As part of our 2019 Lunar New Year celebrations a vibrant mural was created by Melbourne based artist Brolga. Brolga is an Australian artist renowned for creating vibrant street art and murals. We sat down with Brolga to discuss who he is as an artist and his work on this project.

Who are you and how would you describe what you do?

My name is Brolga, I’m an Australian artist and illustrator. I create artwork for a living, whether it be digital, painted murals and canvases, toy design or 3D installations. 

What work do you most enjoying doing?

One of the nicest parts about illustration work is that every job is either a little bit or vastly different from the last. They all have their own unique challenges and that alone keeps it really interesting.

What memorable responses have you had to your work?

I was painting a particularly colourful mural in Brooklyn once and a passing child called me “The Happy Painter Guy”. I thought that was quite funny.

Who or what has had the greatest influence on your work?

I’ve taken influence from all over the spectrum, whether it be from musicians like Bob Dylan, speakers like Henry Rollins, or fine artists like Roy Lichtenstein. Travelling is another key ingredient and that’s something that I try to do as much as possible.

How is your personality reflected in your work?

I’m a fairly positive and upbeat person and I think that shines through in the work that I make.

What inspired this piece/concept?

I’ve been working on a bunch of original canvases for an upcoming exhibition at Melbourne’s Lamington Drive Gallery in March and this mural was based on the same aesthetic as those pieces. I had the idea while wandering around in Austin, Texas last year. I saw an old, wooden garage door that the owner’s had repaired haphazardly. The result made it look a patchwork quilt and I took the same idea onto my own work.

What does your work (or this piece) aim to say?

I created the artwork to celebrate the Chinese New Year. I simply wanted it to look different from any other artwork with the same purpose.

What did you find most rewarding about this project?

Southern Cross Lane is a beautiful space to paint artwork in, especially with the lanterns up at this time of year.