Interview With Joel Cameron

We recently caught up for coffee with the charming Joel Cameron, a Sydney-based creative whose talents span a range of mediums, he is an illustrator, painter, sculptor and musician.

When did you begin art-making?
I guess I’ve been making art since I was a kid, I was always obsessed with drawing. I came from a very creative family, my Nan did a lot of painting. In my teens I was into skateboarding, it really opened up the creative world for me and the styles of graphics really resonated with me, that's why I started doing graphic design. About five or six years ago I decided that I really wanted to pursue art professionally.

And now you’re a full-time artist?
No, I currently work as a screen printer at TSP merchandise in Lewisham. I’m also in an experimental band called Dead China Doll. We’ve been together since highschool, I play the guitar and the organ. We perform at a lot of psychedelic festivals.

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Did you design that tattoo? (Directed at his arm tattoo)
Oh, no that’s from the film Princess Mononoke. I’m very into animation, especially Studio Ghibli, Anime and 80's & 90's cartoons like Voltron.

Where do you find inspiration?
I have found a lot of inspiration on my trips to Europe. And I’m very inspired by graffiti artists like Basquait and Keith Haring.

Do you ever do Street Art yourself?
I’ve done a bit of street stuff, I do paint murals sometimes but it's not my main thing. I have talked with Nico about maybe doing a collaboration at some point.

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What’s your favourite material to work with?
I’d say wood panels, I always try to make them from scratch when I can. It's a very natural medium to work on and I've been working on it from a very young age. I prefer to have the work unframed so it is more engaging with our world not just contained behind glass. My trusty scroll saw has seen a lot of my ideas come to life and I really like using it to get very fine details and it can put you in a zen state if you work on it for long periods of time, It is very cathartic tool to use.

What can you tell us about your work? What is your process?
My technique and styles span a broad range from illustration to sculpture, most notable is the unique practice of “Dimensional Illustration” fusing illustrated styles with sculpture to create another dimension for an image to exist in. When making a sculpture I will produce a very detailed blueprint of what I want to build, but sometimes I will experiment and improvise with working with whatever off-cuts and found objects I have lying around in the workshop, I always find it pushes me through restraints. I am always interested in using new technologies and techniques such as 3D printing and laser cutting to push my work into the future.

What are your goals?
I've got a couple of different styles happening at the moment and I feel like I need to mash them all together and get more cohesive.

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Do you have any upcoming projects?
I’d like to do a large scale public installation, I've got a couple of good ideas which are quite interactive, because I'm a musician I want to incorporate music as well.

Right now I’m working on a series of graffitied-out vans and trucks, I’m creating silhouettes of vans and making scale models.

I’m also planning to paint a massive collection of antique bottles, which is kind of a different style for me. I'm going to get 80 bottles, I might put plants in them, succulents and stuff. I’m planning to price them fairly low, I want to achieve an affordable format which doesn't have to cost a lot, I just want to create nice, affordable objects. In my first solo show I had painted gumnuts which I sold for $10 each.

See more of Joel's artworks to buy here.

Words: Sarah Lord