BLACKSMITHS WAY is a legal graffiti and street art project in Belgrave, Victoria.
Graffiti is not an aesthetic that communities are always comfortable with, but it is a global (youth) arts practice. At Hoodie Mag we believe that communities need to acknowledge and support the creative aspirations and natural risk taking of young people. This means affording young people a stake in the way our communities function, look and feel.
Young people often feel disconnected, undervalued, even invisible and therefore become resentful and reactionary. We need to offer young people age appropriate opportunities to participate in community cultural development.
This is a disturbing concept for some members of the community, as young people’s aesthetic, cultural and social behaviours are often provocative, experimental, rebellious. To encourage a distinctly youth aesthetic in our communities (one that invariably includes suburban graffiti motifs and street art) is often a contentious issue.
Hoodie Mag works on the ground with young people, actively engaging with them and exploring their perceptions and manifestations of community and culture. Our experience suggests that acknowledging and supporting a youth aesthetic and culture (rather than wishing it didn’t exist) reduces risky and criminal behaviour and betters our communities in general.
Young people want to be valued and noticed. Empowering young people, developing deep and respectful relationships with them and acknowledging their creativity, intelligence and passion can be profoundly rewarding for everyone.
The Blacksmiths Way Graffiti and Street Art Project has been in development for 4 years now and is starting to have a significant artistic, social and cultural impact on the community of Belgrave and surrounding communities. The project successfully raises the profile, status and level of productive participation of young people by offering them a sense of ownership and inclusion in their local community.
Watch the Blacksmiths Way Belgrave videos.
Artists: 1. Rohan Meinhart 2. Sam van Angeren, Sonya Louise, Emma Jennings, Rohan Meinhart 3. Zak Carey 4. Sam Dreams, Tiffaney Bishop, Kyle Stamkos 5. Steve Cross, Askem SDM, Ethicks SDM 6. suk1t_1, OG23, Mikey XX1 7. Kenz Kritpan, Sonya Louise 8. Rohan Meinhart, James Soar 9. James Soar, Rohan Meinhart, Mikey XX1 10. Gengoa, Mikey XX1, Georgia DeWet, Steve Cross, Askem SDM, Ethicks SDM, Sonya Louise 11. Kyle Stamkos 12. tbC, Dvate
Photos: Tiffaney Bishop
HKA LUMYANG is a photographer, with a special interest in portraiture.
A creative practice is really important to me and I make sure it’s a part of my everyday life. I love light and the way it shifts throughout the day and how it alters my view of the world – and the way it affects my photography.
I believe I am discovering who I am and who I want to be through photography and this creative life I am building and living.
Hka is currently finishing off a Diploma in Photo Imaging at RMIT with plans to do a bachelor degree before finding work as a photographer.
The first photo displayed here and on our front page was a collaborative effort involving stylist, Emma Fairlie; model, Alana Rippon; makeup artist, Juana Jose and clothing boutique, Dear Blackbird.
SONYA LOUISE is an illustrator and graphic designer.
She has a Communication Design degree, majoring in Illustration, and more recently a Master of Teaching. She freelances and works corporately part time.
My illustrations combine digital and traditional watercolour styles, to meet briefs for street installations, publication, fashion and textile industries. I work with watercolour, gouache, pencil, fineliners and Adobe Suite (for combining elements). Water, flora and movement usually inspire my illustrations and I love blending realistic and abstract elements in my work.
After graduating from design school in 2010, I spent a couple of years working with companies specialising in FMCG (Fast Moving Consumer Goods) packaging, automotive aftermarket products and other retail services (alongside my illustration work). More recently, I’ve been working on branding and user experience design.
I see design as not just about communicating information visually, but also about how users experience and engage with products and services. I’ve always loved puzzles, problem solving and taking things apart, trying to work out how things operate beyond the surface. I’m interested in the functionality of things, from how a brochure is read, to how a product is used. Usability and functionality is just as important to me as the look and feel of a design.
