and a positive outlook on life, overcoming adversity is a given. Since losing three quarters of his thigh and taking several other wounds from the shark, Brett has stayed calm and focused on his goals of getting back in the water astonishing everyone with his progress.
On Saturday night we packed out The Shellharbour Club with close to 600 people, all willing to pass on their love and good vibes to help Brett progress through his journey of extensive rehabilitation.
A massive thank you is in order to everyone who came, anyone that has donated goods or their time or passed on their best wishes. To the entire surf community and to the crew that made it all happen. You know who you are, you know words won't express the gratitude we feel for all your hard work and help.
Big Love - The LA' Division crew
Surfers For Bretto - Fundraiser clip
Brett and his gal Megan
The legends from Parkway Drive, hanging out and donating a guitar and T-shirts
JT's super edit
The toast of the town. Agy and Joel. Saviours.
Brett and family
Joel and Agy talk story telling with Jack McCoy
Georgia and Megan
Everyone's doing it
Scotty and the Hoff
So many prizes
Mum Brett, Tommy Carroll and Brett
Simpsons Brett bringing the good vibes
T.C gives and inspiring speech with Toby Martin
Jye and Goody
When Tommy speaks, you listen
Tommy presenting a retro dream boat shaped by Mark Richards with the iconic T.C spray
The Winning bidder on the T.C X M.R craft, Mr otton with Brett and T.C
Bretty, Luke and Tommy
Jye and his new sled, courtesy of Julian Wilson
It was a long bidding war but Mika came out on top for the Parkway Drive guitar. Sorry Ned.
Ned still livid about losing the guitar
Kahlia and Jerry
The south coast CAN put on a fundraiser
Toby getting a few words from the man himself
The love was flowing thick and heavy
The Vans rocked it to the end of the night
June 24 || New goods instore!
We've got some new tees, hats and waterbottles!
Modeled by none other than Mr Brett.
Jump on the link below and make your purchase ;)
The "Broken Dreams" Longsleeve tee
The "Circle" tee
The "Spraykay" longsleeve tee
The "Camo" wide brim hat
The "LA' Division x Mizu" stainless steel water bottle
June 21 || Claire Foxton and Project Crown || Giving the steel city a fresh palette
Claire Foxton is a creative boss.
It doesn't matter the size, scale or volume of a project. Claire will crush it and put her brand of creative genius to hand and brighten the audiences day.
Project Crown is an initiative brought to you by the good folks at Verb Syndicate in conjunction with Crown Street Mall, enhancing and giving life to the public space in the Wollongong Mall.
Check that palette and steeze. Killer work from one of our long term favourites.
Claire Foxton // Project Crown
May 17 || DP Surfboards "Short Edit" clip || Starring Bretty C
Team DP had a little team trip down the coast a few months back and scored some fun waves. Max Zappas went along and made a banging little clip of the boys flaring on Dylan Perese's handcrafted sleds. Top Notch, enjoy.
DP Short Edit
May 12 || Lee Mc and the Duneys
Our homie Lee Mc recently got to create some art for buddies and aussie punks, The Dune Rats for the release of their new song "Bullshit". We're pretty pumped on the song, the film clip, Lee's typography and the Duneys for being all round legends.
DUNE RATS - Bullshit (Official Video)
May 3 || Openning Kentaro Yoshida video || Enter through the fog
Enter Through the fog and past the hang over. Kentaro Yoshida opens up on art, his process and we get a look into the making of his piece on the Aus Open of Surf art wall.
May 2 || Brett Connellan || You Got This || Fundraiser night
This little edit of Bretto doing his thing is magic. The kid has a magnitude of style and talent. We want him back in the water one day soon, but we know it's going to be a hard slog for the kid and his family and friends. So our Jones Beach Boardriders crew are putting together a fundraiser night on the June 25 to help Brett get the treatment and rehab he needs. Up for grabs on the night will be signed surfboards from pro surfers such as Kelly Slater and Stef Gilmore, prize packs from Billabong, art from our crew and other amazing artists and much much more.
You can come along to the event by purchasing either a general admission ticket or rally your troops and get a premium table ticket. If you can't make it there are also "spirit tickets" for a helpful donation.
Jump on the link and join us in helping out our boy.
The No Cure x Converse collabs keep coming, with Bafcat stepping into the camera's view. A brief encounter into the awesome mind of the Baffy cat... guy
No Cure TV x Converse x Baf Cat collaboration
April 14 || Kentaro x Converse x No Cure
A sweet little videographed insight into the mind and environment of creative genius Kentaro Yoshida.
No Cure TV x Converse x Kentaro Yoshida collaboration
Aril 7 || Brett Connellan || The Support
Well crew, we are so well and truly overwhelmed with the support this last week for our boy Brett. And so is he.
We are on a good path to reaching goals for Brett's recovery, but this recovery is going to be extensive so we need to do all we can. We're very stok-ed with the campaign to gain attention funds and smiles. Bretty's positivity is high and is beyond inspirational.
Our campaign of getting $10,000 for Justin to get tattooed has been successful. We smashed that goal, with numerous articles in the media and Justin even committing to a nervous radio interview. Justin will be in the tattoo chair today feeling the buzzy burning feeling for his good friend Brett.
We've had shout outs from some of the biggest names in surfing and even Aussie rockers the Dune Rats. We're still waiting for a Kendrick Lamar shout out though...
Thank you all for the support from the bottom of our hearts, keep it coming legends!
April 5 || Brett Connellan || The campaign
We all know social media can be a useful tool at times, sometimes even down right powerful. We also know that all you caring and wonderful people want to do more than just double tap a picture to show your support for our boy Brett...
That's why we're creating a campaign you can be involved in, that can hopefully; A) gain us a lot of attention and; B) raise Brett and his family enough funds to cover the costs of Brett's medical bills.
And more importantly put a smile on the young bucks face.
We're going to have two social media drives for you to be apart of and all you have to do is tag and share.
We have Justin Wynn putting his hand up to get the "Brett Simpson" style drawing tattooed on his ribs if 2 people donate $5000, or if a business donates $10,000, or 10 pro surfers donate $1000.
(At the moment we have an offer of $5000 from Darren Longbottom! Can we get someone else to step up to the plate!?)
Another fun game we have is try and get celebrities to shout out our fund raising campaign for Brett. Aim big, no mountain is too high. Brett's favorite artist of all time is Kendrick Lamar, he has even given his sausage dog the honor of being named Kendrick, he also loves the simpsons and obviously loves surfing. All you have to do is tag, share or repost our pics from either @surfersforbretto or @la_division asking for your chosen celebrities support. There is no rules on how you get the celebrity to give the shout out, whether you contact them via email, phone, in person or simply tagging them on a social media post.
Lets do this! Big love everyone.
