You may know him from his murals on walls and skate parks around Perth, but Potion X, most recent winner of the Art Games, originally hails from Sydney. Potion X made the journey to Perth a few years, where he now works as a freelance illustrator, muralist and youth worker. We chatted to him about his Art Games win, his 10 years experience in different fields of art, and where he sees himself in the future.
Q: What is your art background? Have you done any formal art training or are you self-taught?
Potion X: I’ve grown up drawing for as long as I can remember but I specifically started graffiti writing when I was about 12 years old, and picked up a spray can at 13. I’ve always loved cartoon style characters growing up so I usually incorporated them into my graffiti pieces but as I’ve gotten older I’ve tried to drift more towards just characters and pictures, instead of having words/letters as my main focus. I’ve done one semester at Curtin University studying Illustration but I didn’t find it very satisfying so I decided to drop out and learn on my own. Growing up I never had any formal training although I have had many older graffiti writers teach me little tricks here and there and over time I developed my own style and sharpened my skills.
Q: Your art and illustrations have different creatures, some colour, some black and white etc. Do you plan/sketch out your illustrations or do you just let creativity take over?
Potion X: It’s usually just free styled off the top of my head, I find I work better when I’m left to work with what I’ve got and improvise, especially when I make mistakes I try to use them to my advantage. Although for commissioned jobs there is always more planning and experimentation done.
Q: You work as a youth worker in addition to being a freelance illustrator- do you ever use art with the kids you work with?
Potion X: Yes, all the time actually, it’s a great way to connect with young people and help them express themselves through the arts.
Q: What sparked the move from Sydney to Perth? How do the two art scenes compare?
Potion X: I originally moved over to work as a welder, which I did for about a year before quitting and pursuing my love for art. Sydney is definitely busier and more happening in regards to the art scene but I find there are more opportunities here in Perth. Plus I like the slower pace lifestyle.
Q: How did you find the Art Games? Were they nerve wracking or normal- considering you often work on large walls / canvas?
Potion X: At first it definitely was, I wouldn’t of considered it if it wasn’t for my friend Sam (RLSM) encouraging me to give it a crack.
Q: How was it competing against RLSM in the final? Did it make the stakes higher or was it fun to be up there with a friendly face?
Potion X: Had a blast, was great fun.
Q: Where can we see your wall illustrations around Perth?
Potion X: Skate parks, Northbridge, Cockburn, Morley, Victoria Park, just to name a few. I can’t really recall all of them.
Q: Where do you see your art taking you in the future?
Potion X: I’d love to be able to get large scale wall commissions for my style of art and it would also be awesome to be able to travel through my mural work. I also enjoy youth work, so I’d love to be able to continue to teach and encourage young people.
For more information on Potion X please visit his website at www.thepotionx.com