WAPPATO MEDIA HOUSE
Welcome to Casual Magazine.
Casual is an online platform that combines travel and creative culture, prioritising visual content to share artist stories around the world. Each edition is based in a new city, in this case our BETA version takes place in Sydney, Australia. Within each city we take perspective from various creatives i.e. artists, graphic designers, photographers, illustrators, fashion designers and more. Through their eyes we get a locals point of view. Exploring the best locations, characteristics and inspirations their city has to offer.
This is our first edition (beta) with our second underway. Please feel free to explore, interact and engage with the content provided as well as our social media sites. Any comments or feedback would be greatly appreciated as we are gradually developing the platform.
Created during the winter months, our first edition of Casual Magazine takes place in Sydney Australia. Featuring an eclectic mix of illustrators, photographers, fine artists and surf board shapers. This is a in-depth and visual look into Sydney culture from a variety of perspectives, exploring the famed beaches of Bondi, city centre, business district, art district, far out suburbs and outback. Though traveling and filming during winter, we found the experience to be far more genuine due to the lack of tourists and big crowds, yet we were still able to enjoy the beaches and city with comfortable weather. So if you're willing to dive into cooler water and chilly mornings, you'll get more then you sacrificed in return.
kentaro yoshida/ lauren & the lost boys/ surf sculpt/ earlies/ Cybele Malinowski/ Celeste Wrona
kentaro yoshida (illustrator)
I’m an artist and illustrator. I am from little Fishermans town in Toyama, middle/ north part of the main island in Japan.
I moved to Sydney when I was 18 and I have been living in Manly since then. Sydney has been changing a lot I think, it gotten fancier with a lot more things going on… or I may not know about everything when I was younger haha
I draw with ink, marker or digital illustration, my main style is basically line artwork, a bit of a comic style as I like a lot of Japanese manga and Japanese visual culture.
I think drawing is something I'm best at, so that I want to keep making something to develop myself and my world. And I like surfing too but unfortunately I am not good at it so I chose to art or illustration to tell myself and express what I feel.
I met the surf culture pretty much when I moved here, I used to snow board and skate a little when I was a teenager, but it’s pretty much surf culture that I met when I came to Sydney. It’s part of my art now, through the experience and growing up here it became more and more.
I used to draw a lot on my text book and stuff, I knew that I could draw. But when I first moved here I didn't really draw anything until I went to university and studied visual communication and graphic design. During university I started illustrating again and a good friend of mine from Japan, a really good surfer, he asked me to paint on his surf board and that’s how I started painting on boards. It’s around that time I started surfing and realised how much I liked it and how it combined with my drawing. I started painting more surf boards and started working with labels like Billabong you know.
Long story short, I loved a Japanese comic called “CROWS” and the motor cycle gangs were my favourite characters. They all have skull logo on the back of their leather Jackets and I doodled them on my text book while in high School. Then I found many illustrators and artists who often use skull for their main motif, but probably reading that comic is the origin of how I started using the skull for the main motif of my work.
I met a guy called Ben Brown, a legendary illustrator form Sydney, I really loved his skeleton and it made me want to draw more skeletons. But since then I realise these days my skeleton is a little more fun and playful then any other skeleton, it’s almost not dead, like it’s living dead.
He’s got his own characteristics and personality, which i’ve been developing, I almost use the skeleton as a metaphor for myself and my character. It can do anything a human can unlike dead and scary skeletons.I am still working out my style and it's a developing process from time to time. But definitely Japanese visual culture, especially Japanese comics (Manga) is a huge influence as most of manga has clear ink line drawing style.
This skeleton is just having beers and having a lonely night, I think that's something I wanted to draw because it contains all the characteristics I like. It was really random Idea I painted for regular mural live painting event. I simply did a portrait of myself on a lonely Saturday night drinking solo. Now I have family and many friends here, but I often remember the feeling of loneliness when I first moved here. I often want to reflect that feeling into my work somehow.
I also like wearing aloha shirts during the summer. So it’s a bit of a self portrait.
(part of this interview is dictated from an audio recording)
I like drawing or executing what I feel, what I found, who I met at work. And living overseas is always giving me a fresh perspective and objects to observe.
I live in Manly, entrance gate of Northern beaches in Sydney. Its a little beach town and has a great community too. Nice bars, restaurant and pubs around, but most importantly it is not too big and a really cozy small town so I've gotten to know a lot of locals since moving here. I started surfing here and have lived for my whole Australian life here, so I feel really comfortable living in this town.