For international transfers to the Brett Connellan Trust:
April 3 || Brett Connellan || Happy Birthday Brettson
Everybody has seen and heard the news about our rider, director and all round good guy Brett Connellan being attacked by a shark while surfing at one of our home breaks in Kiama.
Bretty went into surgery today, an 8 or 9 hour surgery, on his birthday (of all days). Reports from the doctors are the surgery went well. But it's the outcome that we all need stay positive for and send out our super happy, shaka vibes for.
Brett has been a large part of LA' Division from day one, close to ten years ago. Being a young grommy from our home town of kiama, with his salty, surfer mop of a hair do, he was always chomping at the bit to not only ride for us, but be involved and get his hands dirty. His best friend Nick Clifford was exactly the same. They kept pestering us and before we knew it they were our best friends and had slowly but surely interweaved their lives into the fabric of LA' Division. Then proceeded to running it better than we could... and we thought we were taking them on to mentor them. Boy were we wrong.
We also want to give a MASSIVE shout out to our other director, brother, photographer, teacher and now hero for saving young Bretty's life. Joel Trist. Our words can't describe how thankful we are for you and what you achieved on Wednesday night.
Brett has a long way to go with his recovery and rehab, but we will be with him every step of the way. If you'd like to help our boy out, please feel free to donate to the account below.
Mitchy K has been a good friend of the LA' crew since the beginning, coming from the same home town and sharing waves with a bunch of the crew. It's been a while since we've seen the young goofy footer but it was apparent from a young age that Mitch had a penchant for big barrels, so when the cyclone swell hit Mitchy hit the road with a ski and some boys in tow and found a slab to do his business.
Cyclone Winston vs Mitch K
March 8 || Siobhãn Stone x Isabella Nichols || Broken Dreams || Happy International Women's Day
When BROKEN DREAMS was littered with an array of incredible surfer/artist combo's how do you set yourself apart from the crowd?
You could use the brightest colours possible, you could add lights and streamers to your board or you could be like Siobhãn and opt for the good ol' fashioned late entrance to make your presence known. Her piece on world junior champion Isabella Nichols' pre loved raft arrived 2 hours into the show and it was well worth the wait.
Matching Isabella and Siobhan with their fierce femininity and wild talents was an easy fix as both young ladies are on top of their game and are a match that we'll most likely see more to come from in the future.
HAPPY INTERNATIONAL WOMEN'S DAY
Jump on the Broken Dreams tab and place a bid to help Take 3 For The Sea and their educational programs for ocean conservation
BILLABONG SURF CAPSULE: GEO DIAMONDS, TAHITI SPRING 2015
March 7 || Broken Reality || An Exhibition in review
Broken Dreams truely and wholey took over our reality as we emerged ourselves in the dream state of creating an exhibition that would best highlight the disastrous effects that our daily waste is having on marine environments and creatures.
Our artists teamed with some of the best surfers in the world to create artworks out of their once beloved crafts.
The night was a great success exhibiting the surfboard artworks at one end of Wild Things Gallery and at the other we teamed with Clean Coast Collective to tell a broader part of the story, showing off their amazing photographs from a trip to far North Queensland dubbed "the trash tribe trip". A trip where their crew removed tonnes upon tonnes of trash that had been dumped on the coastline by the East Australian Current, originating from trash dumped on our beaches all over the Aussie coast and neighbouring countries.
The Take 3 message was received loud and clear, and spread far and wide by our artists and the professional surfers, but to help echo the initiative into schools, surf clubs and community groups we'd love for you to become an owner of one of these amazing original artworks.
CLICK the silent auction link and place a bid on the board of your dreams... >>>> SILENT AUCTION <<<<
All photos credited to the multi-talented Grizzle
March 6 || Mitch Crews x William Nghiem || Broken Dreams featured contributors
Mitch Crews is a hardworking, stylish cat. Humble and awesome. We teamed Mitch together with our artist William Nghiem as the both share similar qualities and aesthetics in their practice. They both draw clean lines, have great styles and know how and when to flair. They're not scared of the hard yards and are prepared to put their nose to the grind stone to constantly better themselves.
It's evident that William like Mitch has a knack for hard work with an emphasis on style. We love this match up and the work William has created on Mitch's board.
Jump on the Broken Dreams tab and place a bid to help Take 3 For The Sea and their educational programs for ocean conservation
PLAY WITH GLASS: LA
March 2 || Broken Dreams boards || A brief encounter into the dream state
Loving the art and want to own a surfboard that once belonged to one of the best surfers in the world?
click the SILENT AUCTION button on the Broken Dreams tab above ^^^ and place a bid. Profits will go to Take 3 For The Sea and their educational programs, teaching kids and communities the importance of keeping our beaches and waterways pollutant free!
February 25 || Broken Dreams Supports || Solutions to our wastefulness
Part of the trash pollution problem is the constant making of things without care and without thought.
Too many of our daily items are constantly pumped out of factories chasing profits for companies that want to repeat the cycle of mindless consumerism, sucking up resources and cutting into our environment.
Part of the Broken Dreams exhibition is to showcase solutions to waste products.
By up-cycling trashed items like broken surfboards or old pieces of wood from buildings and bridges, these two local start up brands are creating beautifully sculpted, handmade items that are made with an abundance of care and thought, leaving you with a timeless piece that will last well and truely beyond fashion cycles.
VEIGA EYEWEAR + ECTO HANDPLANES proud supporters of Broken Dreams and Take 3 For The Sea
February 25 || Meet Dion Agius || Broken Dreams Featured Surfer
Dion is the modern day free surfer. He has paved a pretty unique path in the surf world, being pretty much the first guy to have a surf website with constant video edits, he was one of the first pro surfers to have his own brand and when we randomly reached out to Dion via social media he jumped at the chance to be apart of the show and give back to the Take 3 initiative. Good guy.
Check out Dion's latest clip.
Dion has been teamed up with Sydney based street and contemporary artist APESEVEN. Apeseven's piece painted on Dion's broken board is titled "The Burden".
Bids for "The Burden" can be made by clicking the link below to our silent auction...
February 24 || The BROKEN DREAMS tee || designed by Brent Smith
The Broken Dreams long sleeve tee as designed by Brent "Biffy Boi" Smith will be on sale at the show on Friday night. Bring a pineapple down for exchange so you can look all dreamy like our buddy Sheli.
Hand printed by Aisle Six Industries
Model: Sheli B
Photography by Joel Trist
February 23 || Meet Skulk || Broken Dreams featured artist
We were pretty chuffed when Skulk got involved with the LA' crew, and again we're chuffed to have him apart of Broken Dreams painting Harley Ingleby's busted sled.
Skulk is a Sydney based artist that applies his unique style and creative genius to giant walls and canvases alike. There's no differentiating between different mediums which is unique for someone with his style of surreal expressive line work, free flowing form and characters. There's a real mix of traditional abstract art, some Picasso influence mixed with new school street art techniques.
