YEN Magazine: Piccolo feature
Piccolo made a great splash on the homepage of fashion magazine YEN. Check it out at www.yenmag.net.
COVER PORTRAIT: Brown's portrait on SMH's Good Weekend
Graham still does commissions for magazines. Last weekend, he painted a portrait of Martin Bryant (below) to accompany a book extract on the man. You can see more of Graham's artwork at www.handdrawnmedia.com.
INTERVIEW: ABC's Ingrid Just talks about the Barack Obama design
How did the Kevolution t-shirt idea come about?
A friend of mine, a Bondi poet called Adam Gibson, and I were throwing around ideas last election and the phrase Kevolution came up. I've painted Che Guevara's portrait a few times so it was a natural fit. I drew him in the style of that iconic look but made a point of keeping his button-down collar, glasses and chubby face to make it a little tongue in cheek.
How popular were they?
They have sold really well. They are so popular that I started my business from that.
How have Barack Obama sales been going ... did it take you long to think of this slogan?
I'm a big fan of silly puns as you can see from the Kevolution, so that's always a lot of fun coming up with the slogan. I went through a heap and tried them out on friends and see which one stuick. Empire Strikes Barack; Barack in the USSR; Barack in business; Barack Power; Hope is Barack; Barack Street Boys; Welcome Barack Kotter (which doesn't make any sense); Barack to the Future seemed to say it ALL.
During the primaries they were doing ok, but once he became the Democrat's candidate they went through the roof oustripping our PM.
Mostly women and children, surprisingly. Mainly on the East coast although we get the odd one from Singapore or Hong Kong.
I'm not overly political. I just like CHANGE and he represents that. I just know the Republicans have been bad for the US for the last 8 years, both locally and internationally.
Have you always been into t-shirt design?
I have always painted portraits. Have done a lot of covers for Good Weekend magazine, Rolling Stone, Black and White, Men's Style. I do like people's faces, so the t-shirts are an extension of that.
When I kicked off the business last year, I wanted to marry my artwork with causes I liked. So the next couple I did were to help out those things. My I Love Whales t-shirt has done really well. They feature a little fellow Piccolo, the smallest whale in the world. I liked him that much I named my business after him, Piccolo Clothing, and am writing a children's book about him. I think if you get kids attached to animals early on, they are more likely to be protective of them in later life. My next one is Bobo the Orangutan and I've had talks with the Borneo Orangutan Society.
INTERVIEW: Brown recently spoke about why he does illustration
Why did you choose to become an illustrator?
My background is Fine Arts (painting) so Illustration is nice combination of making art and getting paid. I'm not a fan of the Starving Artist stereotype. At any rate, I don't make any divisions been any of the work I do, painting, drawing, filmmaking, writing, t-shirts, gallery work, magazine covers ... it's all art to me. For me, there's only GOOD work and BAD work. The beauty of illustration is that you can reach thousands of people which you wouldn't get from a gallery exhibition. What is the best thing about the job you do? You can put yourself in your work. Self-expression is the key to me getting out of bed in the morning. Is it a satisfactory job? It is when it works. I can be hell when it doesn't.
What is your preferred media and technique?
Acrylic on canvas for portrait work (commissions) but am doing my latest work (a children's book) in Illustrator and Photoshop.
Do you have a specific style that you are known for? If so has this made it easier for you to get work?
Am known for my expressionistic portraits with dramatic primary colours. It's recognisable and no-one can do that style like me which is good. However, art directors don't think you can paint in other styles which is a negative.
Has illustration led you to any other career paths?
Children's books and t-shirt design.
Where do you get inspiration?
What are you currently working on?
Everywhere. Art galleries, TV, mags. How long does it take on average to complete one piece of work? It varies. One cover of Good Weekend took me two hours. Another took me three days. Another took me three weeks. Sometimes everything just clicks.
Am doing a series of Children's Books about animals (and I'm making some toys from them which is always been a dream of mine since I was a kid) and part of the profits will be going to save those animals which is a bonus.