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!
AM/PM: LA' DIVISION episode 1
AM/PM: LA' DIVISION ep 2
July 15 || Kentaro Yoshida || An exhibition of Undulating awesomeness
This Friday July 17 one of our favorite characters in our crew, the ever smiling, cheeky Kentaro Yoshida opens the doors to his first solo exhibition.
At EyeSymmetry Surboards
162 Harbord rd, Brookvale || Sydney || Australia
6pm to late
LA' - Yo Kentaro! How you doing brother?
Very good Luke! I’m both excited and a little nervous about my first solo show, Undulation, presented by my good mates at EyeSymmetry! Also fairly exhausted, I’ve been working hard for the last four weeks creating work and planning the show.
How has this exhibition come together for you?
It took a lot of thought and reflecting whilst I was working out the concept. In the end though it all came together quite naturally — Undulation is really a distillation of all the ideas I’ve been exploring over the last few years: the crazy nights out partying and having fun and the deathly hangover the next morning. I’m really happy with the progress of the show so far and best of all, I’ve learnt so much in the process. It’s been super fun!
You’ve got such a fun quirky personality and we see that subtly snaking through your dark twisted style of artwork. How did you get into drawing skulls and gorey stuff?
It’s just a style that has slowly developed over time. It’s still growing though and I have no idea where it might end up. I’ve always been interested in exploring the idea of the hangover and its associations and slang like ‘Hair of the Dog’. It started with a drawing I did of a skull impaled by a dagger, representing the pain of a hangover, and evolved it from there. I've always enjoyed fine line work too so adding detail and other things like long hair to the skulls developed them into the recurring hippie-skeleton character. Traditional american tattoos also influence my style and I like interpreting them in my own style. Snakes, and flowers like roses are some of my favourite motifs at the moment, but I am looking to include different ones in future works.
How has being from Japan influenced your work?
Even though I’ve spent more than a third of my life living in Sydney’s Northern Beaches, being japanese still means a lot to me. I think it has given me a good attention to detail and influenced some of the themes I explore.
One thing everyone recognises with your work is how much detail you squeeze into it, you are a master with line work, is that something tried to get really good at, or did that style come naturally?
I’ve been a big fan of the work of Ben Brown ever since I first saw his illustrations in Aloha Surf Manly. I was so impressed with the amount of detail he put into the skulls, skin, hair and chunks of meat in his artworks. I also love the illustration style of I LOVE DUST, a design studio in the UK. The detail in their work is insane! I’m always working towards adding more detail like these guys do in my work too.
Sushi or meat pies?
Sushi for dinner. Meat pies on the corso at Manly after a big night out at the Steyne — classic Manly style.
Everybody wants a Kentaro piece in their house, how much paper should people bring to this show, whats the price range?
How much you got? Haha, well I’m still an emerging artist so I would consider the prices reasonable for the work I’ve put into them. We’re also selling a super limited run of Undulation x EyeSymmetry t-shirts on the opening night. They’re organic cotton and feel like you’re draped in puppy cuddles whilst still looking heaps badass.
Hope to share a drink with the LA division crew on opening night, and maybe even a hangover the next morning! Thanks for the chat. YEEEW!
July 13 || Road trip with DP Surfboards
Last week we crammed into a couple of cars with a stack of D.P boards and hit the bitumen driving up the coast to try and find some warmer water and fun waves... Job done. We ticked boxes, hung out, laughed and experienced the great Australian road trip.
Video to come.
Surfing - Brett Connellan
Photos by Joel Trist and Luke Okay
June 29 || Trait "What it really boils down to..." || Interview and exhibition
LA' O.G homie Trait, threw up an awesome little exhibition over the weekend at Rad Bar in Wollongong. His show is of a body of works he put together over the last couple of weeks taking aim out our political mess and the social effects we all face from the decisions our "leaders" push us into. Knowing Trait always has some great words to say we hit him up for a chat and insight into his life and art.
LA' - Hey Trait! How you travelling? Little stressed?
Hey boss. Yeah ive been good bro. Pretty busy but not too stressed.
LA' - This exhibition opportunity popped up and didn’t leave you much time to get yourself organised, what the hell?