February 21 || W.I.P it || A window into the working progress of the LA' crew
When a problem comes along You must whip it Before the cream sets out too long You must whip it When something's goin' wrong You must whip it
Now whip it Into shape Shape it up Get straight Go forward Move ahead Try to detect it It's not too late To whip it Whip it good
When a good time turns around You must whip it You will never live it down Unless you whip it No one gets away Until they whip it
I say whip it Whip it good I say whip it Whip it good
February 20 || Meet Mulga || Broken Dreams featured artist and poet
Mulga is Joel Moore, a Sydney based artist, freelance illustrator and poet who paints murals, designs t-shirts and runs the Mulga brand. Known for his unique style of intricate line work & bright colours.
Mulga has been paired up to paint Adrian "Ace" Buchan's surfboard for Broken Dreams.
Check out this poem he wrote along side his Broken Dreams Piece...
In the sea there was a king and he was king of the sea For many years he was content as content as can be
But then stuff started to happen that made him real sad All this junk entered his kingdom and this junk was real bad
The land dwelling folks got more careless by the day Dumping their garbage in an offhand kind of way
All this rubbish was killing the creatures of the deep They were choking on garbage and entering the eternal sleep
So if you see some garbage while you’re down at the beach Pick up at least three pieces and that would be sweet
The king of the sea will be well pleased with you He’ll flash you a smile and also a shaka too
February 19 || Meet The Wrights || 3 world class surfers for "Broken Dreams"
It's not very often a trio of brothers and sister become the best surfers in the world... Well actually never, except for the Wright family. Being the elite surfers that they are means they're a family trio that have more than likely seen more of the world's oceans than any other family on the planet. Seas and oceans that they love and need to thrive so they can continue to dominate waves and the sport they love. We are proud as punch to have them on board to help spread the Take 3 message and contribute to our "Broken Dreams" exhibition. A massive shout to the Wright family, keep being the legends that you are!
Mikey Wright in RAGE
Tyler Wright Surfs Epic P-Pass
Owen Wright - 4x10pt waves Fiji Pro 2015 #10WEN
The boards Tyler and Owen donated for canvases
Brigid Moloney creating her Broken Dreams piece on Tyler Wright's board
Cheeky monkeys Kentaro Yoshida and Lee Mc will take care of Mikey and Owens sleds
Mikey's board. Kentaro's art
February 18 || The dreaming begins || An image gallery of WIP's and what not
Mulga hard at it
Mulga detailing King Neptune in all his glory
Mulga x Ace Buchans busted sled... delicious
Kentaro Yoshida and the fishermans catch
Kentaro and the plastic plight for you and I
Skulk laying the layers on Harley Ingleby's half log
Bree Auty concepts and dreams
Bree Auty and the deep blue
Those eyes! Bree Auty on Laura Enever's board
Feburary 11 || Broken Dreams || An exhibition for Take 3 For The Sea
Bretty C catches up with Luke Okay to get the run down on one of the biggest art shows LA' Division has pieced together.
Bretty = grey || Luke = blue
Raising funds and awareness for Take 3 For The Sea
Friday 26th Feb, 5pm - 11pm
Wild Things Gallery - Manlyvale
Proudly supported by Patagonia, Coastal Watch, Surfing World and Corona
February 11 || Yuri Trechswjakow at Malabar bunkers || film and edit Cata Trechswjakow
We haven't posted an art vid in a while. We need more quality vid pieces like this from Cata Trechswjakow capturing Yuri Trechswjakow in action at the Malabar bunkers
February 4 || Apeseven and a year in review || Interview by Trait
Painting, snowboarding, globetrotting, marriage and build up towards another epic solo exhibition. There's no time for a kit-kat on Apeseven's agenda.
TRAIT - Okay man I'll just jump straight in to it. No need for the niceties haha. It seems like its the year of the Ape man. You've been killing it. It's great to see you getting all this recognition, it's definitely well deserved. How do you feel about the last twelve months?
APESEVEN - Cheers bro, I am typically not one to look back but now that the question has been posed I would say the last year has been a prolific burst of art work. Making the move from the Northern Beaches to Sydney City has been amazing and fruitful. I guess the main aspect in the ideology of my process was deciding what I truly needed to accomplish and hence a new hunger has developed which I'm stoked about.
Traveling to the US early this year was awesome, getting to paint with people who first got me into the game and cross pollinating ideas was a great experience, already planning another trip for next year to the west coast hopefully for a bigger series of collaborations.
So many aspects of my life has firmly slotted into place and it simply gives me the time to concentrate on what I do best.
recently being invited to do this year's Project 5 is definitely the pinnacle for me so far, to be part of a amazing stable of artists who have preceded me has been an honour.
T - Your trip to the northwest of the US looked amazing. You painted some epic work at some really iconic spots. Tell us a bit about the trip, it was kinda like a crazy solo bucks trip yeah?
A7 - The trip was a 2 month escapade doing the 2 things I love painting and snowboarding.
I started in Japan spending the month doing backcountry riding in Hokkaido with 2 of my friends, lots of ramen, lots of powder managing to get some first descents on a few unknown mountains.
I then headed off to Portland in USA to visit my old friend Klutch. We met in Canada in 2001 spending a lot of time riding in the Kootenays BC. He is one of those cats who was in SF during early Barry Mcgee and KRdays, Klutch is a sick painter and super devoted to image making. He turned 52 this year having 2 heart attacks in the past 8 years, broke as fuck ...but you know what he paints everyday without exception.
We had planned to paint for 3 weeks, him being a bit of a studio shut in and me mainly to paint murals, we got to paint all over Portland and surrounds hitting abandons in the Oregon forest to Burnside Skatepark in downtown. I painted murals everyday for 3 weeks with him, experimenting with color and collaboration, smoking a bunch and eating a never ending supply of beef jerky.
Burnside is an interesting place ...... lets just say I know now where Skid row came from... we had to go down in a crew while painting the mural just so we had back up against sketchy crackers.
After Portland I headed to Alaska for another 2 weeks of heli in the Chugach mountains. I guess its the pinnacle of any snowboarders riding and it certainly did not disappoint. Gnarliest lines I have ever ridden, definitely one of the last great wilderness areas of the world.
I arrived back home 2 days before I got married to Natalie and in retrospect...... yeah a 2 month bucks party of sorts.
T - Hell yeah uncharted mountains in Japan, painting at Burnside, Alaska, that's an epic bucks. Sure beats the stock standard of going to a seedy strip club, being forced to wear a dress and some wanker gets naked or arrested.
Klutch sounds like a really unique character. How did you meet him?
A7 - We met in Fernie, BC Canadaback in 2001. We spent a lot time riding in the Kootaneys and surrounding mountains.
We went our own ways for a while but continued making art on other sides of the pacific. We reconnected when he asked me to be in a few exhibitions in San Francisco and Portland and have been talking since.