I feel like it's easy to be apart of Sydney as it has a variety of cultures and a great multicultural environment. I have been cruising around the city and hanging out with not only Japanese but also friends from Australia or everywhere. It seems everyone respects where I am from and very patient to hear my broken English, which means people here seems to be used to hanging out with non-native English speaker and pretty keen to know other cultures they don’t belong to. This helps me a lot to enjoy living in this city, as well as motivation to survive overseas without any family or relatives.
I am going to exhibit my latest painting at the GREENROOM FESTIVAL 2018 in Japan and it is one of the biggest surf art/film/music festivals in Japan. I have wanted to participate in this event for a while, so I'm stoked to be apart of this and nervous at the moment.
lauren & the lost boys (illustrator)
I’ve always been into art. I started exhibiting my artwork as soon as I could pull together a solo show after finishing art school in 2008. Ever since then I have continued to work on art for exhibition as well as taking on other opportunities to team up with various creatives and bring some collaborations to life. The last few years my work and the rest of my life has become very intertwined so it all kind of feels like the one thing most of the time.
There are so many facets to the creative scene in Sydney, like most places I suppose. The thing I like about the creative side of Sydney is that people are generally relaxed, openminded and positive. I love going to exhibitions to support other creatives and there’s a whole bunch of artists there in support and taking an interest in each others work. I think that’s really cool and the way it should be. If everyone was overly competitive or spreading neg vibes that would be pretty lame and not really a place I’d want to hang.
I’m currently working on some mural projects, a creative collaboration that is yet to be announced as well as a new body of artwork for a solo exhibition. Some the dates and details for these new projects are still being finalised but you can stay in the loop with everything via my social pages and website.
I have always oscillated between the country where I grew up and the city. It’s cool to have sense of both. I moved to Sydney when I studied at art school and have had a base of some sort here ever since.
To be honest I’m actually far more inspired when I’m outside of the city… I love venturing out into the bush, the desert or small towns that I’ve never been to before. Sydney is cool though because of the wealth of creativity that’s around so it’s great to take that in. Going to exhibitions and gigs is always good fuel for the fire.
Stumbling upon the right kind of people can be really inspiring in unexpected ways and I’ve met plenty of those in this city.
I also love hunting through vintage and antique stores for objects that ignite a little creative spark. There’s lots of these treasures in Sydney and just beyond so I happily indulge in that.
I definitely enjoy living by the coast and waking up to see the ocean stretch out to the horizon. If it wasn’t for that I may not have stuck around for so long.
For someone who used to exhibit a solo exhibition at least once a year it has felt like a long break between shows… So this time of really delving into some creative studio time and exploring new directions with my work once again has been really refreshing and exciting. I’m looking forward to sharing some of this new art with you all very soon!
NATASHA FOSTER (photographer)
I moved to Sydney from Toowoomba, QLD when I was 17 years old. I never thought my life would be the way it is today! I love to use a lot of colour and art direction in my work. As for my personal style, I love myself a 60's shift dress, ridiculously big jewellery pieces, art deco anything and of course, colour. However, these days as I’m shooting most of the time I am mostly seen in jeans, singlets with my hair back. I miss my glam days!
I'm so glad I moved to Sydney as it's offered me opportunities that I would never have been given if I stayed in Toowoomba.
My family has always had a love affair with Sydney. My Grandfather lectured at Sydney University and later became a fellow there so we spent a lot of time going back and forth when I was growing up. Some of my fondest memories are of 14 hour car trips to Sydney.
Sydney isn’t an easy city to live in. It’s expensive and it can be unrelenting but I’ve met some incredible creatives here and have been able to do what I love. I met the Mert to Marcus, Erin Fairs and since we have been shooting together both our work has really grown. I love working with her as we just get each other.
I’m currently finishing a video piece for BLACK magazine that was a great production. I’m excited to release it. I’m very proud to be a female director in an often male dominated film world. I like to surround myself with other talented women on set and I think this has a large influence on my approach with models on set. I’m all about making content that portrays strong, bad ass women and creating a set that reflects that on shoot day.
Cybele Malinowski (photographer)
My name is Cybele Malinowski, I'm a photographer and I've been shooting for about 12 years. I started out shooting music photography and that’s how I got a name for myself, now I shoot a combination of music, fashion and advertising in equal parts, it’s a nice balance and I find that each discipline feeds into each other.
