Sonsie is a 33-year-old Artist and Graphic Designer from Melbourne who is passionate about all things creative. The artist who has his own business, works as a graphic designer and full time artist creating visual brand identities and designing large interior wall graphics for businesses. “I paint, draw, photograph, edit film, offer creative direction and I also dabble in a bit of street art. You could say I’m living my dream full time.”
Where did it all begin?
Sonsie has been practising his art from a young age and has taught himself, completed online courses, workshops and an Advanced Diploma. “My journey thus far has been self-taught, trial and error and failing forward although I’m a huge advocate for learning through courses and alongside teachers. I think this can fast track a lot of things.” Sonsie adds, “my design career really started gaining traction after I completed a three-year Advanced Diploma in Graphic Design at Box Hill Institute. With my new found understanding of design and new skills using creative computer software, I had the ability to achieve and create a whole lot more.”
Sonsie has been creative since he can remember and said “I guess I’ve been slowly harnessing my craft forever! Being creative has always come easy to me and I knew growing up this was going to be my soul food.” Sonsie started his own clothing brand ‘100% MENTAL’ at just 12 years of age where he printed his own artwork on T-shirts using iron-on-paper. “I think my dad still owns one! God bless him. Coming into early teenage-hood I created band logos for mates and artwork for friends and family.”
Over the years, Sonsie has been a part of several art exhibitions; starting on canvas and then exhibiting his printed digital art as he gained more skills in the area. “One of my recent creative accomplishments was the creation of three pieces of street art in a newly built prison in Victoria. This is the first for an Australian prison… pity it’s not really visible for the public although no doubt the calibre of this job will open more doors to come.
Where do you find your inspiration and who inspires you?
Artists get inspiration for their work from a wide range of different sources and Sonsie is no different. “I’m not going to lie, I get a lot of inspiration from the vast amount of work out there on our big wide web although I’m always reflecting on how I can make it different. I think the trick is to utilise aspects that already work but make the ideas your own.”
“I think most graphic designers love the work from Stefan Sagmeister! I just love his crazy use of typography! His work that pours out of his New York based studio Sagmeister & Walsh is something I strive for and a regular site I visit for inspiration.”
An old-school sketcher, Sonsie said he is, “a pen and paper kind of guy, sketching down ideas as they flow to me. For me, it’s really important as a designer and something I want to make more time for. I’m also a big believer that when you simply focus on feeling good, great ideas can flow effortlessly.”
What are some of the challenges you have faced?
“My biggest challenge – although also my greatest success – is the fact that I’ve chosen to be a lone wolf and run my own creative business. Yeah there’s the normal pressures of bringing in money each week and chasing up late paying clients but often the biggest challenge is simply having to be creative day in, day out. I do however believe this is strengthening my creative muscles, although if I don’t take breaks and do things opposite to art and design each week I can totally get burnt out! That’s when I jump on my bike, play my guitar, get in the garden or even play barbies with my three year old daughter, Lua.”
Future hopes and dreams
“I can see myself being a crazy old artist in my nineties with long white hair, still creating some of my best work yet. Along the way though, I hope to work with talented creatives all over the world! Travel is something that I think about a lot and so I hope my art is the ticket. I also want to work on creative projects in disciplines other than what I work in now. I want to work more in film, animation, motion graphics, set design, urban sculpture and architecture. I think it’s important to always push the boundaries and explore outside your comfort zone.”
Memorable responses from your work
One of Sonsie’s most memorable responses he has had from his work was from a painted mural in the suburb of Healesville, Victoria. “Last year I painted a mural of two large Ibis near the main street of Healesville and every week someone tells me how much they either love them or hate them. Usually their hatred is more aimed at Ibis in general although either way, I think this is a perfect example of great art creating an emotional response.”
Best piece of advice
“On my studio wall I have the words “Stay hungry, stay foolish”. Steve Jobs said this which is a cool philosophy. I think both taking risks and wanting to explore new ideas is a great recipe for success. But perhaps the best piece of advice may be from partner in crime and fiancé Georgie, telling me to always follow my dreams and believe in them and myself – no matter what.”
Sonsie says about his art, “It’s my quest to blend both these disciplines any chance I get as I love what I do and I wouldn’t change it for anything!”
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