Alongside this more corporate work, I’ve had the desire to create a brand of my own. I’m drawn to illustrative prints and bright patterns - and the thought of my drawings being printed onto fabric excites me! It took some time for the right idea to come to me, but when it did, I just couldn’t move past it.
Ostara Sleepwear was born.
I want to bring something unique to sleepwear. We spend a lot of time at home, and let’s face it - usually in trackies or maybe in some over-loved active wear. I want to design something that feels luxurious, fun and a little bit sexy. I’m creating robes that make you feel gorgeous at home (or for pairing with jeans to head down the street in) and slips that make you slide effortlessly into your sheets (or at a moment’s notice that you cheekily pair with some heels and head to a bar in).
Lots of scribbles in my notebook, talking the ear off my boyfriend and hundreds of coffees later - I’m now finalising my first collection
and planning a 2018 launch of the online store.
Ostara will begin with a range of robes and slips with limited edition prints - all designed in Melbourne. You can follow the Ostara story and check out the developing range on Instagram.
Designing Hoodie Mag has been really fun, especially because I’ve had significant freedom to contribute to its overall look and feel. I’m also really excited about being in the company of so many amazing young artists. We hope you enjoy the read! Don’t hesitate to contact us if you need a young creative for a job or want to be a part of the Hoodie Mag adventure.
CALLUM VAN LEEUWEN works mainly with pastels and oil paints, but also sculpts.
My artworks celebrate the unusual characters I encounter everyday. They best express my curiosity about the human condition - especially the quirky and eccentric among us.
The stories behind Callum's subjects are as interesting as the works themselves. For example, the first work presented here is a portrait of a guy Callum saw on a YouTube video at a Minecraft convention. He was suggesting, in the sweetest, meekest way, that the Minecraft creators consider adding ‘birds that sing at dawn’ to the program. The YouTube clip is a bit of a mocking compilation of him asking for this. For me it was the man's genuine sweetness that inspired me to paint this enigmatic portrait - a tribute to counter the YouTube parody of him. And guess what? Minecraft have since added birds to the program!
Despite their quirkiness, Callum’s artworks convey a distinct reverence and warm sense of humour.
Callum has just completed an advanced diploma of Visual Art and wants to teach. He wants to help other young people experience the joy of a creative practice and help them discover how powerful creative expression can be as a communication tool.
Photos: Tiffaney Bishop
ZAK CAREY is a stencil artist with a social conscience.
Zak creates street art stencil works, often focussing on environmental issues around him. Key words, logos, humour and colour inspire his creative approach. He also uses the internet and magazines for inspiration, modifying words and images in the presentation of his creative and often activist works.
I am an artist because it’s FUN! It gives me something to do away from school. I am inspired by environmental issues, particularly the ones that directly affect me and my community. My last work was especially important to me. It was about the need for a Great Forest National Park in Toolangi. The trees in this forest are being logged at a rate of one MCG stadium a day, and this logging is destroying the Leadbeater Possum’s habitat. The Leadbeater Possum is the State of Victoria’s faunal emblem!
I also love people who stand up for themselves. I love Hosier Lane in Melbourne, Blacksmiths Way in Belgrave and other street artists and sites.
Photos: Tiffaney Bishop
TAMAS KEEFER is a skater and photographer from Queensland.
At 20, Tamas already has an impressive publishing record within the skate magazine world.
He was lead photographer for the Converse Cons Project in Auckland, New Zealand in 2015. The Converse Cons Project is a series of global community workshops developed by experts from the world of skate, art and music.
I was given a skateboard and a camera at 11 and I’ve been skating and taking photos of other skaters ever since. I also took the photo of my amazingly creative sister, Annika Keefer, featured in this issue.
KYLE STAMKOS is a street artist who specialises in stencils.
I love to illustrate crazy characters, inspired mainly by Disney movies. I am influenced creatively by the artist Nychos and the way he re-presents well known people, characters and animals in his own style.
The way I work is that I start off with a sketch. I then make A0 prints of that sketch, usually 4-5, making up a multi-layered stencil. I number each layer and with a scalpel cut out different sections. I then spray each layer in different aerosol colours until I build up a detailed image - usually on a public wall. It’s a very time consuming creative process, but the end results are always exciting.
