Bali is filled with creativity and we are so lucky to have such a creative artist right here on the island.
BEASTMAN aka Brad Eastman lives in Bali with his young family.
We catch up with Brad to ask him a few questions about his creative journey from graphic designer to the international renowned wholesome artist.
For how long have you been making art?
I have been making art since I was a kid and just never stopped really. I have been exhibiting my work since 2005.
At what point in your life did you think, I can actually make money out of this?
It was a really slow transition for me. My art was always just for fun, something I did for myself, not for others. Over many years it just ended up becoming much more than that and I was able to make a living from making my art.
Your murals and painting style is very unique. How did you develop your style?
My style developed into what it is now over about a 15 year period. I am always trying to evolve my work forward so it’s always unique and unseen. That’s one of the things I love most about making art, creating images no one has ever seen before. Visualizing some sort of future.
There is a lot going on in your paintings. How long does it take you to develop the final draft? Do you decide on the colors beforehand or do you choose as you go?
My works these days are developed through an organic process involving measurement, repetition, geometry, balance and movement. I don’t create drafts or sketches much anymore, I tend to just let the works generate themselves through my process. My color palette has expanded over the years, I have a specific way I relate colors to one another and apply them to different repetitive elements.
Is there any artist or anyone in particular that you look up to or are inspired by? And Why?
There are so many artists out there doing amazing work at the moment. I try not to be influenced or inspired by artists, I’m more interested in striving for unique imagery and expressing my own visual language. That being said, some of my favorite artists creating work at the moment are Mark Whalen, Low Bros, SatOne, Dalek, Aryz, Felipe Pantone, Richard Colman, Sam Friedman, Phibs, Frank Stella, Revok and Vans The Omega. My taste in art has changed a lot over the last 20 years.
Street art is exploding at the moment and it seems that now artists are gaining recognition for their talent. Street art has become a lot more curated and plain better. Why do you think all of this is happening now?
I think the public has just become more receptive to art in public space. People are sick of advertising in their face and are often happy to see other images in public that don’t have so much of a commercial agenda. I don’t like the term street art, it doesn’t really translate over to what myself and a lot of other contemporary artists are doing. I create artwork across a wide range of different mediums and projects, so being labeled as a street artist can be strange sometimes.
I guess for many artists it can be hard to make the jump from the street to have their own exhibitions. I know you recently had your own exhibit in America. How did that come about? Was it something you always dreamt of or was it a good opportunity to make the jump from being a street artist to a wholesome artist. Do you think you would be having another exhibition soon?
For me it’s actually the other way around, I have been exhibiting my work for much longer than I have been painting murals. I started making murals of my work later on. I try and have 2 exhibitions a year, it would usually take me 3-6 months to put together a body of artwork to exhibit. I am essentially creating one body of evolving artwork across multiple disciplines – paintings, digital illustration, murals, animation, sculpture, product design and printmaking. The exhibition in Detroit came about through my relationship with a print company called 1xRun, I have been working with them for a few years now and they invited me to exhibit in their gallery called Inner State. It was a great opportunity and experience. I have no plans as yet for my next exhibition, I want to do a show in my hometown Sydney, it’s been years since I have shown there now.
You recently were involved with the Tropica Festival in Bali. Can you tell me more about it?
I participate in about 2 or 3 of these mural festivals around the world every year, they usually follow the same format of bringing together artists from around the world to one location to all paint large scale murals at the same time. These events can have really positive impacts on local communities and cities. Tropica was organized and funded mostly by the guys at All Caps Store in Bali. My wife Kelly and I got involved early to help curate it and encouraged some of our artist friends in Australia to come over to Canggu to hang out with us and paint some murals. Was good fun! Hopefully, Bali can expect another Tropica Festival next year!
What brought you to Bali? What’s the best thing and the worst thing about living on this Island?
We came to Canggu for a relaxed lifestyle and affordable living. The best things are the warm weather, surfing, food, being able to afford to live how we want to live (in comparison to Sydney where we are from). The worst things would be the mosquitoes, roads, traffic and the lack of parks for the kids.