I’m known for my music photography, I shoot a lot of music portraits and artwork, but I wanted to expand. I had always loved shooting fashion but I needed to break into that industry, so how I did that was shooting models in their own houses, in their own clothes. I didn't need a publication I just went and did the shoots myself, creating the content myself. Through that I started getting hired for jobs based on the style that I was shooting in. So now that's what I do.
I wanted to do something that was a contrast to my commercial work or big music shoots, something that was less structured, less people on set. I wanted to strip it back and just connect with my subject, it’s a wonderful thing.
(This interview is a dictation from a recorded conversation)
The first model mason shoot that I did was actually in Ukraine, I photographed eight girls in three days. It was full on, no one spoke any English and I was driving, walking around with no idea where I was. Going to these huge apartment blocks, hundreds of matching apartments in this soviet-block style, wondering through hallways trying to find these numbers and it was so crazy. I’d walk into these tiny little apartments and the whole family would live in these two room apartments, three, four kids in one room and their parents in the living room, basically sleeping on the couch. These homes though humble, had a certain dignity and warmth that some larger super rich homes lack.
That was the first attempt of mine and I loved it. There was something about it that just excited me, I really felt like it was far more than fashion photography, like portraiture meets fashion photography. It was a visual diary of these girls and their homes, how they lived, so i’ve continued shooting model mason.
I’ve now shot model mason everywhere, I work a lot in America so i’ve done a lot in New York and LA and a lot in Shanghai and Paris, a hell of a lot in Sydney also. But every time I do one I don't know what to expect, I pre-cast a bit and arrive with no idea what the house is going to be like. I have to just give myself a certain discipline. I have to make every shoot look as good as the previous, sometimes without much to work with. A girl might live in one room and I have to find eight stories within that one space, but I love the challenge, compared to my more commercial work where basically you have an art director, hair and makeup team's who tell you what to do. It’s nice to be free with these shoots.
Sydney is our home and we’re staying here and thats what we’ve decided. Creatively it’s a bit challenging, Sydney is a small city and I feel like we always think one day we’ll go to London or LA, it's like small city syndrome. Now that Daniel (Husband) and I have decided to stay here it’s actually quite an exciting opportunity. We’re able to strengthen what is in Sydney, I feel like people just work here to a certain point and then leave and i’m now actually happy that I'm staying here. We have two kids and I'm trying to find creative inspiration within this city that i’ve lived in my whole life, I think with creativity, going to a new space, going to a new environment can enrich you. Instantly you look at things with new eyes and seeing things for the first time, there is a challenge in trying to find that excitement day after day when you live in the same space. To do that is through meeting new people, even though the place is the same.
this shoot that you’ve watched today is one of many I have done in my living room here in Woollahra. It’s part of a series I have been working on for a couple years called Model-Maison Undone. Where I shoot models without any hair or makeup and no retouching. Its a really raw and honest portrait of the models, who are so often transformed into fantasy characters so far from their real self.
sculpt surfboards (surf board shaping)
I was a qualified mechanic and went on a holiday overseas. When I came back I decided I wanted to do something else. I have always loved surfing and I ended up hitting up a surfboard shaper on the Northern Beaches of Sydney where I learnt all the processes involved in the craft.
Nick miles (surf sculpt)
I have lived in Sydney my whole life and have always loved the water and surfing. I am really inspired by the Sydney beach breaks/reefs and design board models created especially for our local waves. Its not to say I don't have other types of waves in mind or my boards don't work anywhere else, but I think thats one of the special things about custom surfboards. They are tailored to your needs and you spend time with each customer finding out what they need under their feet and my customers are 90% locals.
I love the creative scene in Sydney, I'm surrounded by really passionate, talented people who produce unique, quality products. I think our customers also enjoy knowing where their product has come from and been made, they love seeing the workspace and hearing about the processes involved. Watching resin art on a board is pretty mesmerising. I think Sydney has really great talent.
I can't encourage people enough to deal directly with there local shaper, there is always a few to choose from. General board buying practice is to see videos of pro surfers riding something and to think thats how I want to surf. But pro's are a different level and every board they ride has been specifically designed for the waves they are surfing and the way they surf. If you work with a local, experienced shaper you are far more likely to find a magic craft.
