Interview: Top Fives with Beastman

Even if you aren’t familiar with his name, there’s a good chance you are familiar with his work. Brad Eastman, aka Beastman, is one of the most distinctive and prolific artists in Australia today. Bright colours (mostly blues & oranges), symmetrical patterns and geometric shapes form vast creatures which come across as friendly mythical monsters rather than the stuff of horror.

One third of the creative group The Hours, Beastman has exhibited all over the world, painted murals in Tel Aviv, curated exhibitions and designed graphics and artworks for loads of brands and spoken at Semi-Permanent. He’s always onto something new, so we thought we’d sit him down for some Top Fives.

Anna Horan: You’re quite into skating and graphic design. What’re your Top Five board graphics?
Brad Eastman: There are too many great deck graphics over the years, but here are a few series of decks I really love.

1. Chocolate – Sun Series by Evan Hecox

Evan Hecox has done a lot of the graphics for Chocolate since the mid ’90s and he has designed some of skateboardings greatest board graphics. This series is one of my favourites.

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2. Chocolate – Portait Series by Evan Hecox

An earlier Chocolate series by Evan Hecox, this one is my absolute favourite board graphic series of all time. I couldn’t find a pic of all six boards, but this Paulo Diaz one is the best anyway.

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3. Alien Workshop – Cubism Series by Don Pendleton

Don Pendleton was a huge influence to me and my art when I was young. I just love all the graphics he did for Alien Workshop over the years. This Cubism series is a standout among so many amazing board designs he has done.

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4. Toy Machine – Jim Houser

One of my favourite artists, Jim Houser, did this amazing series of decks for Toy Machine.

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5. Bueno – Michael Sieben

Sieben was a great influence to me as an artist, I have always been a fan of his drawings and paintings. He did all the graphics for Bueno Skateboards and I loved every one of them.

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AH: You paint a lot of murals, what’re you top five most interesting/weirdest/craziest places you’ve painted murals?

1. Jaffa Port, Tel Aviv, Israel

I was invited to paint a large 40 metre mural at Jaffa Port in Tel Aviv, Israel. Jaffa is one of the oldest documented ports in the world, it was so crazy painting the side of an old industrial warehouse there. (Click here for a panorama of the mural).



2. Five Pointz, New York

Five Pointz is an amazing place in Queens, NYC. Its basically an old abandoned building covered in graffiti. I felt honoured being able to paint my work in such an iconic location in the graffiti world.

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3. Cromwell, New Zealand

I painted this old one tonne silo in Cromwell whilst travelling with Element. It was a very awkward object to paint and it was in the middle of a big field by the river. The cops turned up but they didn’t care and just let me keep painting, then recently I found out someone actually stole this thing somehow!

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4. Cockatoo Island, Sydney

I painted this huge tall mural on Cockatoo Island for the Outpost Festival, its not everyday you can paint a huge mural on an old industrial island in the middle of Sydney Harbour.

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5. Mong Kok, Hong Kong

When in Hong Kong I was invited to paint a rooftop wall in Mong Kok. It was a great setting among the high rise buildings on the Kowloon side of the harbour.

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AH: You’re works are really precise and must take a lot of concentration. What are your Top Five tracks to get you to focus and why?

1. Hot Water Music – ‘State of Grace’

My favourite band of all time, I never get sick of listening to Hot Water Music. I am instantly put in a good mood the moment I hear any of their songs, anytime of the day. This is the new single off their latest album.

2. Mogwai – ‘Batcat’

A great post-rock band to create artwork to, you really need to listen to their music whole albums at a time.

3. Coerce – ‘Silver Tongued Life Licker’

Currently the best Australian band out there, so good, crank it.



4. Pinback – ‘Good To Sea You’

A real feel good band, I can just listen to them over and over.

5. Sufjan Stevens – ‘John Wayne Gacy Jr’

For the morning… Such an amazing voice.

AH: You’ve said you’re driven by other artist friends, who are your top five contemporary artists you’d recommend checking out?

1. Kyle Hughes-Odgers

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2. Phibs

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3. Mark Whalen

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4. Trent Whitehead

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5. Numskull

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AH: If you had to soundtrack your artworks, what would be your Top Five songs to pair up with them?

1. Neurosis – ‘A Sun That Never Sets’ for ‘The Descendent of Cosmic Nature’

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2. Squarepusher – ‘Dark Steering’ for ‘The Crawling Chaos’

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3. Sufjan Stevens – ‘The Age of Adz’ for ‘The Projected Legacy’

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4. Chuck Ragan – ‘Symmetry’ for ‘The Sacred Earth’

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5. Neurosis ‘Falling Unknown’ for ‘Falling Unknown’ – with Gimiks Born

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Originally published 27 September 2012 on Everguide.com.au

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