I recently participated in The Hall & Wilcox Art Exhibition and Acquisition Program (Melbourne) and sold my first artwork! The experience and reaction to my work was amazing and I’d love to exhibit like this more often.
Hoodie Mag is kind of like an exhibition space too - one I am really excited to be a part of. I highly recommend other young artists wanting to engage with us at Hoodie Mag, or those wanting to get their work published, get in touch with us. We’re really keen to meet and promote more young artists.
Kyle paints regularly with the Blacksmiths Way Graffiti and Street Art project in Belgrave and all over Melbourne, and is becoming well known for his often provocative, but always smart and witty, stencil artworks. Kyle runs regular stencil art workshops in and around Melbourne.
Photos: Tiffaney Bishop
GEORGIA DEWET is a visual arts student who sculpts, paints and writes.
Being a multi-media artist allows me to express ideas and concepts via a written and visual language. Writing and art making helps me process my innermost thoughts and questions about the world around me.
My dreams also stimulate my creative practice, often in bizarre ways. I regularly write about my dreams and thoughts, often in the form of poems. I write poetry, not necessarily for poetry’s sake, but as a method of producing and deducing - figuring out. Interestingly, I often find answers to questions I didn’t intentionally set out to ask.
Georgia’s artistic creations are also inspired by nature, music, family, teachers, peers and social interactions.
Photos: 1. Hka Lumyang 2. Tiffaney Bishop 3. Tiffaney Bishop
ROHAN MEINHART is a graffiti and street artist.
Street Art is my passion, although I also love to draw on paper. I particularly like patterns and am drawn to geometric designs. I am currently designing a graffiti style typeface.
A few years ago, I found myself in real trouble and on the path towards a criminal record for graffiti. I believe that working collectively with other young artists has channelled my creative needs and aspirations in a more positive way.
Being part of an artistic community has given me some exciting opportunities and I love that I don’t have to work and create alone. I recently participated in a city based street art exhibition, The Hall & Wilcox Art Exhibition and Acquisition Program (Melbourne), and sold my first work! Presenting work in a gallery was a new and exciting experience for me.
Rohan has been helping to manage the Blacksmiths Way Graffiti and Street Art Project in Belgrave for several years now - a project that successfully engages a growing group of young graffers and taggers in legal graffiti and street art.
Photos: Tiffaney Bishop
JOSIAH MONTASSI is a sound artist.
I work within a digital sound environment; composing, arranging, editing, recording, mixing and mastering sound works and music. I make personal works, but am also regularly commissioned by other artists and the business sector. I particularly like collaborating closely with a client to deliver something unique and original.
One of my recent clients was a games development studio in Qld who commissioned me to make sound tracks for their online trading card game. I also win regular audio commissions from online client and producer networks like Audiodraft. My most recent commission was the composition of a series of sound tracks for video documentation of the Blacksmiths Way Belgrave, Street Art and Graffiti Project - a project featured in this edition of Hoodie Mag. You can listen to these tracks on tbC australia’s Vimeo channel.
I use FL Studio 11 on my MacBook with a small selection of third-party plugins and the Native Instruments Komplete Ultimate 9 bundle. I also have a massive library of sounds that I’ve collected over the years. I believe in using as few plugins as possible, but you can never have enough samples. I also have an M-Audio Axiom AIR Mini keyboard and Audio-Technica ATH-M50x studio headphones for monitoring.
Josiah listens to a range of musical genres and gets really excited when he hears something new. His inspiration comes from pioneering sound and music producers such as; Sonny Moore, Willem Rebergen, Shogo Sakai, Harley Streten and Hans Zimmer.
Photo: James Thompson
KENZ KRITPAN studies accountancy and is a painter of canvases and walls.
Kenz is inspired by people, places, and everyday objects. I paint works of art that ‘echo’ reality - they are more like abstractions of reality.
My portraits are quirky expressions of the human form, they are not literal, figurative representations, but more ethereal.
I also like to visually play around with the contrast between the conscious and unconscious mind.