Yeah it came out of left field. Brett Randel fromRad Bar in Wollongong hit me up about two and half weeks ago for a little show.It was super relaxed though. No big deal just a few pieces and he wanted me to add a piece to the walls in the bar. I had two pieces already but i basically had to paint four pieces in two weeks. And with working forty five hours a week and having a six month old baby at home it left me about an hour to paint each day. Im really happy with the work i produced though, it wasnt rushed. I took an rdo to get the last piece done and prep the mural i did. I was stoked to add a work to there walls next to local legends BafCat and Sam Clouston.
LA' - Being an artist that likes to convey meaning or a type of social commentary into your artworks, what would be the overall meaning for this exhibition?
I guess there is no real overall meaning to this body of works but they definetly all have some sort of social and politaical comment. Basically all these pieces deal with topical issues at the moment in our local area and the country. Issues like our reliance on coal, the housing bubble, blind worship of technology and the fascist state our country seems to be slipping into. Abbott and Hockey make a cameo apperance in a couple of pieces. These paintings were definetly a bit of a release of frustration at the situation our society is in at the moment.
LA' - You recently became a dad, how’s that wild ride treating you?
Yeah man it definitely is a wild ride. we're starting to settle into a bit of a routine at the moment. But there is always little surprises. Haha. Its been great though our daughter Emmy Mae is such a happy little girl and my wife Ellen is an amazing mum so i cant complain at all. i'm very blessed. Plus my daughter loves watching skate vids with me so i've got it made.
LA' - Do you think becoming a dad affects the way you look at the world and the art you create?
Oh definitely. on a serious note it really makes you question what kind of world she is going to grow up in. I know it may sound a bit trivial but it does concern me. But on the art side of things its been great. I mean i don't have as much time to paint now but that's made me re-evaluate what i put my time into. its made me go back and create for the pure pleasure of creation. I'm not doing any commission work now.only painting what i want. I don't care if i don't make any money from it,i have a job so art is purely for pleasure again.
LA' - Are we going to see a Trait kids book raising awareness on social issues?
Hahaha. i highly doubt it. I don't think children should really be viewing all my work. I had to warn my friend Mikey that if he brought his kids to the show they might get scared. Its not too kid friendly, there's a rabid dog and a skull coming out of Joe Hockey's head. Haha.
LA' - Are you going to get baby Emmy onto the cans from a young age (spray cans that is…)?
Haha yeah of course man. If she wants to. I've always said I'm gonna give her the option at play time. "Do you want to play tea parties or go throw paint at something?" I hope she wants to throw paint. Haha. I've already got her hooked on skating though. She loves watching Thrasher clips and i push her in the pram on my cruiser board, she kicks her legs and laughs.
LA' - What artists have you been taking note of lately? Anyone doing anything a little differently that’s caught your eye and you’ve been like “fuck that’s dope”?
Man lately i've been stoked on the Etam cru, Bezt and Sainer. Their pieces are something else.The way they use colour, the composition and the stories they can tell through a single image is just insane. Check out some of their vids, the execution and technique is on point. Also i love Bom K, i always find myself flicking through his instagram.Its so raw and open. No apologies but also executed so well. And Axel Void is just a true fucking artist. But of course theirs also the natives killing it like Fintan Magee, Adnate, Thomas Jackson and the La' Division homie Ape 7 is fucking killing it. So pumped on his stuff. Its always evolving and going to new levels. Such a boss.
LA' - Anything else we should know about your show?
Its on til the 25th of July at Rad Bar in Wollongong. Its an epic spot in the gong and they have some unique opening times, 9 til 3 Tuesday to Friday and late on Wednesday and Saturdays 5 til 12. And sometimes 5 til 10 on Sundays. Haha. If your around the Gong check it out, good beer great live music and some pieces on the wall. And some of the best toilet graffiti.
June 23 || Homie Willam Nghiem interviewed on MTN
Our friends over at MTN caught up and had a chat with our art fiend William Nghiem, talked shop and asked him how to pronounce his last name.
Here's a little sample, for the full interview and all the shots jump onto...
Now your last name – we were pronouncing it wrong for a long time before we asked. Tell the folks – how do you pronounce your last name?
I had a feeling this would come up! haha The way I explain it to people, it’s like saying “Knee-m” or “Neam” – but hey, I’m not fussed as long as you give it a shot. It’s the effort that counts. If I remember correctly you were pretty close on your first attempt!
