About lé Grizz'
Lé Grizz' is an Australian Artist, an illustrator specialising in murals, maker of fine apparel and designer based in Melbourne (for now). He’s also a high fivng, beer drinking, whisky pouring, 42Below vodka ambassador, needless to say, he’ll get the job done and have a good time afterwards.
An artist since he was a young muppet, though painting and designing under the alias ’Lé Grizz’ commercially since 2013 for himself, collaborating with brands including Bacardi-Martini, Young Henrys and Mambo. Between illustrating a new work, Art directing a product, curating a gallery, exhibiting solo and within group shows you can find him painting one of his pieces on wall, if not there, try the bar.
“Sometimes creative juices flow from unusual places and partnerships."
Interview by Inked Magazine Aus/NZ.
Where does inspiration start with a piece?
I like to know where it is going to live, if it's on the street I look at the surrounding colour-ways and features, if it's a product, print or an advert etc i'll look at it from a similar perspective, knowing what materials and textures my art art will be painted or printed on is an important start for me, it will determine colours, tones and the detail, from there I let myself go into my weird little world.
Your style is distinctive, to you as well as standing out in the crowd. How did you develop it? Is it something you constantly work at or is it natural?
Thank you. There has definatly been some massive weird mistakes that sometimes created something crazy, for most part my style comes naturally to me yet is always evolving.
How did the relationship between yourself and Applejacks come about? What pieces have you made for them?
[Laughs] funny story getting an email From JP (some say Applejacks himself) explaining he had seen the collab' I put online between Mike Watt and myself from his book "Tattoo me". JP knew my style would mesh well with the Applejacks and wanted to create something then and there, however I didn't drink Cider then so I was unsure weather I should be part of something that I wasn't going to be able to back and promote so I said 'no' like a good girl would playing hard to get, yet after we laughed about that we met up and discussed future ideas and projects, wasn't until my taste buddy's had tasted both drinks on them and loved them that I was in...
It seems like an easy relationship, was it easy to associate your style with their brand?
I'm sure I test the relationship from time to time. The first Commission I had with AJ was crucial for me as I knew if it meshes well there would be more on offer, yet I had to be mindful of the existing styling and bounce both off one another. The cocky side of me comes out when I know I can say 'I fucking murdered it'.
Do you have an endless supply of Applejacks?
I literally just opened up a fresh one from a well stocked fridge.
How did you start your art career - was it a drawing on the walls from birth kinda thing? did you study?
I know I 'was' a little scumbag all those years ago but I don't know what you're talking about when it comes to drawing on walls [laughs]. There's always been art and supplies at my disposal growing up, both my sisters are artists, designers and heavily influence my chase weather it be pushing my art and going to college, we there to push one another and keep us humble. It is definatly in my blood though education and collaboration has been key to starting my art career.
Have you ever designed any of your tattoos?
Yeah my first tattoo actually, I drew this one for my late Grandfather, he used to tell me "your working day has not started until you tie your shoelaces up", I guess that's why I stay mostly barefoot when I'm not working. So I drew up some shoelace typography with "Rise with the fallen" after he passed, it's still my favorite.
Do you plan or are you a spare of the moment tattoo person?
Mostly where the image will fit and look best. I'm slowly sticker slapping my body with mine or my peers work.
Are there any links between your work and how you decorate your body?
My work is my life, the way I represent that on my body is art collecting, I travel a lot and have a back catalogue of art ready to go on me as I can't take large framed pieces everywhere I go, if you're an artist I've spent some time with and admire, chances are I'll get something you've done zapped.
When it comes to art, who inspires you? can be other artists of any field or people
This is where my mind gets well lost, it goes from growing up watching William Hanna and Joseph Barbera (Hanna-Barbera) cartoons to focussing my colour studies on Jeffry Smarts work, to my peers such as Skulk who has pushed my art into new directions.
How do you work, is it music turned up go for broke or quiet focused deal?
Depends what I'm working on, I'll usually start with something chilled to prep and sketch lines, I usually start drawing lines in my mind while looking at the blank canvas (digital or physical), Once I'm in rhythm i'll switch it up and put something heavier on slam it out.
What are the biggest obstacles you've had to over come in your career?
This'll be a little contradictory though traveling has always been an obstacle for me, however much I love it as I grow and adapt with it, yet the constant packing and unpacking means private projects and commissions are stretched. I'm a creature of habit for sure so living a nomadic lifestyle at present is both insane and incredible.
And the highlight?
I gave myself five years to make a dent after I went on my own, it's crazy seeing my list of goals being ticked off three years in, from international collaborations, solo exhibitions, to branding and advertising with my art, my signature.
What's next for you in 2016 and beyond?
Probably more travel, currently packing my whip with more paint and supplies to drive back to Melbourne from Sydney. There will be more acid popped weirdness and a tonne of experimenting for new exhibitions and installations.