Kenz mainly works with acrylic paints, on small to medium canvases, but also spray paints on large walls. I love the way these two modes of practice give me a completely different vibe when making.
I also love my home-town of Melbourne, especially its cultural diversity and the interesting stories I find when I'm working on the city’s many street art projects.
Photo: 2. Tiffaney Bishop
ALICE MARION CROWE is a visual arts and games design student.
As a self-confessed escapist, Alice finds her creative inspiration from mythology, fantasy, graphic novels, video games and her peers. Alice’s artworks are atmospheric, other-worldly, timeless.
I don’t really draw from reality, more from my mind, dreams and from the parallel digital worlds I play in and engage with. I naturally move from the material world of drawing on paper and oil painting on canvas to the more abstract digital world of computers and image-editing software. To me these seemingly opposite artistic mediums have much in common and I have developed a hybrid style that is inspired by each medium’s distinct techniques and qualities.
I also have synaesthesia and innately think in colour. I am particularly interested in how colour and tone effects composition.
SAM DREAMS paints murals and makes community based artworks.
I run a creative small business in Brisbane that focuses on community, public and street art. I believe in building a sustainable future through collective creative energy.
I love to paint murals which I usually design and paint in collaboration with clients to bring life and atmosphere to their home, community or business. I also believe that murals are a creative and efficient way to manage vandalism and graffiti.
One of the most epic mural projects I’ve done was a community art wall for Reclaim The Streets in St. Peters, Sydney. Over 60 members of the community, young and old, contributed to this wall with love and respect.
Another was the Dream Alley project, an artist run initiative providing a platform for female artists and minority groups in the local community. Twenty six artists and a whole lot of community painted a 180m outdoor wall in Marrickville, south west of Sydney.
Sam lives in Brisbane, but travels anywhere and everywhere for a good painting project. She regularly paints in Melbourne and with the Blacksmiths Way Graffiti and Street Art Project in Belgrave.
Sam has become a valuable role model for young female street artists and we are extremely proud to be working with her.
Photos: Tiffaney Bishop
ANNIKA KEEFER is an art therapist, youth arts worker and painter.
I use art making as a tool to better understand my experience of the world, through a lens of intensely bright colours and whimsical patterns. There is a naivety and youthfulness to my aesthetic which is both a celebration and reclamation of my 'inner child'.
Growing up in the Gold Coast hinterland has encouraged a deep appreciation of the natural landscape and my work also reflects this.
I find painting therapeutic and often use it as a healing technique with the young artists I mentor at DRASTIC - a youth based artist run initiative on the Gold Coast. I am a creative facilitator at DRASTIC and am helping to build a peer driven therapeutic creative arts and life skills program for young people. Drastic celebrates the strengths and talents of young people and encourages self-expression as a pathway towards connection.
I was recently awarded a grant from NAVIGATE (a young artist development program and City of Gold Coast arts and culture initiative) to undertake an arts-based Internship at tbC australia (Hoodie Mag’s producer). I am keen to develop the skills to run a studio program at Drastic that resembles tbC’s professional approach to collaborative art making with young people.
Annika is an effervescent young woman with a strong sense of responsibility and concern for the well-being of other young people. tbC and Hoodie Mag are thrilled to have met Annika and plan to stay in touch, engaging her and her young Gold Coast artists in future tbC projects.
Photos: 1 to 5. Tiffaney Bishop
INKBOY is a drawer and street artist.
I'm a young Melbourne based artist growing up on a diet of Street art, graffiti, cartoons (most notably Felix the cat). One dark and stormy night I thought why not combine these loves into some drawings and see what happens. What happened wasn't great and far from anything remotely good...so I stopped, tried again and continued to miserably fail for many years.
Forty seven deleted Instagram accounts later, I found a style and image that was a representation of what I loved, my personality and something that I could grow into. To this very day I have no idea what I'm doing; one moment I feel like I have a pretty ok idea, the next I realise I've been drawing the same circle for 45 minutes.