How do you find the time to produce the volume of work that you do whilst still doing uni and trying to manage the normal life of someone your age? Sleepless nights? Coffee addiction?
Back when I had uni, I was definitely running on fumes with heaps of sleepless nights. But I spent those nights doing something I love so I didn’t mind at all. Even now when uni is out of the equation, I still find myself working till 6-7 in the morning… I compromise a lot so I don’t exactly live a normal life, but I can’t imagine myself doing anything else.
June 22 || "Kill Screen" opening night recap || Pigeonboy
Pigeonboy's new solo show Kill Screen opened on Thursday 11 June at Forgotten Worlds Arcade in Collingwood. Thanks to everyone who came out for the show. For those who missed it here's a little recap of the opening night. Kill Screen will run until the end of June. Check it out if you haven't already.
June 19 || Luke Okay paints your surfboards
Luke Okay has been painting surfboards since he was 10 years old, drawing crappy robots and monsters on his and his brothers boards. Since those day he's gotten a little better and drawn on hundreds of boards including boards for pro surfers such as Mitch Colborne, Dean Bowen, Blake Thornton and Rhys Bombaci.
He even curated the "Hammer & Tong" surfboard exhibition with D.P surfboards and a bunch of the LA' crew.
If you're keen to get your board painted drop him a line on firstname.lastname@example.org
June 17 || VICES new vid for "Slavery" || feat homie BAFCAT
Sydney hardcore band VICES released a new film clip today for their song "slavery" and on a sneaky double take inspection we realised our homie Bafcat had painted their bandroom. Dope stuff from both creative forces.
Keep that P.M.A flowing.
WARNING: we hope you like your music loud and hard.
Vices : Slavery
June 15 || An Exhibition of Works by Dale Bigeni || Interview and sneak peek inside
Ahead of Dale Bigeni's solo show opening this Saturday (June 20) we catch up with the art fiend and have a chat to get the lowdown on his art, life and his experiences that have lead to this exhibition of works.
Opening Saturday June 20
Ambush Gallery - Level 3, Central Park, 28 Broadway, Chippendale
LA'- Dale Bigeni, is that an Italian name? Every time I hear your name I picture an awesome little Italian restaurant and you serving up some hell meatballs... That or a donut shop. What would you rather be serving up?
Dale - Haha, Im half Italian but the last name comes from my dads side which is actually Maltese…But with that said growing up as an Italian kid I had my fair share of italian food and lets just say, It’s one of my least favourite foods. I'm going with the Donut Shop!
LA'- We've known each other for a while now, since the Secret Walls days where you reigned supreme and came out king of the crop taking down a bunch of Australia's best street scene artists, including The Godfather of lowbrow art Mr Ben Brown. Did that experience give you the confidence to continue to crush it with your art? What else did you take from that whole thing?
Dale - Secret Walls was with out a doubt the kick starter for my career. Winning against Ben Brown was a trip, the whole experience was kinda surreal. It defiantly gave me ore confidence as a person and showed me that i had quite a good following and support so it was easy to want to really push myself and get out there as much as i can. The number one thing i took out of it though, was the connections and friends I made out of it, was really awesome to meet the whole Secret Walls family.
LA'- So is this show the first solo show you've done?
Dale - Yeah man, I always said I’d do a solo show before i turned 30…. So it launches the day before my birthday :) I can see why I put it off for so long though, its been really draining but I know its for the greater good. Also, just a really rad reason to get the crew together and have a bit of a party!
LA'- Is there an overarching theme or message in all the pieces?
Dale - I never create my art with many themes, although Ive created a “tattoo inspired” style and theme for myself with all my art these days so lets go with that. I don’t want to try make it sound like there is to much meaning behind anything.
LA'- How did you create this body of work? Did you use the one technique for all the pieces or did you go ham and try your hand at different processes?
Dale - So for the most part its the basic Dale process. I sketch really messy stuff, Re-draw it on the old Wacom then Fine tune it all digitally. Although I did do a couple of pieces that are more traditional in a sense, brushes, spray paint and poscas, but it still retains a lot of the same styles as my digital art.
