Bradley Eastman-aka-Beastman, hopes to bring a positive presence to the spaces he paints. The artist calls it a “visual language” created from pattern, measurement, balance, movement, symbolism, color and collaboration. With seemingly perfect symmetry, he creates abstract shapes and patterns that are inspired by the landscape, and pack a vibrant punch.
Are you a morning person or night owl?
I used to be a night owl, but slowly became a morning person.
Weirdest thing in your fridge right now?
Nothing too weird. Lots of beer and chocolate though!
Surf or skate?
I love both! They are very different.
What’s in rotation on your playlist?
Hot Water Music, The Flatliners, The Wonder Years, Bouncing Souls, Northcote, Anxious, Ship Thieves.
Best advice you’ve received?
Work harder than anyone else doing the same thing as you.
Can you tell us a little about your background and how you became an artist?
I grew up skateboarding in the suburbs of Sydney, and found a love for all things associated with skateboarding culture in the 90s – music, photography, art and design. I always loved drawing and making visual art diaries with my own photos and drawings. Eventually I started drawing in a particular unique style, so I just ran with it and began to make paintings too. I guess from that point on I didn’t stop making art, I just continued to make more and more, refining, learning and evolving my style and techniques along the way.
How would you describe your style?
My style is something that evolved over many years of drawing, painting and graphic design. It’s a visual language created from pattern, measurement, balance, movement, symbolism, color and collaboration.
Artistic tools of choice?
Aerosol paints, Adobe Illustrator, camera, acrylic, ink, ruler and compass.
Do you prefer to work more in the studio or outside?
I love both equally. I probably spend more time in my studio, but love the opportunities to travel and be outside painting and interacting with people.
How does your process change according to your environment?
My processes change depending on the specific project I am working on, I switch up the processes depending on what the outcome needs to be and the requirements or limitations of the project. These could be things such as size, access, surfaces, applications, client expectations and artist briefs. My artworks are always influenced by my surrounding environments, especially my mural works, which are developed in collaboration with their unique locations, interior design, landscaping and architecture.
What types of techniques do you use to create such perfect symmetry and curves in your work?
This again depends on the medium I am working with, obviously if I am creating a digital illustration the perfect geometry can easily be created with software, but when hand painting a mural artwork I rely on precise measurement and application. Over the years I have developed my own techniques to effectively paint my own artwork style with the high level of precision I think it needs.
How do you hope your art impacts people?
I love to create more abstracted works that challenge the audience to decipher their own meaning from, or discover something I didn’t intend to be there. I always hope my works bring a positive and vibrant presence to the space or location they are in, and I also strive to create works that would never become boring, images that can be enjoyed and discovered many times over.
How do you find inspiration and ideas for a new piece? What does your creative process look like?
My works are often inspired by actual places, landscapes, environments and of course by nature. I love being outside exploring nature, surfing, skating and being out in public space. I often find ideas and inspiration for my works whilst out doing these things. My creative process used to be more about drawing and sketching, but over the years I have become much more digital in my process. I like to work on and create compositions and concepts on the computer, then tweak these when installing the works physically.
What do you think you would be doing professionally if you weren’t an artist?
I also love photography, when I was younger I was shooting a lot of skateboarding photos. If I didn’t steer into the direction of painting and creating artwork, I would have continued down that path of skate photography for sure.
Who are some artists you are inspired by?
There are so many artists out there creating amazing work at the moment, I try not to look too much at all the art though, I feel like I can be more creative if I just focus on my own work without considering what others are doing out there. When I was younger I was very much inspired by artists affiliated with skateboarding and surfing culture. These artists are still some of my favorite artists today – Ed Templeton, Jim Houser, Barry McGee, Don Pendleton, Evan Hecox, Thomas Campbell. Besides these artists above, over the years I have collaborated and been mentored by some amazing artists who have had a huge impact on my art practices, techniques and work ethic – Phibs, Vans The Omega, Elliott Routledge, Kyle Hughes-Odgers.
What projects do you have coming up that we can look out for?
I just finished working on a museum exhibit called ‘Playscapes’ which is now open and showing at the Museum of Sydney until June 2023. It’s a kids play exhibit featuring lots of digital artworks that are installed and projected throughout the museum, with some great interactive features for kids to build and create their own Beastman artworks using building blocks and tiles, there is also a maze outside the museum in the forecourt. This year I will continue to paint some mural artworks in schools around Australia and am also working on some more site specific commission works. I am also looking forward to getting back into making a new series of paintings in my studio. It’s been a couple of years since I had a solo exhibition with a gallery, so I am keen to get that happening this year too.