INKBOY'S aim is to charm people through the cute and cheeky. Taking everyday concepts and transforming them into characters that feel like they could be living in their own little world, complete with taxes, pornography and hangovers. So keep an eye out for chubby cheeks, Mickey Mouse hands and big googley eyes and you'll know inkboy's been around.
TIFFANEY BISHOP studied communications, media arts and photography and has an earlier background in marketing and event management.
I started working with young artists about 10 years ago and find them to be energetic and refreshing creative partners. I launched tbC in 2012. tbC is a youth driven/adult mentored art collective that promotes a new status for young artists. At tbC, young artists claim professional recognition via highly visible contemporary arts activity and the collaborative model attracts a broad and sustained youth membership and mentor engagement.
The artwork pictured here is part of a larger collaborative exhibition series. A fine 'mesh-like' layer of text (and accompanying imagery) present a colloquial (and visual) dialogue around the arts, community, collectivity and what it’s like to be young. Images are around 1m sq.
This artwork is also the focal point of a digital app called, The Art of Conversation - an app designed to engage wider audiences in such conversations. On scanning this work, with a free app on an apple device, you are prompted to engage in conversations. Conversations change as this interactive artwork adapts to the site it is presented in. An earlier iteration, using QR code technology, was selected for the 2013 (e)merge art award in Washington DC. Since then, tbC has collaborated with a digital designer in Taipei, Simon Braunstein, to bring the project into a more contemporary state - its own App Store app. We are still experimenting with its capabilities, its content, its reach. Each time we present the work we get new ideas, new directions, new conversations and new reasons to communicate with each other.
Download tbCs The Art of Conversation app from the App Store and try it out!
This work has been selected for the 2017 Melbourne Fringe Festival and Sydney Fringe Festival (the International Stencil Art Prize) and will feature in an exhibition at fortyfivedownstairs gallery in Flinders Lane, Melbourne.
KANE WILLIAMS is a sculptor and painter, working mainly with used skateboard decks.
My art practice takes me away from the everyday, allowing me to create my own little world - a space where I can freely express myself. Art making gives me the feeling that I can kind of live forever - through the work I make.
I often work alone, tucked away in my bedroom, but more recently I’ve begun working in group spaces, alongside other artists, collaborating on bigger projects. Working with others connects me to wider audiences who get to glimpse what I do, share in it, judge it. It’s unnerving, even scary, but also cool.
Kane recently participated in a large city based exhibition where he sold several of his skateboard artworks. The Hall & Wilcox Art Exhibition and Acquisition Program (Melbourne) was an amazing opportunity. Whilst I was a bit overwhelmed, it was great to interact with such a large audience in such a professional setting. And, the rush I got from selling my first works was the most incredible feeling.
Photos: Tiffaney Bishop
WILLIAM PATSTON is a music, event and portrait photographer.
William mainly shoots around his home town of Melbourne, specialising in live music, band photography and creative portraiture. He also experiments with film.
I am passionate about the music industry and love the way performers connect with their audience. Youth culture is also something that intrigues me, especially the shifts, experimentation and realisations that occur during this time. I love the way an artistic life allows me to explore myself and others in creative and collaborative ways.
Leading an artistic life means you can’t always be concerned about money - something you often have to sacrifice to live creatively. For me leading a creative life connects me to the wonders that life offers.
William has worked with The Push Inc, New Slang and has photographed Vance Joy, San Cisco, Passenger and Allday.
Briar Holt, Gallery Manager, fortyfivedownstairs
Briar Holt is 26 and the Gallery Manager at fortyfivedownstairs in Flinders Lane, Melbourne. fortyfivedownstairs is a 15 year old not-for-profit curated space for both live performance and visual art. This unique theatre and gallery space is regarded as one of Melbourne’s most renowned and multi-faceted creative hubs.
Briar is a New Zealander with an Honours and Master’s Degree in Art History. Her previous work experience includes the role of Gallery Administrator at Blue Oyster Art Project Space in Dunedin. I’ve been at fortyfivedownstairs for just over 2 years now. I started out as a Gallery Coordinator and quickly took on more responsibility in terms of programming. I became Gallery Manager within 4-5 months. I am grateful for the trust and respect that has developed between myself and the fortyfivedownstairs team - on both a personal and business level.