T - It wasn't long after your wedding that you helped out on the 'In the Shadows' project. Such an awesome project, what was your role in making it happen?
A7 - I asked Sam @ the commune to paint his roller door in Erskenville and while MLON and myself were painting it it Sam told me about his warehouse acquisition and asked me to organise a bunch of artists to come paint it. The photos he showed me made the place irresistable to me and as I soon found out delicious bait for other painters as well.
So I guess I became the curator, organiser and exhibiting artist all in one.
Sam organised food , drinks and keys to get in and basically took 2 weekends to paint all the walls in the warehouse.
T - Wow. Thrown in the deep end. But I guess a nice luke warm deep end. Haha. There was some heavy hitters on that line up, some epic walls. And it ran a bit different to a normal exhibition/mural project didn't it? Can you fill us in on how the event ran?
A7 - It started simply as a bunch of us painting a warehouse , bit of an artist "love in" really but at the end of it all the walls looked amazing so Sam wanted to have an exhibition for friends, family ... A low key event so that we wouldn't get onto council radar mainly because he wanted to do the next installment of the commune block party without hassles from council.
We got spot lights on the ground for the event with all other lights turned off. So people were in the shadows observing.
The block party was much bigger around 2000 people coming and going during the day with stalls, bands etc.
T - So tell us about Project 5, you were painting with some amazing artists on a high profile project. Do you ever get nervous or anxious on gigs like that?
Project 5 is an art event co organised by Darling Quarter and Ambush Gallery in Sydney. Its essentially 2 parts , one an outdoor installation in the Darling Quarter and a live paint component with auction for charity.
This year was Volume 7and artists were Fintan Mcgee, Gemma O'brien, Vans the Omega and myself.
I'm lucky to have started my art career in street art like..... 12 years ago, it makes you impervious to criticism not only from fellow graffiti/street artists but the general public not to mention having your works seen by huge numbers of people. Painting in front of the public comes naturally and doesn't bother me much because I treat every painting I do the same regardless of the context with my main goal to flawlessly execute it.
T - We'll you do that well my friend. Haha. Okay last question, we've all seen the posts on instagram of the custom made arrows for your up coming show. Can you fill us in on any more details yet?
A7 - Its early days yet ... but they are part of my new solo show "Infinite Promises" for early next year. It has been refreshing to work in assemblage coupled with mixed media and has been an amazing source of ideas for ongoing works. The arrows are part of a work titled " Words = weapons = DNA ", its the type of work that could be made to infinity or a limited series. I'm still in the process of working out which direction I will pursue.
T - Hell yeah man. It's sounds great. Can't wait to see this show, your last show was awesome. Thanks for chatting with me man
February 3 || Royal Sampler || Brett and Nick sampling the summer fruit || film and edit Joel Trist
This summer has been rad compared to most summers. The swell has rarely dropped below 3ft for months. What the hell is going on?! Banks everywhere have been turning on with a mix of different swell and wind directions. Such a royal sampler of a summer.
January 11 || Jones Beach Boardriders on top
Years ago, the concept of LA' Division emerged on the golden shores of Jones Beach. Our name continues to be etched in the sand, with the Jones Beach Boardriders securing first place in the Original Source Australian Boardriders Battle. LA' Division's own heart-throb Brett Connellan proudly led the team to a comfortable victory and have now secured a spot in the national finals.
Pics and interview
December 10 || Sindy Sinn and the great wall of Sydney
Sindy - YouTube.
And there's an album of photos.
Dude. It's seeeeeriously fucking massive.
It's a big wall.
And all abstract and community friendly fucking blah blah blah.
Luke - haha was going to interview you about it, but that will do. haha smile emoticon
Art installation on Sydney light rail/Urbanest construction site
December 9 || Endless Winter || Radstick continues the dream
It's a tough life when you and your best mate pack up to travel through North America and Canada in search of an endless winter. You wake up and decide what sled to choose for the day, surf, skate or snow and you proceed to capture the awesome adventures and sessions on film, just making sure the boys at home know how tough you have it.
Ahh RadStick you won't be getting any sympathy from us while we sweat it up back at home in the scorching Aussie sun.
Our brothers at RadStick continue living their dream of an endless winter, with a pre-season shred on one of Canada's glaciers. Both Adam and Rob drop a bunch of rail hammers with their mates and get all slidey on whatever they can.
November 30 || Mark Kelly's Movember mania || Last day to raise MO moneys
We very recently got on board a wordsmith guy. A guy who's always fun to be around and can tell a story like a boss. When he tells a story everybody sits down, shuts the fuck up and waits for the laughter that will inevitably come and kick them in the guts. He's also one of the most generous and humble guys you will ever meet. This is a little bit about that guy...
3 years ago, Mark Kelly decided to join a network of friends from the Shellharbour area and raise some money for Movember.
Fast forward to today and Mark has raised over $15000 for Movember ($6800 this year alone), and the Chamberlain Family Network are on their way to raising over $60000 this year.
Mark focuses on comedy for his Movember campaign. Whether it be viral videos, quirky poems, or "tasteful" nude polaroids, he always finds a way to squeeze a smile out of you.
Movember donates to an array of charities specialising in men's health. Prostate / testicular cancer and men's mental health being the strong focal points.
Despite Mark's chipper attitude, he has made no secret that his own struggles with depression have motivated him to do all he can for the cause.
So why not help this lad get to $7000? Give a smile to a man who has given out so many.
It's always a tough day shaving off existing facial hair to start Movember
Once the Mo is in action it doesn't take long to put that smile back on the dial
Contantly surrounded by babes... CONSTANTLY
Winner of the coverted Chamberlain family network prize for best achiever in Movember
Mo Money Movember - Mark Kelly
60 Monutes Interview - Mark Kelly
November 27 || Tidal Magazine || A sneaky showcase
The crew at Tidal Magazine, we recently found out are a bunch of legends, not because they interviewed us in their latest edition or because they're movers and shakers, but because they have a similar philosophy to ours. Find young, local creative talent, nurture it and give it a platform to which a light can shine on it.
Highlights of Tidal mag No. 3 include features on Skateistan, Georgia Hill, Mitch Gobel, Luke Morris, Kentaro Yoshida, Henry Cousins, Clean Coast Collective, Otis Carey, Luke Okay & Local Artist Division, Lauren Hill and a bunch more amazing people doing cool shit.
Here's a sneak weaky peak.
Jump on their website and give them the support they deserve!
November 19 || Repeat exhibition || Melbourne
Sneaky texts and chats about pringles. Young buck Bretty C caught up with Mit for a quick run down Repeat. An exhibition with a bunch of the LA' Division family.
