Dvate is a Melbourne based artist and graphic designer whose position in the street art scene is now well and truely established; covering walls, canvases and is featured in magazines both locally and internationally. Growing up in Melbourne just a stone’s throw from a railway station, he was instantly drawn to the colourful work along the suburban railway lines and has been destined to lead a creative life ever since.
Dvate’s incredible talent is displayed through his incorporation of intense street compositions, amazingly realistic imagery and masterful graphic designs. Weaving these all together in a one-man collaboration piece after piece sets Dvate apart from what you would expect to achieve with multiple artists.
JUDDY – Hey Dvate, thanks for chilling. How are things?
DVATE – Really good.
JUDDY – Are you a night owl or early bird?
DVATE- Def a night owl.
JUDDY – Do you prefer painting indoors or outdoors?
DVATE – 100% Outdoors, unless it’s raining.
JUDDY – How long have you been working with Juddy Roller?
DVATE – Not sure exactly. At least 4 years.
JUDDY – You grew up in Melbourne, around the Frankston line I hear? Did this influence your path in the street art and writing scene?
DVATE – Growing up where I did played a huge part in my artistic journey. From the people I met to the writers I looked up too and the places I explored.
JUDDY – You’ve been painting for a while now, but I hear you’re also a graphic designer? What takes up more of your time?
DVATE – I haven’t technically worked as a Graphic Designer for over 6 years. But I use my design background every day in my mural business. I still do the occasional flyer or logo for friends.
JUDDY – Street art and graphic design are both creative outlets, both being very different but also quite connected. Has Graphic design helped you with your street art, or vice versa?
DVATE – Without my design background, I don’t think I would be anywhere near as successful with my artwork. The main thing is dealing with clients, being able to ask the right questions to find out what they want and coming off as a professional. More crossovers include: creating detailed quotes and invoices, mural mockups, research and project tenders. Also, skills like colour theory and composition make a massive difference in the quality of my artworks.
JUDDY – Do you ever work on a computer to help with your design process?
DVATE – I pretty much always use a computer for mural mockups as it lets me easily adjust elements and be able to view the wall from a different perspective. Also as I mostly paint realistic work it makes sense to use photoshop to collage my designs together. My more artistic and letter-based projects are still drawn by hand. It’s not only the easiest way but I feel it’s important to still use a pen and paper where possible. I still come up with my initial ideas and brainstorms for murals by hand too.
JUDDY – You have an incredible ability to draw Australian themes like our beautiful nature and wildlife so well, was this pushed after writing for so many years, or have you always enjoyed drawing?
DVATE – I guess it’s a two-part thing. I grew up with a real love for nature and exploring the bush and I’ve always been interested in animals. For me, native flora and fauna are the main things that connect me to this country and the only form of cultural heritage I have. I also got into freehand airbrushing in high school which taught me a lot about realistic painting, this carried over into my graffiti walls and then my career. The two came together a few years ago when I made the conscious choice to focus on this theme in my artworks as much as I can.
JUDDY – Are there any particular themes or cultures that influence your aesthetic?
DVATE – I always try to make my works site-specific so they fit into their environments. From a simple thing like colour you can really make a work harmonise with its space.
Similarly, with my animal-themed work I try to focus on local animals that are endangered and I try to raise awareness of issues around them. My graffiti background also plays a strong part in my work from the tools I use to the processes that create my works and my mentality to creating art.
JUDDY – Nicely said. What’s the weirdest commission you’ve ever had?
DVATE – I had to paint a sculptured cake to look like a realistic fish using edible spray-paint.
JUDDY – Haha amazing. Do you have any secret talents that we should know about?
DVATE – Nothing I can disclose for now 😉
JUDDY – What are your creative plans for the future?
DVATE – Keep painting, travel and have fun!
JUDDY – Final question, what would be your dream project to work on?
DVATE – Something that helps to raise awareness to a really important issue surrounding local wildlife. Or a project that pays me so much money I never have to work again and can just paint graff and wildlife murals.
JUDDY – Thanks for your time Dvate, it’s been a pleasure. For a better look at his work, peek his Instagram.