These wonderful paintings are by young painter Nick Mullaly, originally from Melbourne, Australia who is currently an art student at Victorian College of the Arts. I just love the way he explores the physicality of the paint and uses it to address themes of behavior and identity. So pleased to share a great interview with him here, and you can find more information at the links below!
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Hi Nick! What first interested you in painting?
I have always been very creative and interested in expressing myself through various mediums. My mother is an artist, and an incredibly talented painter. Growing up and seeing her working on these large scale paintings was very inspiring, and I believe the catalyst for me to experiment with paint myself!
What has your art education been like (whether formally or informally)?
Going to art school has definitely benefited my practice and my work in immeasurable ways. As a current student at Victorian College of the Arts (VCA), I have been able to absorb different ways of thinking and seeing, and have opened myself up to new methods and good work habits. Being surrounded by many gifted artists has been very interesting and insightful, and learning about their artwork along with learning about all types of art and discovering artists has been a great blessing.
Can you tell me about your work? Where do you derive your ideas from?
I am interested in themes of identity, human behaviour, ceremonials and rituals. My ideas are the outcome of my experiences, daily life and the media. The characters in my paintings are seen in various states during the battle of their individuality and self expression, and this is seen in their costumes and their body language. A lot of my work focuses on subverting normative standards set up by society, which do not work to accommodate every group. My work is about the aftermath of these themes, and the constant shifting between the saccharine. the bittersweet and the plain despondent.
How much time do you typically spend painting during the day?
When I'm at university I can spend anywhere from 2 to 10 hours painting per day, although this has its exceptions, and when I'm painting at home the hours always change. I devote a lot of time to drawing and writing, which help further my ideas.
What is your studio space or workspace like? (feel free to send an image!)
At university I have my own small workspace, which is like a cubicle. It has three walls, so I'm able to hang paintings or drawings, along with some more inspirations and relevant source material. My studio is often overflowing with books about artists that I admire and look up to. At home it is more subdued, where I work at the end of a table doing smaller paintings.
What do you like most about your medium?
I love the powerful and versatile consistency of oil paint, as it allows for smooth, flat surfaces when thinned out, but at the same time it can be extremely textural and sculptural. I also enjoy experimenting with mediums which change the spread of the paint. I find acrylic paint to be great for foundations as it dries very quickly.
Is there a piece of advice that you've received, which you find yourself coming back to? Have you ever disregarded a piece of advice and been grateful you did?
A tutor encouraged me to do many drawings before beginning each painting, as they would help me work out my ideas. I was reluctant at first and thought it to be unnecessary, but I'm very glad I followed that advice!
What do you consider to be the most challenging or daunting thing about pursuing art seriously?
To make a living and support myself as a practicing visual artist is the big challenge, because it's not a position where opportunities are endless and you don;t need to worry about finances.
What is the most rewarding aspect?
If somebody can relate to my art or connect with it, make them think, then that is super rewarding and meaningful.
Do you have any upcoming exhibitions or projects you're currently working on?
I am currently working on a zine with a friend. :)
See more on Instagram @s1ck.n1ck!
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