My name's Luke Hawkins aka EARLIES. By night I'm an artist/illustrator inspired by surf, skate, heavy metal and tattoo culture. By day I'm a Creative Director working in advertising. I was driven to start my side project EARLIES a couple of years ago because a) drawing is rad b) there are no rules and c) I wanted to show my son that work never feels like work when you love what you do.
luke hawkins (earlies)
I grew up in Perth, WA, but ended up in Sydney as it presented more opportunities to a man grommet pursuing a creative career. And there's way less big, gnarly sharks.
I love Sydney. There's always a wave to be surfed - especially if you've got an open mind to surf craft. Our beaches are world class and the weather's great. The creative scene's pretty strong and continues to grow. It's also really varied ranging from surf photographers to tattoo artists to emerging designers punting their wares at the local markets. And if big bridges and strange shaped opera houses are your thing, Sydney's pretty good at those too
Follow @earlies on Instagram and you shall be eternally blessed by the surf gods who will reward you with epic waves and general radness. As a bonus you'll also get to look at goofy drawings and keep up to date with my work, news and the occasional giveaway.
CELESTE WRONA (ABSTRACT PAINTER)
Celeste Wrona is an award winning Australian contemporary artist with over a decade of experience making and teaching visual arts. Her vibrant collection celebrates free-flowing form, texture, and colour. Celeste's works are held in private collections and exhibited nationally and internationally.
My studio practice embraces a dynamic and fluid art-making process using mostly inks and mixed media, bringing together rich textures, vibrant colours and a deep appreciation of organic form and line. I combine methods and materials that juxtapose both a chaotic and intuitive process. I view my work as being multidimensional, something that resonates physically and emotionally with the audience. Being able to transform a physical space into a mindful sanctuary that facilitates a deeper level of personal awareness, taking the viewer to another place. Rather than critiquing the shortcomings of society I choose to celebrate life as it unfolds before us and the environment in which we live.
I have always loved making art from a very young age, this passion led me to pursue art as a career and I completed formal training with the University of New South Wales, College of Fine Arts in 2004 to become an Artist and Art Educator. I originally started out as a traditional European-styled pencil artist, however my artmaking evolved in style and media overtime. Yet regardless of my material practice, I am always drawn back to the raw beauty and complexity of nature.
I was born in Sydney, Australia. My family who are of Italian/Albanian heritage migrated to Australia in search of a better life following World War II. I first lived in Kogarah, a southern suburb of Sydney, then as a toddler, my family moved to Sydney’s south-west where I remained, before moving to the Macarthur Region of Sydney to establish my family and career.
Growing up on the outskirts of Sydney I have been fortunate enough to be surrounded by a dense natural landscape, filled with the colours and textures of local flora and fauna. This contact with nature everyday provides me with solidarity and calm in my usually buzzing household, it reminds me to peel away the layers of our often-superficial lives, bringing me mindfulness and calm and grounding me and providing me with a vast array of inspiration.
Sydney being such a young, vibrant and multicultural city embodies an energy and enthusiasm to work hard and build a name for yourself. It’s generous and fruitful in opportunities and its people are willing to connect and support the work of local artists like myself. However, being such a large city, the creative scene becomes much sparser the further you venture from the CBD.
My love of nature and organic form has also lead me to explore the link between science and art. In 2017 I undertook two separate art residencies, one with the Ingham Institute of Medical Research in Sydney, where I looked at cancer at a nano-level under the world class Merlin microscope, and the other with The Australian Regenerative Medicine Institute in Melbourne, where I explored the work of scientists and the cellular structures of animals that were being explored in their research into regenerative medicine. The series of artworks I have created from these residencies focus on the juxtaposition of the aesthetic beauty in the complex colours, textures, lines and patterns in these organic forms and the highly emotional and personal significance they have to those who have a connection with cancer and degenerative diseases. Pieces from this collection will form part of an upcoming exhibition titled “Regeneration” at St Heliers St Gallery in Victoria, Australia in May-June 2018.
We hope you enjoyed our first edition of Casual Magazine and we'd like to thank that artists involved for being so cooperative and inviting with their content. If you have any feedback, comments or criticism please do get in touch as we'd love to hear your perspective.
Our next edition (alpha) will be based in Barcelona and we'll be aiming to release early next year, depending on timing and content. Thank you for visiting and keep it casual.