LA'- Is it fair to say you're a hardcore kid at heart? Do you think that style of music has influenced your art making, like more than just aesthetically? Do you have those heavy beats in the headphones when you're getting a creative buzz on?
Dale - Oh dude, for sure. Hardcore music is a massive part of my creative process. I listen to a lot of lyrics and try to pull stuff out of songs. A lot of hardcore stuff is pretty deep, so you can get some pretty rad and dark themes and art out of it. With that said, I’ll listen to anything, Its usually hardcore or hip hop……really weird contrast right!
LA'- Thanks Dale! Anything else we should know about the show?
Dale - No thank you. I really appreciate the constant support. As for the show, all you need to know is that it opens on JUNE 20 at 5pm with free drinks and free food to please the masses. I’ll have big pieces for sale and i’ll have not so big pieces up for grabs. This show will have something for everyone. Come say what up!
June 12 || DAY PLANS EP. 1 || A session with the D.P groms || Film and edit by Joel Trist
DAY PLANS EP. 1
We travelled along with the D.P Surfboard team and tested some boards and got some fun little waves getting the froth on with the groms.
Filmed and edited by Joel Trist
Day Plans EP 1
June 11 || "Kill Screen" || Pigeonboy solo show || Forgotten World's Arcade - Collingwood
Forgotten Worlds Arcade presents KILL SCREEN an art show of new and original works by Pigeonboy. Join us for an evening of Video Game inspired art, beer and good times.
Here's a sneak peek and some sketches that didn't make it!
SEAN: Just finished up a hand-painted shop sign for my friends over at Lightly Salted in Asbury Park, NJ. A normal day for me is waking up, checking my emails, updating my websites, playing some tunes, grabbing a cup of coffee, checking the surf, if not I usually am running around doing errands or starting/finishing whatever freelance work I need to get done.
LA': Sean Bernhardt you’re on fire at the moment, everywhere we turn we seem be seeing your art as logo’s for stores, T-shirt prints for surf and street labels and even getting tattooed on people. What’s going on, how did this happen?
SEAN: Not too sure how it all came together. I feel like the more newer work I was posting over and over again, the more inquiries I was receiving via email and social media. I did a tee design for Mowgli surf from CA, than ended up doing about 10 more designs for JAKS shop in Japan. I started doing a few interviews with smaller independent magazines and started promoting my site, really was diggin’ the style of art I was making, people seemed stoked and I just stuck with it.
LA': Your’e from New Jersey USA, did you grow up in New Jersey? Whats the art and surf scene like there? How did you get involved in these scenes?
SEAN: Yeah, I grew up here. The scene is always changing, it seems like everyone is starting to get involved with artwork, more and more people trying to start their own gigs. The art scene is pretty terrible over here, but when you have a show or get involved in something rad everyone comes out and it turns into a party. People def. support the arts here, but inspiration is lacking. Winter is brutal and summer is super mellow and always inspiring. It’s a tough environment most of the year, you feel very trapped because of the cold. I got into the art scene 4-5 years ago, had shown my work in coffee shops, a few galleries and surf shops etc. People seemed to always give me positive feedback and I wanted to keep experimenting with things, ended up back to my roots of drawing. I have met a lot of the people I know today through surfing and growing up near the beach. Everyone is super chill and smaller business owners always welcome new artwork into their stores, as long as you have a different style, its relatively easy to show work where I live.
LA': For those that don’t know, you’re one half of Evil Paradise, a label creating some exciting hand made surfboard bags and t-shirts. How would you describe the aesthetic for E.P? What’s the plan for Evil Paradise in the near future?
SEAN: We are super grassroots, DIY, and simple. Dave and I both partnered up because we have been into the old-school principles, use our hands and keep making diverse shit. Evil Paradise is all about just making rad stuff, surfing, creating and having fun with it. I don’t want to ever be classified as something else. We plan on having some shows in our show-room/studio space this summer, printing a shit ton of new things, interviews with mags, more collaborations, and to me most importantly getting more bags and product out in the world/shops.
LA': What pushes you to create your own art? Are you into expressing a message or just doodling characters?
SEAN: I’ve always liked to make work that stands out, isn’t that the point of making art ya know? Too many people are making the same looking work, so over time I started just playing around with diff. patterns, simple doodles, turning everything into madness. Most of my work tells a bit of how I may be feeling from time to time, but most of the work I am posting is for apparel or logo works. I work pretty simple, I feel like to me that is my way of getting the message out to people, if that makes sense. I usually just start working on something and let my eyes finish the rest of the piece.
