'The Neurotic Adventures of MonstreLu' explores my connection with both the real world and my own unique fantasy world, where monsters personify people, memories and experiences from my own life. My work is heavily influenced by Pop Art and Saturday morning Cartoons, which can be seen in my vibrantly painted characters.
My artwork is an explosion of vibrant colours, thick black lines with layers of characters and intricate patterns. On first inspection my artworks appear to reflect the innocence of childhood, but once you delve into the details you start to get a sense for my warped & weird sense of humour.
Whether you're an art lover, a cartoon buff or a kid, there's something for you to delight in. I hope you enjoy the ride.
What has inspired you to create this work?
I draw inspiration and influence for my art from experiences in my own life. Theres nothing I love more than sitting down at my desk ready to create a bunch of unique monsters that i bring to life though colour, pattern and personality. When I paint, music is one of my biggest motivators. Often I will sit at my desk and become absorbed in a painting, the next thing I realise it's 8 hours later and I'm well on my way to completing another piece. I get so involved in my artworks that I only stop for drink top ups, album changes and toilet breaks.
Each of my artworks tells a story, some humourous and others a little more sinister. In my piece 'sugar rush' all of the monsters are addicted to sugar, some of the characters are actually made of sugar and they are all trying to eat each other. I was inspired to do this piece because Sugar has been everywhere in the media lately and everyone has become obsessed with it so i thought it would be amusing to poke fun at it.
Another of my favourite, yet darker pieces is called 'that boy needs therapy' and each of the monsters have a mental health problem....Mental health can be such a sensitive topic, rather than using sombre greys, blues & blacks which are colours you are more likely to identify with this topic, I've tried to make this piece as vibrant, inviting and eye catching as I can. I want people to start viewing mental health problems as normal and artworks around this topic don't always need to be dark.
What artistic processes have you used to create the works in your show?
Firstly I day dream about my next piece and how I am going to present it... I think of the characters that I want in the artwork, what they will be doing and what the background will consist of. Each of the backgrounds is directly related to the story behind the artwork and they are very important to each piece. I start out by picking my surface i.e. Skateboards, round canvas or traditional canvas. I draw up all the monsters in pencil & then outline them with a black sharpie. The next step is to mix the colours and start painting the layers of acrylic. Once all the painting is complete I go over the lines again with Sharpies and Poscas often using coloured sharpies to add in some extra pattern, detail or shading to each character. The colour selection for the background and monsters is vital because I need to ensure that the monsters pop from the background and don't get lost in all the madness.
What are some of the challenges you have experienced in your process?
Coming up with new monsters in each piece can get challenging once you've completed around ten artworks.
I also experimented with a lot of different types of acrylic paints, it took a while to find a brand that delivered thick and vibrant colours that were suitable for my paintings.
When I first started this body of work, I had wanted to create around 15 to 20 paintings. I was a little concerned at the beginning that I would lose interest or find it difficult to create that amount of work. I was really surprised that I got so invested in this project and was nearly pumping out an artwork each fortnight. My next biggest challenge will be seeing what my style develops into and trying new mediums.