Repeat Opens Friday 20th November - Sunday 22nd
At Interference Space
7/402 Chapel Street, South Yarra
Photos by Grizzle
Grey = Mit || Blue = Bretty
November 13 || Oakley In Residence || Mixing it up with one of the best skate teams in the world
Surry Hills and rad events go together like Merryl Streep and Oscars. On Wednesday night, however, we reached peak 'cool.' There's no coming back from this, Oakley helped us climb the pinnacle of fun and creativity.
Oakley has been touring IN RESIDENCE, a global skate and culture conference where the art and skate worlds mesh minds to bring the best out of the sport. Just think the G20 Summit, but with trendy clothes and fewer old white men. For two weeks the crew, along with team photographer Atiba Jefferson, host events, socialise with fans, and talk about new and exciting directions to take an already thrilling sport.
Sydney is the last stop of the tour, after successful stops in LA and London. It was here that Oakley superheroes Sean Malto, Eric Koston and Curren Caples got to showcase their talent that makes your skills on Tony Hawk Pro-Skater 2 look abysmal... That's with cheats activated, too. Ah, nostalgia at its best, people.
LA'DIVISION artists Sindy Sinn, Emily Vanderlism, Glenno Smith, and Luke Okay, as well as a few other local legends, were fortunate enough to be invited to partake in Wednesday's 'Skate Film Posters Re-Imagined' gallery. Their works were showcased. The photos speak for themselves, and forgive me for sounding like a 12 year frother, but 'awesome' is the only way to describe it.
Pieces by Sindy Sinn, We Buy Your Kids & Glenno Smith
Sindy signing his life away
Luke Okay and his "Yeah Right!" piece in yellow
Sindy and Beth
Attiba Jefferson and the grom squad
Oakley opens the doors for "Skate film posters re-imagined"
Nadia Hernandez and her awesome piece, flanked by Luke Okay and Sindy Sinn's pieces on either side
Luke Okay meeting skate legend Sean Malto
A "Pretty Sweet" piece by Glenno Smith and Sindy Sinn "Fully Flaring"
Our boy Kentaro and freinds
Outside Lister sqawked pretty damn loudly
October 6 || Wonder Walls Wollongong Wrap
We usually have a couple LA' crew representing us at the renowned Wonder Walls street art festival in Wollongong. This year was no different with our homies Bafcat, Sam Clouston and Mikey Freedom throwing their names in the mix with some of the worlds best. Here's some snaps of their works.
October 1 || Luke Okay for Hungry Monkey || Video day
The boys at Hungry Monkey in Kiama plastered Luke Okay with a bunch of Caffeine and let him loose on their cafe wall.
Here's a quick edit from the man himself.
Thanks to Brett Connellan and Justin Wynn for grabbing some clips.
October 1 || Squiggle off || The boys go loopy in Port Mac
This clip shows the ground swell of creative movement in the Port Macquarie area collabbing with a few of our crew including Mike Watt, Grizzle, Sigh and Joel Cameron
Filmed and edited by Elephants and Almonds
Local Creative | Drop Kick Arts | Squiggle Off
September 22 || Texting Nico || Hyperchromatic aftermath
We picked up the phone, wrote some texts and got sendy with one of Sydney's beloved street artists, Nico. We chatted about his pasta addiction, hypercolours and a bunch more. Jump on in, the waters fine!
September 15 || Drunk Grizzle, a wall and an exhibition || Interview by Luke Okay
Last week Grizzle went pretty damn mental, held an exhibition and painted a wall in the space of 2 days. He's a busy beaver and the only time we could fit in an interview was late one night after Griz had just been to a gig and downed a few brewskis.
Grey = Grizzle || Blue = Luke Okay
September 11 || J2ske || Talks "Talk of The Town" to Trait
TRAIT - Hey Josh how are ya? First things first. Do you prefer to be called Josh, J2ske or Mr 2000?
JOSH - Hahahah josh is fineNo need to stand on ceremony for me mate.
T- Haha. Okay Josh. So your originally from Adelaide right? How the hell did you end up in Wollongong?
J- Yep adelaide born and bred. Great town adelaide is, however i found myself showing work to the same people constantly, and it was always just a party. Sometimes the art probably suffered a bit because of the way it was shown or the venue... I kind of wanted more critical feedback for my paintings so my partner and i decided to move to sydney. We lived in the city for a while and moved here when nicole fell pregnant. Just wanted a bit more casual atmosphere to raise olive in and Wollongong is a great place. Beautiful scenery and not far from sydney but far enough to be relaxed. Its a lot like home actually, seemed like a great choice and we haven't regretted it for a second.
T- Yeah you gotta love the slow pace Wollongong works at . Can be a blessing and a curse. Great place to grow up. So does the Wollongong art scene remind you of Adelaide? Is it better or worse? You can be honest we won't be offended. Haha.
J- Ah yeah In a way it definitely is reminiscent of Adelaide. There's a lot of talented cats around for sure, I mean, I'm pretty insular so I don't know that many dudes around the place but from what I've seen and the people I've met there definitely is something going on here for sure and its a positive thing. Some very talented locals around these parts
T- Yeah I feel it's growing. There's a lot of talent for sure. It must be hard moving to a new place, especially a smaller city and connecting with a creative scene. You've done that twice. How do you manage to connect and get work in a new area? Because you always seem to have something going.
J- Hahahah its funny that actually. I just concentrate on making the work really, I'm always trying to create and when things have gotten in the way and distracted me from that like having a shitty job at the surf shop or carrying on partying and stuff I'm always miserable because it gets in the way of my output. Don't get me wrong, rollin with the dudes i grew up with is probably the most inspirational lifestyle choice i could have made, if it wasn't for those cats I probably wouldn't do what i do now so i owe them a lot, but it was important to me to put that information to good use and getting drunk and doing drugs and being a fuck up was preventing me from pushing my work and ideas and I regret alot of that extra shit that caused my life to spiral out of control. It got to the point where i had to put shit into perspective and do right by me which has translated into doing right by my partner and daughter now aswell. Its not easy to just kind of turn your back on doing a heap of fun shit but I've done plenty of mischievous crap so i still got the memories hahaha. I suppose in moving and lurking with heads, its probably just them situations where creative people kind of find each other and see each others work and get talking and it sort of goes from there. Im fortunate that i have a pretty varied output so i meet a lot of crew that are from such a broad demographic, fine artists, designers, musicians, graff dudes etc...and then they intro you to heads an it just goes from there....plus I'm pretty old so i been around the traps. Hahahah
T- Yeah right. That's pretty heavy but is pretty similar to my own development and I'm surea lot of other artists as well.Did you find having a child changedyour perspective on art? I know it really helped me cut out all the unnecessary bullshit.
J- Oh for sure man, having children really puts things into perspective. Its pretty hectic, but it really just makes you approach things differently. You get sort if organised pretty fast. Lucky Nic is such a great mum, coz I'm hopeless hahahah, i suppose thats what dads are for....danger shit. As a side note theres plenty of cartoons to watch for inspiration as well, which is an added bonus.
