Sean Morris Interview
Posted In: FORM Gallery, Interview, Living Walls, Sean Morris
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“Old exercise videos, bad horror films, regrettable fashion trends, fast food and homemade tattoos.”
Perth based Sean Morris is not your dad but his irreverent depictions of the kitsch in contemporary life have found loving audiences Australia-wide and overseas. Morris has exhibited widely and produced artworks for a range of clients including The New York Times, The Australian Open, The Big Day Out, Hasbro and Folklore Skateboards.
FORM interviewed Sean as part of the Living Walls Exhibition Interview Series. Living Walls runs until the 25th August, 2012 at FORM Gallery.
Sean Morris Interview
What drew you to making art?
I’ve always drawn pictures, but it took me a long time to get serious about it. I had these weird ideas and stories that I wanted to tell, and I tried a bunch of different avenues for that; stuff like film and animation and (bad) writing. But In the end it always came back to drawing. It can be a beautifully simple or a horribly complicated process, it can be fun and it can sometimes be a chore, but for me it’s just the most direct way to share the gross and worrying ideas I have with the world.
What inspires your work?
Old exercise videos, bad horror films, regrettable fashion trends, fast food and homemade tattoos.
How important is humour in the development of your ideas?
Not every piece I make incorporates humour, but it’s probably the most prominent touchstone in my work. I judge my ideas pretty harshly, but if there’s one that’s ridiculous enough to make me laugh when it’s just a thumbnail sketch, I know it’s gotta be seen through to completion.
How has your practice changed over time and where would you like to see it go?
I don’t think it’s changed drastically. I’ve branched out into more mediums, but the work still comes out of the same thought process. As soon as I figure out how, I want to move into installation work… and it’d be pretty great if someone gave me my own animated television series.
Who has inspired you most creatively, and how?
Over the last couple of years i’ve managed to surround myself with some pretty inspiring individuals. Working with everyone who was a part of Last Chance Studio was awesome, that place was a constant idea factory and the collaborative – and competitive – elements of working in a collective made me push myself as an artist more than I ever had before.
How do commercial considerations affect your practice?
I work as a commercial illustrator as well as an artist. I try to keep the two quite separate, and put the weight of financial pressure on the illustration, so that I can make artwork without stressing about whether stuff is going to sell.
How does scale impact on your practice? Does the dynamic of your work shift when you’re working at a larger scale?
My large-scale work is bolder and a lot simpler. It’s just a product of the shorter time frame that usually comes with walls. I tend to work pretty slowly on small-scale pieces, I obsess a lot over composition and tiny details… that stuff has to go out the window when it comes to big work.
How would you describe Perth’s art scene?
It feels like it’s really growing at the moment. I don’t really know what to judge it on apart from community and quality work, but I see a lot of both of those things around.
Do you have any advice for aspiring artists?
Put on an art show; tell lots of people about it. Repeat.