Our Artisan Project - Richard Lavender

Our Artisan Project - Richard Lavender

Interview by Luke Mitchell


We are incredibly stoked to deliver the fourth instalment of Our Artisan Project, brought to you by the amazing Richard Lavender. A south Australian based illustrator, Richard’s piece Paradise & Purgatory is an ode to Yin & Yang, good and evil, and our interpretation of these ideas.

 

The design has been split across two garments with Paradise on one and Purgatory on the other, while both illustrations are featured on the back to make the one design.

 

Which one are you going to choose?



Tell us about your story as an artist?

I don’t know when it started, it’s just always been there. From copying things I thought were cool when I was young, to getting older and wanting to make my own stuff.


It’s always changing for me though; inspirations, materials and executions, but it all leads back to my fundamental of drawing. As a kid, it was Star Wars, cartoons and the Tolkien books. Growing older, it was still cartoons, but predominately graffiti and the people I met through it. Now, it’s history, superstition, tattooing, music and cartoons. 


How would you describe your art or yourself as an artist?

At the moment I’m doing a lot of ink drawings, cartoonish, bold lines with watercolour and gouache. Generally a bit crude, soldiers finding themselves in predicaments, monsters and the likes. When I get bored
of these, I’ll often have a larger scale oil painting in progress, which takes longer than it should. It’s a good way to loosen up a bit.


A big focus of my artwork currently is around the imagery and symbolism from the dark ages. The strangely playful art and story telling of this period fascinates me. Although often revolving around death, superstition and fear, I try to put these things in a modern twist, making it humorous with certain exaggerations.

 

What is the message or feeling of this piece?

Having the design split over two different garments, in a way, creates two different feelings. Good and Bad, Paradise and Purgatory, Above and Below.


Nothing is intently good or bad in the images I used, the viewer knows and has their own judgements, as we all do. Nothing good or evil is happening, but we make assumptions. Certain characteristics of objects make them appear good or bad, just from appearance or style. I find this interesting and it really helps my drawing. Making sharp, harsh angles, or opening them up to be playful.


Using certain colours, being considerate of light and dark. Although subtle, it affects the overall design.


What is the inspiration behind this piece?

Same reason as above I suppose, just our presumptions of ‘good and bad’.

What organisation did you choose to donate to and why?

I chose Bush Heritage Australia. It’s incredible work, they really are hands on. Partnering with Indigenous
communities to buy land and protect and preserve Australian native species. I’ve been donating to them for a
few years now, and it’s kept me up to date with their progress.


Soapbox moment. Is there anything you want to give thanks for, call out or start a conversation about?

Thanks to Yuki and Colin for having interest in my work and taking me on for a rad project!

Where can we check out more of your art?

Insta: @rich.lav

'I chose Bush Heritage Australia. It’s incredible work, they really are hands on. Partnering with Indigenous
communities to buy land and protect and preserve Australian native species. I’ve been donating to them for a
few years now, and it’s kept me up to date with their progress.'

- Richard Lavender -




Follow RIchard:

@rich.lav

 

Read next

Our Artisan Project - Colin Rivers

Our Artisan Project - Crystal Legoffe

Our Artisan Project


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