T- Yeah I'm lucky my wife is a good mum otherwise my child would be fucked. Some if those shows are fun. I'm a sesame street fan myself. So let's get into the actual art. You come from a graffiti background right? I painted one jam with you and was blown away by your work. Plus I never saw you really painting, the piece just emerged you spent the whole time talking but somehow pulled a burner. Tell us a bit about your background in graffiti.
J- Hahah thanks man, I'm pretty fond of having a chat whilst I'm painting haha. Glad you liked the work. As for my background, i wouldn't necessarily say i have a background in graffiti, I'm a practitioner, sure, but i was making dumb shit before i got into "graff", per se. I just found myself looking at all the pieces around the place and figured that half them cats doing it were probably dero's, then i could probably do it too. Was just another way to paint to me really, i was fortunate enough to know a lot of really developed painters who schooled me and critically appraised my work. When i started doing letters, my shit straight fucking sucked....it was rubbish, and a couple heads pulled me aside and were like "look its letters, you start with these 26 symbols and you make the most of them without ruining the integrity of the form.."its pretty fucking simple really, and it made me re-evaluate my understanding of type. From there it was just painting and pushing what we knew, i have always painted with my crew so it was a group dynamic that changed our shit to what it is today, i have to thank my boy EPYK most of all for this because we did just so many pieces together, so many, and it was always a real learning experience to push what we were doing forward, I'm super fortunate to have him as my partner in crime for so many years because he's just open to doing something ridiculous and if it fucked up being like "fuck it" theres always next week. He's a pragmatic fool that bastard hahah. He of course isn't my only influence, I'd say BIND too, but he always steals my kickoffs...so fuck that dude.
T- Oh shit. Dis. Dis. Haha. When you talk about doing stuff before you found graffiti, was that similar to your work now? Or has graffiti influenced your fine art practice?
J- I think everything influences my work to be honest, its entrenched in what I see everyday. I think my design and illustration influences my paintings, music, conversations I have...everything. Graffiti has definitely played a major role too. I've always liked making big paintings, i like to create those images that envelope you, are inescapable...and scale plays a big part in that, when I haven't been able to make large work I'm always dissatisfied because I think small works, although interesting, lack that impact that large work has. Unfortunately I still got bills to pay, and not everyone has room in their spot for a huge artwork. So the smaller works and studies are always happening, but scale is the shit... Along with this I have to say that the other big reason graffiti is such an influence is not just the work itself, but the environment, i love the places this artwork traditionally happens. fucked up paint peeling walls in back alleys, and abandoned joints that are sketchy as. Sure a nice clean wall to paint in the city is good....but these messed up remnants of society and the interactions with them are far more satisfying.
T- Oh yeah. Couldn't agree more. There is beauty in those neglected grimey places.What I love about your studio work is the clashes of subject matter but also the clashes of techniques. You seem to mash things like a 50s stencil style image with a bubbly character or some graffiti lines and styles. Do you plan these pieces out or do they come together as your creating them?
J- I kind of approach all my work differently man, depending on what I'm doing. But for the work I make that is like "my work", my paintings that aren't commissions or illustrations, I usually have a research period where I'll have the basis for the show in my head and source imagery which relates to the theme. Then its a matter of organically placing the objects to create a new dialogue from all these juxtaposed images. In a way my paintings are made very formalistic in their assembly, compositionally they develop from a perspective using some semblance of abstract manipulation, how the sizes and colours fit next to other and their relationship visually. But adding to this there needs to be a coherent semiotic relationship as well, each image I use has its own story, and I create a new, more complex story using these "mash-up" devices. Its like a story that is made by going around in a circle adding a sentence at a time, except in the case of my paintings it is a visual language. I'm really interested in how the perception or understanding of the images both individually and together shifts depending on the viewers own pre-conceived notions of them. In a way the end result is based more on the viewer, they are kind of the final piece to the story...
T- Oh wow that's interesting. I can definitely see a sort of theme or message in the works but it is left open enough for individual interpretation. That's what I love about your work, there is a real subtly of theme yet bold technique and style. Where do the themes and inspiration for your work come from? Is it a reaction to the world around you or something deeper?
J- Ah cheers man. The work i suppose is just me trying to figure shit out. I get these ideas about dumb things and want to flesh them out, see how deep the train of thought can be pushed existentially, i don't know...What starts as some small idiosyncratic thought process is expanded to encompass a multitude of angles. Its a bit of a personality thing i assume, I'm never really satisfied knowing one side of a story, and I'm a fucking critical bastard. So i just have to push things until I am comfortable that I kind of know all about it..... In general the work is based on critiques and explorations of pretty much the general human experience, social commentary. Theres tonnes of stuff that really affects me on some deeper level and to try and understand this and work through it. Probably much in the same vein as a lot of your work man, I see a lot of similarities in the underlying messages portrayed in both practices Just a really different approach. I try to utilise the devices presented to us by the things I don't trust like advertising or journalism, as a way of "trojan horsing" a message back into the system. In a way the work is probably mostly critical of actual art itself in the broader sense, my intent is to make low brow shit considered, i want the images to be cool visually but to have a deeper meaning and I think that in itself attacks a lot of peoples understanding of what "high art" is. My work isn't exclusive, its not overly intellectualised, its not trying to pretend that there is some profound insight involved, it is just an exploration of ideas and thoughts, spoken in a language we are all familiar with collectively.
t- Yeah but definitely feel we are approaching subjects from a similar place. And I'm sure we are not alone. But I feel your work is able to draw people into the thoughts and ideas. Where as my work may polarise people. So you have a show coming up at MovingMountains gallery in Wollongong later this month. Is there an underlying theme with this show? Is it similar to the show you had recently at Rad Bar?
j- I don't know wether your work necessarily polarises people man, i just think its honest, and if the truth hurts then its important to understand why. For me this is the true reason for art, if it causes people to be introspective and maybe change, then it becomes far more powerful than just a purely ornamental possession. As for my new paintings at Moving Mountains (Gallery). Im trying to explore the relationships between conversations had on walls in the street. I want to capture the adding and removal of information by peoples intervention with the space. The work encompasses imagery from the fifties up until the present, and its little glimpses of what has been put up and removed whether advertising or graffiti or signage. I'm intrigued by these unrelated messages, how they can build up over time to create a completely serendipitous story, except in the case of my paintings i actually get to manipulate that into a directed point. None of the work really relates in any level apart from the use of these devices to create it. They are really just sketched out ideas which become metaphors for different facets of our everyday lives. In a way the whole show is about the way we are influenced by images everyday, but on a deeper level, how those images can be totally unrelated and still, through juxtaposition, create a new context that is remove from their original intent. In some way they are similar to what I showed at Rad (Bar), except those paintings were more just studies and little trains of though, like a sketchbook, I had no intention of that work really being considered in the way this show is, it was just a way for me to put down some ideas and suss out what direction I wanted to go with the imagery in relation to some new paintings.
