"I guess being born was the pivotal moment for me. I was always interested in art, music and design and by either laziness or ambition I have done nothing else."
Paul McNeil lives and works in Byron Bay, Australia. His art lives on and in album covers, books, posters, shirts and surfboards. He's a curious collaborator, working with everyone from the Beastie Boys and Sonic Youth to lifestyle brand Mambo. He's also one of the founders of Art Park, a gallery made by and for artists.
I guess being born was the pivotal moment for me. I was always interested in art, music and design and by either laziness or ambition I have done nothing else. I am at the same place I was when I was 18 (!). Then I couldn't draw very well but I taught myself to do it. Now I've gone back to the style I had as a young man, more simplistic but loaded with more ideas (I think).
Don't reinvent yourself. Progress comes in small steps. Find what you like, really like, and start doing it. After work, in your room, before school, whatever. You have to actually do things to achieve something. And it's fun!
The world seems to be getting more boring. David Bowie dies and it's like the last creative person is gone (like Pandas). I try not to be boring and I surround myself with people who are doing interesting things. It's hard to be a trailblazer, but it's fun to try. I've had and continue to have so many heroes. Keith Haring, Colin McCahon, Bob McTavish, Patti Smith, Richard Allan, Warhol, Ed Roth, Gonz, Pavement, Neil Young, Alex Knost, The Velvet Underground, Nathaniel Russell, Bill Callahan, Sonic Youth, Raymond Pettibon, Jorn Utzon, George Greenough, William Eggleston, The Clash, Bill Murray, FLW, Wes Anderson....plus about a million more. Look at work you love and try in your head and heart to be as good.
New York speaks to me but there's too many saxophones. The place that really speaks to me is the place where I live. Byron Bay, Australia. Sitting in the surf at "the Pass" surrounded by friends and sliding along perfect waves while dolphins swim under you (oh and sharks). I can't think of somewhere more perfect. It's like a dream I had as a kid.
Hmmm, so many things. Probably make a ham sandwich and then I'd like to curate the "Sydney Festival." Such a great chance to bring all my musical and artistic friends together in the incredible setting of Sydney. Imagine your favourite bands in the Opera House?! Mental. Yeah that will do for now.
All images used with permission of Paul McNeil.