Gallery Manager is a big job and I spend at least 35-40 hours a week (often weekends) working on projects with artists and helping visitors to engage with the work we present here. But hey, I’m young and this kind of lifestyle suits me! I just love the people I meet. The gallery attracts such a wonderfully diverse range of artists and visitors and I love meeting and engaging with all of them.
Artistic Director and co-founder of fortyfivedownstairs, Mary Lou Jelbart, said that they interviewed Briar via Skype from New Zealand and instantly enjoyed her company and recognised her wide knowledge and understanding of contemporary art. One of the things that has always appealed to me about New Zealanders is their matter of fact attitude to survival in the arts, says Mary Lou. They take it for granted that there’s precious little money available for the arts, and they just get on with making things work. Briar is no exception. Running a not-for-profit gallery is hard work. It doesn’t stop with selecting artists, and communicating with them: there are the invitations, media releases and posters to organise, the price list, the organisation of opening night, the sales (and follow up) and then patching the gallery and making it ready for the next show. Briar does all this brilliantly.
Briar’s best advice for other young people aspiring to work in the creative sector is to VOLUNTEER! To get started you just have to volunteer. I wouldn’t be where I am without having volunteered in the early days, while I was at uni. Even if it’s just one day a week - do it! It’s the best way to break into this highly competitive creative jobs sector. It really does make a difference. You don’t have to volunteer forever, in fact I advise that you also respect your skills and talent and discourage employers from taking advantage of you in the longer term – but in the very early days it’s the way you get ahead.
An important creative and work goal for Briar is to make sure galleries and theatres are accessible. It’s really important to me that all kinds of people visit and explore creative spaces and institutions, that artists and non-artists share and enjoy these spaces. Whilst high profile city, state and national art galleries and institutions impress me, I am just as impressed by less traditional creative spaces. For example, I just love it when people host shows in private homes, gardens, derelict store fronts etc. I love popup shows that are less planned and more experimental.
When asked where she sees her creative self heading, Briar admitted that her career goals change a lot, but that what always stays constant is her desire to support emerging artists.
Briar Holt is just the kind of young person Hoodie Mag is interested in. Supporting young emerging artists and industry specialists drives our creative goals too. We are thrilled to bring you her inspirational story and welcome others like Briar to get in touch, engage with Hoodie Mag and maybe get their story published in future editions.
Photo 1. by Tiffaney Bishop 2. When I met Ai Weiwei at his NGV exhibition. One of the coolest experiences! 3. & 4. New York 5. Hosier Lane, Melbourne 6. Virgin Australia Melbourne Fashion Festival, 2017
CONNOR BLAKE is a music maker and song writer.
I am an artist because I think a life without a creative purpose is pointless. I think everyone needs to create something to give back to the world before they leave it.
I produce hip hop inspired instrumentals via Ableton software on my laptop and I write lyrics that try to convey the energies and emotions I feel and want to share. I’m currently represented by a Melbourne based artist management group called Dayones.
Connor performs at music venues in and around Melbourne and Syndey. Highlight experiences include being support for the Touching Road Tour (Melbourne) 2017, Dex Rooftops show 2016, Narly (Syndey )2016 and the Joelistics Show 2016.
Photo: William Patston
DANIEL MATIC is an illustrator who draws with pencils and brushes as well as digitally.
Daniel’s detailed portraits capture his subjects’ gaze in direct, disarming and intoxicating ways.
I began drawing from a young age and love to create and design. I find it relaxing, calming and the best way to express who I am. Music, emotions, memories, nature, cities, people and animals inspire my arts practice.
Whilst I love to draw with pencils and brushes on paper, I often use a Wacom tablet and digital drawing software like Photoshop and illustrator. I am currently studying conceptual art and illustration with an online Digital Art and Animation College and would love to work in the digital design field.
Daniel was recently published in Phollio - a magazine produced by another group of Australian emerging artists and designers who, like us at Hoodie Mag, have a strong passion and deep love for creative endeavour.