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The Artist

Age: 21 | Location: Sydney, Australia

When The Artist picks up the phone he’s already smiling. A huge white smile. He checks that he’s pronouncing my name right - we’ve never met before, after all - and then continues to beam out of my screen.

Before I start the interview he has questions for me. He wants to know about The Archetypes more generally, about the creative process behind it. He’s inquisitive, curious, and above all, friendly. Almost all his answers are prefaced by a small bright laugh.

We start by chatting about what his day looks like. Not just as The Artist, but as a new dad.

Most days, he tries to wake up at 5:30.

‘It depends on the alarm. It’s either our daughter or it’s my phone alarm. Usually I try to keep it as early as possible so I can go for a walk to start the day. Sometimes I start painting as soon as I wake up, but I usually try to start my work at 9 and finish it at 5.’

A few minutes in, The Artist lets me in on a secret. His most beautiful paintings are of large textured snowscapes, swathes of white hardwall plaster with tiny skiing figures painted on in bright acrylic colours, and yet he has never actually skied before. He grew up in South Africa then moved to Australia, so he’s never even touched real snow.

I feel strongly that if it’s ever within my capabilities - that is, if I ever win the lottery - I will fly him out to somewhere with the deep snow and the green fir trees he paints so well.

Another thing that might surprise people about his job? The creative world looks incredibly different to how it did before the internet existed. It’s no longer just paintbrushes, but phones and cameras and online algorithms. ‘I don’t paint all the time,’ he admits. ‘The majority of what I do is meetings and social media.’

The Artist also reveals to me that his worst habit is biting his nails. Maybe that means that no paint gets underneath them, I suggest, but he tells me I’d be surprised.

'Paint gets everywhere.’

I discover that background of the The Artist is in carpentry and building. This explains both why one of his primary mediums is plaster, and why his favourite smell is cut wood.

In fact, one of his fondest memories is when he built his first piece of furniture. No paint or pictures. Just pieces of wood, which he'd cut and carved himself.

'That was a special moment as a 14 year old. Making something without anyone’s help. It’s a magical experience.’

The Artist didn’t always know he would be an artist. It took a while for him to figure out his place and his purpose.

When he was at school, there were lots of things he wanted to be: a pilot, a carpenter, and even Jesus, for a while.

'I was a good student in the sense that I did all my work and was nice to my teachers, but in terms of friendships and relationships I was a bouncer. I just jumped from group to group and explored as many people and things as I could.’

That's what school is for, I add.

Mostly, however, The Artist longed to be an adult.

‘What did I want to be when I was a child? A grown-up. Honestly, I wanted to be a grown-up and do my own thing. And that’s exactly what I’m doing now.’

I want to know if there’s any advice he was given that has spurred him on or stuck with him. He thinks about this for a little while, keen to settle on the true answer.

‘Believe in yourself. I think that's the thing I value most. My Uncle always stressed that I should be myself. They weren't the direct words he would use, but there was always a story or an analogy to that point.’

I nod in acknowledgement.

‘You don’t necessarily see the effects that a person has on you until you grow up and look back.’

So what is it that is so special about creating, and painting in particular? Why does he do it? What keeps him moving forwards with his art?

‘Obviously I enjoy painting, but I don’t do it to calm me down or to make me happy. When I paint, I listen to something, so it’s usually the time when I learn. When I’m painting, I’m busy learning or listening to music.’

The Artist’s world is one that is constantly growing. He’s an adventure-seeker, a risk-taker.

Last June he roadtripped along the east coast of Australia with his father and his van broke down, spluttered to a halt in the middle of nowhere. ‘We called the people to come pick us up and they took us to the scrap yard, so we had to scrap the van. One of the mechanics didn’t have much to do that day so he drove us all the way to Sydney, and back. For him it was a 10 hour trip, and he stayed awake all night long.’

And yet, despite his growing online following, he remains humble. He understands success on his own terms, not in terms of wealth of exposure but as the small feeling of gratitude for what you already have.

‘To make the most of what you have. I think that, in my opinion, is the definition of success.'

'When you can start off with nothing and make something out of it. If I ever lose that essence of being grateful or being appreciative of life that would make me go downhill.’

He tells me the proudest moment of his life so far is holding his now two month old daughter for the first time, and I feel his joy radiating from 10,000 miles away.

‘She’s an easy little girl,’ he says. ‘Perfect.’

One of my final questions is - what’s something nobody knows about you?

‘That I can get nasty,’ he says with a smile on his face. It's the least nasty smile I’ve ever seen.

I imagine he means stern. I can’t imagine him ever being nasty to anyone.

Above all else, I think what best sums up The Artist is his struggle to choose a favourite memory, despite being so young, and having most of his life still ahead of him.


His eyes widen.

'To pick one out of an entire lifetime - that’s impossible.'


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