Your painting was amazing. Was it commissioned especially for Ronnie and Georgia?
That piece, 'The Catcher', was actually from an exhibition I had last year, called ‘The Black Ocean.’ It’s a print of the original painting, and I digitally altered the colours so that they matched what Georgia had planned for their room. I think it came up really well.
Is it representative of the types of things you normally do?
My style is actually pretty varied - that one’s an oil painting, but I also do acrylic works, pencil drawings, and large-scale street art projects.
You’re also a tattooist too, right?
I am. I've been at it for 20 years now. I own a tattoo studio in Melbourne called Korpus - so yeah, you could say I’m pretty busy. But it’s fun. And I really like the variety of being able to work across so many mediums - including people’s skins.
How did you get started as an artist?
I’ve always drawn - for as long as I can remember. During the late 1980s/early 90s in Perth, I got heavily into the graffiti scene. Around that time, I started working with local councils on large-scale mural projects. I left that behind for a few years when I began apprenticing at a tattoo studio in Perth, but rediscovered my passion for street art again when I moved to Melbourne. Now I balance that with running Korpus, and doing the occasional tattoo. When I can I try to get to my painting studio, where I have a passion for painting in oils.
What kinds of things inspire you?
That’s a good question! I get inspired from all sorts of things, actually - especially travel. But I guess you could say that the city, especially Melbourne city, really resonates with me creatively. It’s such a creative place to live - especially as a street artist. Some of the best artists in the world are from Melbourne - you can walk down pretty much any street and see some amazing art. And it’s free.
Where are your favourite places to check out street art?
Well, there's plenty of street art festivals these days. Some of my favourites are - Wall2Wall, that's in Benalla, in Victoria, every year. And Wonderwalls in Wollongong and Adelaide. But generally, most major cities have some element of street art in them. I just like to walk around, and see what I bump into.
Are there any street artists that inspire you?
Most, I'd say - there are amazing artists everywhere now. But to name a few - Insa, Adnate, Dvate, Treze, Aryz... I mean, there are hundreds.
What medium do you enjoy working in the most?
I go through phases, and it all depends on how much time I can allocate. I love drawing with graphite pencil in the morning. I really enjoy painting with oils at the studio, and I try now to merge all of the mediums into one style. But to be honest, I'm having a love affair with Aerosols at the moment, because I'm trying to paint [with that medium] like I would with oils.
What artists do you admire?
I study all types of techniques, from older oil painters like Caravaggio from the 16th century, all the way through to John Singer Sargent from the 20th century.
Tell us about some of your commissioned projects?
I get approached a lot to do artwork for interiors, wine labels, and, actually, for quite a few years I did all of the album covers for [Aussie hip hop group] Bliss n Eso. I’ve painted at The Grand Prix, travelled to Bangkok to paint a beautiful restaurant - and I’ve also designed packaging for 'The Empire Collection' for Connoisseur Ice Cream. That was a particularly good job - we got couriered free ice cream on a weekly basis!
Are you available for private commissions?
I am, yes. I still really enjoy doing smaller-scale pieces, for people’s homes and outdoor spaces.
Check out some of Steve's varied and amazing artworks in this picture gallery:
Shop Steve's artwork HERE
Check out Steve’s Instagram page HERE