T- Sounds great man. A real exploration into the conversations that walls create by the sounds of it. I'm really looking forward to this show man. You got me hyped. So when you paint a wall would you prefer to do some more traditional graffiti or the more collaged mash ups like your studio work? Or does it depend on the situation?
J- Ah man painting walls is definitely dependent on the situation. If its a commission then I just design for the client , but in general, just a fuck around wall with the crew is more of just a relaxin thing, a day off from painting to paint... I like to just do a piece or draw some funny shit, I don't know really with chill walls, depends how I feel on the day really ...and who I'm painting with, some cats I'm like "fuck, i better bring it " other times I'm just messing around, i usually don't really prepare my graffiti stuff, i find if i take a sketch, there will be an electricity box or a window or some shit in the way and it messes with my composition so i just roll up with a general colour way and suss it as i go. I've done a few pieces , so i'm ok when it comes to freestyling shit. Hahaha. I actually really love painting like that, unprepared... Something about a bit of spontaneity sort of brings new things out in the work. I think really colour is the main thing when it comes to pieces, I'm pretty particular about my colours, if you start with a dope colour scheme you can pretty much make anything look fresh.
T- Wow no sketch. Fuck man I take a photo to a wall haha.So are we going to see a freestyle wall at Wonderwalls festival this year? Stoked to see your name on that poster.
J- Hahaha yeah if Im running some realism shit I need a proper pic man hahahah, my memory isn't THAT good. But in general I just leave it out. I'm really happy to be invited to Wonderwalls this year, i wont say too much about what I'm running but i doubt it will be unplanned. Cant be turning that shit out willy-nilly bro hahaha, i have a pretty prime spot too so i want it to be on the money. Not to worry though, I'm hoping to sneak in maybe a little wall here and there with a couple of the other guests. Should be a great weekend that one.
T- Sounds good man. Can't wait to see what the weekend produces.Thanks for chatting with us man it's been a very thought provoking. What's the dates for your show? Anyone to thank? And where can people find your work or get in touch with you?
J- Thanks so much for having me man, been a pleasure. The show opens at moving mountains on the 24th of this month (sept) i think at six, come past for a squiz. Alternatively you can see my stuff at my (much in need of an update) website
September 11 || Kentaro Yoshida || Video killed the burrito star
Our boy Kentaro Yoshida slayed a wall at Beach Burrito Newtown a little while ago and now we have the video to prove it.
Proudly bought to you by our homies at Authority Clothing and shot by August Inc this will get the pep in your step for the weekend!
Kentaro Yoshida Newtown Collaboration
August 31 || Mike Watt chats about the Tattoo Me book project
Mr Mike Watt has set out on one of art's most expansive projects of all time, with the endeavour to collaborate and push boundaries for not only himself but around 134 or so artists.
Mike has managed to capture the essence and lives of the street art world by providing blank characters that lead the collaborative artists to expose parts of their own character and the things that make them tick being etched out as tattoo or added on as stylized garments.
Each and every work is insane and compiled together will make one hell of an awesome book.
You can pre-order the book, sticker or A2 screen print from here
Can you describe to us the concept behind your current project 'Tattoo Me' ?
M- Hey Trait, I'm good thanks, how are things?
The Tattoo Me concept is all about collaborating with different artists. The way it works is I draw an outline of one of my characters wearing not much and send it to an artist, they then do whatever they want to it, tattoo it, add backgrounds, add body parts, whatever they want and send it back. I'm putting all of them together in a book, there's 134 collaborations all up.
T- Yeah right . And with the outlines did each artist have an idea or was it all your creation?
M- I was working on it over the last three years so it kind of went in stages. At first I would think of an outline for a particular artists, like for Sindy Sinn, he's such a pirate so I drew a pirate for him. After a while I thought I should let the artists choose, which was really interesting, and I got to draw a bunch of characters I would never normally draw. It did slow things down a bit though so in the end I started sending random character outlines out to artists.
T-That's interesting. So it expanded your horizons a little. Did you get any ideas that you thought just wouldn't work?
M-Not that I can think of, there were a few that I was nervous about drawing, or wasn't sure how I would draw them, like Andrew Millist's cyborg. I used to avoid drawing mechanical things, and I wasn't stoked with what I drew when I sent him, but he killed it and made the whole thing really work. I think that's probably what's gotten me into drawing more mechanical things.
Drawing a naked mole rat for Fieldey was definitely different but again she killed it. The giant dick is all Fieldey by the way... And the leather. Quite a few people did add ons.
T-Yeah mechanical shit sucks. Too many straight lines haha. It must have been exciting to get back the artworks and see how they were interpreted. Was there anyone who totally surprised you with what they did?
M- Hahah, it sucks so hard.
Getting the artworks back was so much fun, sometimes I would start to get over the project and wanting a break, then I'd get an email of a new Tattoo Me and it got me right back into it.
Pretty much everyone I was surprised by, the characters seem so one dimensional and boring when I send them out and they come back as these completely changed characters with layers of story. There isn't one that I could have made by myself. That's what I really love about collaborating, you mix two things together and you get a completely different result.
Fieldey who I talked about before was probably the biggest surprise, Carl Morgan's demon was really interesting and unexpected, Rob Baird's art thief too.. There's so many.
T Yeah it's insane how many artists you worked with. Was it difficult trying to organise that many artists? I mean creative types are never good with organisation.
M- It was difficult but I mostly blame myself for that. I was the most unorganised out of everyone. If I ever did it again I think I could do the whole thing in about 6 months, learning from all my awful organisational skills this time around. I was sending the outlines out in groups, normally about 10 at a time with no real deadlines to work towards, I struggle so hard to finish work without a deadline so I totally understand why it took some of the guys a while to get around to it.
T- Haha yeah no deadline, bottom of the pile. You need that pressure. You did well though to put this all together. I wanna ask you about your characters and style. When did you start creating these eyeball less characters?
M- Cheers man.
It's kind of hard to track it properly because it was a bit of a slow build. I guess the pupilless thing started when I first started painting walls, which is about 15 years ago now. I think it was because my can control was so shit that putting pupils in was too hard for me so I would leave them out and would just have the whites of the characters eyes. I went in a big loop with my styles though, especially when I started working with commercial illustration, I kind of forgot what my real style was and I wasn't enjoying drawing as much and just putting it towards work. I went through about 50 styles, and finally went back to drawing how I did when I was a teenager. I became obsessed with drawing again after that. There's interesting and weird people everywhere as well so there's constant inspiration for me.
T-It's funny how art always seems to go full circle. It seems the inspiration you get to start creating never really leaves you. Well your characters are on point, is there any character based artists that have inspired you? And who do you think is killing it at the moment?
M- For sure, I see it with artists all the time, but I guess you have to walk that circle to be sure your doing it the way you want.