LA': What’s your work space like? studio, garage, bedroom floor?
SEAN: Well I move into my own studio space within the next few days hopefully, so I will be there daily working from now on. I just bought a new glass desk, so that will be my main working surface, as well as wooden walls to start hanging/painting new works. I am super hyped on finding some space, its about time for sure. I have worked in sheds, living-rooms, my bedroom for a while now. I have some CD covers and posters up, patches, buttons, old cans/bottles, collage work surrounding…bunch of inspiring shit !
LA': Going off your instagram you listen to a lot of music, how does that influence your art making?
SEAN: Music is my biggest inspirations. I have a huge interest lately in finding new bands and like seeing live music local or in the city. I like a lot of psychedelic tunes, as well as surf, punk and lo-fi. My style definitely can be tied with that sort of vibe.
LA': If you had the opportunity to be mentored by any artist or anyone dead or alive who would you call up?
SEAN: That’s a tricky one for sure. I don’t think I would want to be mentored, I never liked having a teacher haha..rather just do what I want. I think if I could collaborate with someone, it would be the guys over at the Snake Hole. I have been grilling their shit for a while now, really a fan of it all.
LA': Whats next for you brother?
SEAN: Work out of the studio, destroy some new work, more painting, freelance, many beers, hopefully some good surf and enjoy the warm weather over here on the East Coast.
LA': You seem to be getting a lot of freelance work for labels here in Aus, are we going to see you out this way anytime soon?
SEAN: I would love to get out to AU eventually, its tough finding the funds to do so, but when the time comes I will be there. I am going to keep pushing work to you folks out there, seems like a tight knit spot for my style work, everyone is super nice and stoked when we chat via emails !
June 9 || In The Shadows - secret exhibition || we chat to Keo Match
Last week we were lucky enough to get an invite pop up in the old electronic letter box to meet up after dark in the back streets of town. It all seemed a little cloak and dagger. Excited by the teaser clips and shots on social media we put on our hooded cloaks and went out into the winter night and got lost "In The Shadows". - Here's a chat we had with our homie Keo Match about how the project came about and some insight into his process and life of mark making.
All photos by Luke Okay
LA: Yo Keo! How did the “In The Shadows” project come about?
KEO: It all started with the COMMUNE roller door. Apeseven and M-lon had been invited to paint the constantly refreshed roller door. The door has had works created by OX King, SMC3, Grizzle, The Dirt, Mike Watt, Bafcat, and many many more to occupy it’s corrigations. After this particular paint however Sam Ali of the COMMUNE approached Apeseven about a very special blank canvas in the depths of Erskinville. After much banter and planning said canvas (the warehouse) which has little life left, was turned into a gigantic off-the-streets streeart/grafitti/mural exhibition, “In The Shadows”.
LA: Why was it so secretive? Whats the plan with the factory in the next couple of months before it’s impending doom of demolition?
KEO: The reason for the secret nature of this particular project really came down to safe-guarding against the event/exhibition opening getting out of hand and killing the options for the short future that is left for the spot. The COMMUNE have plans to do a much larger Block Party with community markets being run out of the space. Also there are plans for a magazine launch party in the space the week after the Block Party. Understandably if the opening got out of hand the dominoes could start to fall and these other plans could be ruined. Besides damage control it was also an opportunity for the artists that had contributed to select special guests to show support and also cross over networks. Frankly it was just an awesome opportunity being able to chill with some really close peers from overlapping creative circles.
LA: How did you get the call up to be involved?
KEO: All Apeseven. I was more than stoked to be included. Ape sent me one of the first messages and said “How’d you like to paint in here?” with a collection of photos attached showing the many MANY walls in the space. I was like a kid on xmas morning! I wrote back, “Yes yes yes yes YEESSSS plllzzzzz”, quickly followed by “Are we painting all of them?” not knowing that there were some of the biggest names in the game going to also be gracing these walls (hahaha). Ape told me later that I more than deserved to be there and between my hard work and helping him out when he came up for "Hit The Bricks" in Newcastle in 2014 and later inviting him along to “Block by Block - Belmont” the week after, it was a no brainer to him. I was touched to say the least.
