Moving to a new area and stepping into a new creative scene can be daunting but for me the transition was made so much easier once I’d met Josh Brown, a local graphic designer and illustrator. I needed a venue for my creative workshops and like some beacon of light shining directly at The Nook Gallery + Studios in Progress Street, Mornington, I’d found the perfect spot. Josh, and his sister Kristy, are so easy and accommodating to work with and show genuine support for creatives on the Mornington Peninsula. The siblings, along with their brother Joel, founded The Nook which has now become a hub for creatives and small businesses alike and a highly sought after location for events of all kinds.
The real gold at The Nook though, is where Josh lets his creativity loose, in The Snake Hole Gallery – like a manicured mullet, providing the party at the back of The Nook. Granted, Josh and his studio buddy, Josh Meyer, work away at their craft like the creative professionals they are BUT you can be assured to find the freshest threads and sweet beats when you visit. The Snake Hole Gallery is just a step away from the Commonfolk Coffee’s courtyard where you can admire the mural Josh has painted on the adjacent brick wall while you enjoy some roasted bean goodness. And if that’s not invitation enough, Josh is just a bloody nice bloke, and is always happy to chat about his latest project or the local surf conditions. You might even spot some of Josh’s work around the Mornington Peninsula, on the van + cans of Ten Sixty One or his epic mural at Jetty Road Brewery!
In our recent interview Josh shared his love for the Mornington Peninsula creative community and some sound advice for young artists.
LC : Are you a Mornington Peninsula native?
JB : Born and bred on the Peninsula! I spent a few years in Sydney working with a fashion label as an in-house artist and clothing designer but I ended up back on the ninch, it’s too good down here!
LC : How did your journey as a creative begin?
JB : My parents must have noticed some talent early on so they sent me to drawing classes at around age 8 or 9 I think. From that point on I’ve always wanted to do something creative using those skills.
LC : Which creative field are you in and what medium do you use?
JB : I’ve been working as a graphic designer/ illustrator for the past 10-12 years across a bunch of different jobs from marketing agencies to surf and fashion labels. I predominately do all of my commercial work digitally now. I use a tablet for most of my commercial illustration work and pencil and ink for exhibiting artworks.
LC : Where do you find inspiration for your work?
JB : A lot of my work is inspired by pop culture and 90’s graphics.
LC : What are the biggest challenges you face as a creative person?
JB : Probably the biggest challenge for me is making sure I keep things fresh, it keeps me excited and motivated. It’s healthy to try new ways of doing things and learning new skills. I find that I enjoy my work a lot more when I am trying new things that I haven’t done before.
LC : What role do you think the Arts play in our community?
JB : I think the arts play a huge role in our community. It brings people together to collaborate, interact and support each other. We have really seen our creative community grow over the past few years in our co-working space at The Nook Gallery. I really enjoy working amongst like-minded people and being part of a community of creatives.
LC : Do you have any advice for kids wanting to pursue a creative career?
JB : My advice for young people looking to start a creative career would be to find a mentor who you can work with and soak up as much knowledge and skills as possible. I see quite a few young creatives wanting to go straight into freelancing or starting a business and they haven’t yet had any experience working with other businesses or creatives. You need to start from the bottom, work hard and spend the time learning and developing your skills. It will pay off in the long run.
LC : Who are your favourite Mornington Peninsula creatives?
JB : There are so many talented creatives on the Peninsula. I really enjoy Baden Croft’s work, definitely one to check out. Cassie Stevens is also a talented illustrator who has some really fun, interesting work.
LC : Tell us your favourite place to eat or grab a coffee on the Mornington Peninsula.
JB : Commonfolk, of course. Nothing beats it.
LC : A Sunday on the peninsula is best spent…
JB : Relaxing with the family at the beach and surfing all day. That’s what lured me back here!
LC : Where can we find you and your work?
You can find me most days pushing around pencil in The Snake Hole, right out the back of The Nook Gallery
[ Editor note : You can also follow Josh’s projects on his Insta feed @joshlukebrown ]
LC : Finally, can you tell us some of the exciting projects you’ve been working on this year?
JB : I have just finished some mural work with Melbourne Storm and our Winter 19 collection is available now at The Snake Hole Gallery or www.thesnakehole.com
It’s no secret that we love the creatives in Progress Street and have featured a couple of them on the blog…Have you met these Mornington Peninsula creatives yet?