I am a bit paranoid about subconsciously biting other peoples work, so I try to avoid looking at stuff that might be in the same vein as mine. From back in the day though, Exit KOC was a big one, comic books as well, Jamie Hewlett, Jack Kirby, there's a bunch.
There's so many guys killing it at the moment, there seems to be more happening every year, or maybe I'm just noticing it more. There's too many Sydney people to name so I'm going to jump over to Russia and say Time of Milk, I'm loving those tripped out milk cartons he paints.
T- Yeah right, I'll have to check em out. It's an interesting point you made about not looking at work similar to your own. Do you find that you work more at your own pace that way or do you still compare yourself to other artists?
M-I guess I try not to compare myself and work at my own pace, I think that can be dangerous to compare yourself. I look more at creative people in other fields, this really inspires me. Kendrick Lamar is a big one at the moment, everything that dude does is amazing, he really does his own thing and he does it so well. Louie C.K was a big one, there's a bunch of other stuff, film makers and animators. I guess as well because I'm looking at such a different world you can't really compare yourself so much to those guys, but it really pushes me to make stuff and to get better
T -Fucking love Louie. I guess that's how you come up with such an unique idea like Tattoo Me. So back to your book , I like that your crowd funding it, it makes it more personal I feel. And you've also got prints and stickers as well as the book up for grabs if people donate. Can you tell us a bit about that? And where people can go to check it out?
M- He's the best.
Because it's such a massive full colour book the printing is pretty steep. I couldn't afford to do it by myself so I've made it a pre order which I'm doing through Indiegogo. I'm really stoked with the response so far, everyones being really supportive. You can pre order the book, sticker or a2 screen print from here
T- Im pretty keen for those stickers man. Are you planning an exhibition or print release when the books done?
M- I'll be doing it at the Work Shop in Redfern, we haven't gotten an exact date yet but it will be mid to late October. I'll hopefully have a website up around the same time too.
M- Thanks heaps for that man, really appreciate it.
I've got about 9 waiting to be done, hahah. The next one will be a comic that I'm collaborating on with Gabriel Mello. Hopefully I'll have a that one and a couple of smaller ones coming out before the end of the year.
I need to thank about 145 people, I've had so many great people help me out in some form with this project. I really can't thank them all enough.
August 21 || Funkworld in review
Last night was the opening of Funkworld, a solo show of works by the Gong's Bafcat.
Bafcat teamed up with our good friends at DP Surfboards, along with Steel City skateboards and Kingprint Screenprinters to showcase some of the best in local culture.
Photos by Bretty C
Bafcat: Finding Funkworld
August 20 || This Saturday Kentaro live paint session || Beach Burrito
Sensai Kentaro Yoshida is set to have another live paint session for the legends at Beach Burrito. This time in Newtown on this Saturday 22nd of August, kicking off at 2pm. There will also be a pop up store by Authority Clothing, so get yourself a limited edition Kentaro T-shirt, a burrito, a $5 tinnie and be inspired by the detailed awesomeness that is the art of Kentaro Yoshida.
Check out Kentaro's work from the last time he teamed up with Beach Burrito in this gallery.
Beach Burrito Newtown is located at
1a Bedford St Newtown
Kentaro Yoshida Live Art Vid - press play!
August 20 || Finding Funkworld
Bafcat teams up with Verb Syndicate to create Moving Mountains Gallery in Globe Lane, Wollongong.
First cab off the rank to exhibit in the mountainous space is the man himself, Bafcat with his show Funkworld!
The Gong has been starved of a decent gallery space for a little while. While the steel city has been undergoing a creative renaissance of sorts with new music and art festivals and general cool places to hang in recent years, a gallery to house our low-brow street inspired art has somewhat been missing.
Cue two forward thinking local artists, Simon Grant of Verb Syndicate and homeboy Bafcat. Between the two boys there's plenty of art experience, knowledge of running gallery spaces and an extensive network of artists and movers and shakers that will surely move mountains for the Gong.
Funkworld kicks off tonight and is on for the next two weeks... read the poster
Bafcat: Finding Funkworld
August 18 || The art of band posters || Our crew and the history of;
Rummaging through a bunch of the guys websites on the hunt for possible tattoo ideas, it became apparent that there was a bunch of our crew that had done some fucking cool art, for some fucking cool bands.
There's the obvious fact that our god father of illustration Ben Brown has built a lot of his name around doing band posters for the likes of Nirvana, Frenzal Rhomb etc etc. But other guys like Sindy Sinn and Blair Sayer are nipping at his heels putting out their own iconic take on the humble band poster.
There's also guys like Kentaro Yoshida, Mike Watt and Lee McConnell that have an art style that begs to belong on a poster, splashed about in the grimey streets of cities calling out punk rock or hip hop OVER HERE! But alas we'll wait for the perfect marriage of band and artist to come to fruition.
Here's a montage of just some of a large collection of works influenced by music and the bands that are then married to the imagery of the poster art. Works by Ben Brown, Sindy Sinn, Blair Sayer, Lachlan "Splegs" Bruce and Glenno Smith.
Lachlan "Splegs" Bruce - we know it's for an artshow, but it's to damn good to not make the cut
Ben Brown - feat some awesome social commentary
Lachlan "Splegs" Bruce
Lachlan "Splegs" Bruce
Lachlan "Splegs" Bruce
Lachlan "Splegs" Bruce
Lachlan "Splegs" Bruce
August 10 || Chehehe & Mitch Walder || DON'T LOOK
Chehehe and Mitch Walder go ham from start to finish on this piece in Melbourne for the Mebourne Fringe Festival. Aptly titled "DON'T LOOK"... although you probably should
July 26 || Biffy and the shopping mall || Video Inside
Earlier this month our old mate (old as in the length of time we've known him, not how old he is!) Brent "Biffy" Smith got himself an invite to paint a couple of walls at westfield Miranda. Ahhh just watch the video... Good Job ol' Biffy boiiii!
Watch Artist Brent Smith Illustrate Westfield Miranda Rooftop
July 24 || An ode to our humble beginnings
Our story began via the humble settings of a small coastal town, with two boozy mates talking shop in a pub. Frustrated with the distinct lack of inspiration and goings on our town offered, we also found it hard to find like minded creatives.
Those drunken nights saw a pact start between the two artists that they'd meet up every Tuesday in a garage and bring a new piece of art or a new project to the dank little car hold. Constantly pushing each other in some way, the artists found a new motivation that created a vacuum effect and soon more artists were sucked in. Exhibitions started popping up in a town where there was thought to be no creative culture.
Now creatives of all disciplines from all around Australia and even a few abroad are taking hold of the nurturing innovative community that is Local Artist Division. So from our humble beginnings to being humbled by those that make LA' Division what it is today and those that support us, we say thank you! Lets keep creating and evolving!