LA: Your piece was pretty insane mixing characters with calligraphy and a water colour style centrepiece. You’ve been starting to mix different styles and techniques lately with your street art, is this something you’re aware of, making a conscious effort to mix it up?
KEO: It’s was all intensional. It’s been a long learning process over the last few years trying to keep my head and listen and learn from as many artists as I could. In a way this piece is the first time all the elements I’ve been working so hard to master have all come together and it’s really a big glimpse, not only into what is next for me with a much more focused approach coming out of my process. But its actually unconsciously a tribute to the many many supporting peers and close friends that I’ve made over my recent education. Ohnoes, Chehehe, Grizzle, Adnate, Thomas Jackson, Numbskull, Mike Watt, Skulk, Voir, Houl, Skubz Mope, Adnate, M-lon, Graphico, Peque, Bafcat, Sally Bourke, all the other LA' DIVISION crew and many many many more, without these legends and their openness to let me absorb their processes and willingness to collaborate on some truly memorable pieces with a rookie and outsider such as myself. I’d definitely be still riding struggle street quite hard without these guys!
LA: The line up of artists involved was pretty amazing, did you learn anything painting alongside those guys/girls?
KEO: Always learning. Grabbing a couple helpful hints from the fresh eyes of Thomas Jackson really helped me when I was struggling with my flow, as well as telling me to not forget about reflective light sources when it came to painting the mildly photo-realistic elements. The biggest thing I always learn is to stress less. It’s just paint. You can always repaint it. Plus it’s “streetart”, it’s not going to last forever.
LA: You’re a bit of a collab machine with street art, is there anyone you’d really really want to paint with? What would you guys talk about while painting together?
KEO: There are sooooo many artists I still want to hit up for a paint. Some that spring to mind straight away are Duke Grimo, ClogTwo, Gent48, HombreSUK, Niels Shoe, and of course, SmugOne. I love talking shop with painters, easiest way to learn the stuff that isn’t in any textbook or on any youtube vid. But I really love chatting about the peripheral elements of life, for example I met Sprinkles at the opening and instead of getting all chatty about paint products and tech, we had a rad chat about carpentry and having a secondary job or release that can take your head to a different space. I love hearing about every passion, not just the painty ones.
LA: Any other secret projects coming up? what’s next for Keo Match?
KEO: I’ve got a few things in the pipeline and a couple other ideas I’m toying with. In late September I’ll be moving down to Melbourne with my girl, so I’ll be taking up residence with a bunch of radical artfiends at the Artshole Studio down there. The plan will be to paint every second I can and give my art as much focus as I can between illustration, animation and all my other commercial creative pursuits. Exciting and scary all in the same breathe. Don’t worry though I’ll still heading up and down the east coast alot, still go a bunch of jobs I’ve got to stay on top of. No plans to sit still that’s for sure ;)
May 25 || Luke Okay for Converse "Made by you" campaign
You've probably seen Converse's worldwide campaign "made by you". Starting with celebritie's worn in Chuck Taylors and how the individual has trashed, decorated and made them their own. The campaign then stretched to everyday Joes and their story around making their Chucks.
Daniel Livingstone was one such Joe who created his "made by you" story while trekking the world's highest volcano.
"Rejecting white noise, he lived purposefully".
With this 6 word story Luke Okay was asked to create an artwork depicting what he took from the allegory. This is the artwork from start to finish.
May 15 || We've got custom made wetsuits. Get warm. Look stylish.
LA' Division is proud to announce we have some of the best wetsuits available.
Our wetsuits are hand made and custom built to your measurements. Made in Japan with the best Japanese rubber. Colour is your pick, from 18 different colours.
These rubbery suits are super warm, flexible and durable, you'll see more than a couple of seasons in these bad boys.
For inquiries, an order form or to place an order please email email@example.com
May 5 || Cam Mullen crushes it - come in and check out this video courtesy of Kingpin Skate Supply
Cam Mullan skates hard, is technically insane and style... don't get me started on how good his style is...
Courtesy of Kingpin Skate Supply
Film/edit Ben Laxton
Cam Mullan Kingpin Skate Supply
April 15 || LA' Division x DP surfboards x Evil Paradise |