Tag Archives: Mulga

‘FOSTERED’ Profile: Capiche and Cheeky Observer

By Celeste Hawkins

I’ve got a soft spot for Sydney. Every now and then I like to venture out of Melbourne town to explore the diverse and healthy art scene that Sydney has on offer. You may recall an interview I did with the charismatic Mulga a few years ago. He was able to quit his dull day job to focus on his love for drawing and creating quirky characters. Every now and then I will walk into a shop and I see his trade-mark illustrations on something or another! He is represented by ‘Fostered’, an artists’ collective and management company. Have a peek here at the FOSTERED website-to find out more about the philosophy behind their business.

Making new waves this year are two young women artists: Cheeky Observer and Capiche. Read below for a bit of an insight into what makes them tick!

Screenshot 2015-03-26 09.24.26

Cheeky Observer- Mural on Oxford Street

Words from :Cheeky Observer

The thing I loved to do most as a kid was…

Burying my nose in a book for hours on end (yes, I’m a bit of a nerd), or running around with my sister enjoying whatever imaginary situation we’d concocted for ourselves.

The best part of the day is…

The hours of 10am (coffee time) and 6pm (wine time).

Five things I could not do without…

Music, coffee, my sketchbook, wine, and all the awesome people in my life!

My favourite art mediums to use are…

Good old acrylic paint, 0.05 nib pens, MTN Spray Paint, Poscas.

The piece (artwork) I am most proud to have created and why…

Ouch, that’s a tough one. To be honest, I don’t think I’ve created it yet. There’s so much satisfaction that comes from finishing a work, but I’m still searching for that feeling of crazy elation, knowing that I’ve produced something that’s truly mindblowing.

If I had to pick one of my pieces to date, my “Memories” artwork (for Cranium Exhibition 2015) was a complex piece to put together – I was very happy with the end result.

List three people, places or things that inspire your artworks…

Street art, everywhere, all the time.

Music – keeps me ticking. I’ll often incorporate the lines of my favourite songs (secretly) into my works.

Fairytales and fiction novels.

How would you describe your work using just three adjectives?

Restless, detailed, fantastical.

Three artists (including writers, musicians etc.) I love and why…

I have so many! In no particular order, these three came to mind first..

Adnate – for being so amazing at producing works that are both lifelike and story driven.

Alexis Taieb – I’m a big fan of his typography – versatility, refinement and creativity rolled into lettering.

Tristan Eaton – his street art is so cheerful and imaginative. Always makes me smile!

 My hopes for the community I live in are…

Speaking specifically about forms of contemporary art, I hope that my local community continues to foster a sense of appreciation, and place a higher value on what we as artists produce. Though it’s definitely changing, there’s still such a huge gap between what’s done on the street and what sits inside the gallery (in terms of value). Placing a higher value on street art would certainly give emerging artists a lot more financial stability to do what they love, and bring a little more creativity into the world for everyone’s enjoyment.

Where I hope to take my creative work in the future…

Hopefully overseas at some point… and onto the largest walls I can find :)


Capiche: ‘iSee’ Council Commissioned Paste-up — Northumberland St Carpark, Liverpool.


Capiche: ‘iSpy’ Council Commissioned Paste-up — Northumberland St Carpark, Liverpool.

the tumble

Capiche: ‘The Tumble’ Council Commissioned Paste-up — Crawford Serviceway, Liverpool.


And now…words from Capiche:

The thing I loved to do most as a kid was…

Watch Michael Jackson videos in slow motion so I could learn the choreography. I was obsessed with his music and the way he moved. It was the first form of training I ever had, it definitely set me on a creative path.

The best part of the day is…

The ‘magic hour’ first hour after sunrise or the last hour before sunset, this is when I get my best shots!

Five things I could not do without…






My favourite art mediums to use are…




The piece (artwork) I am most proud to have created and why…

‘The Tumble’ which was commissioned by Liverpool council. This is my largest pasteup to date. Although it was the most challenging, it has made me want to push harder and go bigger!

List three people, places or things that inspire your artworks…

Community – I’m inspired by the locals and stories that make up a communities large and small.

The Urban landscape – The placement is just as important as the design. Every location offers a new point of view and presents to a new audience.

Abandoned Spaces – The empty abandon shell of a building has no identity and allows me the complete freedom to create. This is often where I started my creative process.

How would you describe your work using just three adjectives?


Large scale


Three artists (including writers, musicians etc.) I love and why…

JR –  Photographer and filmmaker 

I’m inspired by his community based pasteup project ‘Inside Out’. I love the way he facilitates this project giving people a platform from all over the world to take a stand for what they believe in.

James Nachtwey – Photo journalist and war photographer 

I’m inspired by his courage to face the most devastating situations head-on, and his ability to give people in vulnerable situations a voice. His work is a much needed reminder how important photography is.

Icy and Sot – Stencil Artists 

They have such a powerful way of addressing social issues through their design and placement. I’m a huge fan of these brothers.

My hopes for the community I live in are…

A greater sense of belonging where we move beyond tolerance toward appreciation of diversity, where we feel a strong sense of connection, and where every individual feels valued.

Where I hope to take my creative work in the future…

I hope to collaborate with communities throughout Australia to produce public art that represents their voice and values. I want to introduce the concept of large scale pasteups and the positive impact it can have within a community.

The Art of Mulga

By Celeste Hawkins

Although ‘born inspired’, it was after the birth of his first child that Joel (known about the traps as ‘Mulga’) decided to take his art even more seriously. His wife Sarah relates how he is basically unable to sit still and is either drawing compulsively or wandering around the lounge room with his guitar. “I don’t really watch TV, you’ll be dead before you know it so you may as well do something positive with your time”, he explains. His dad recites poetry and loves to be out in nature and his brother Eden or ‘Emoo’ is a barman and artist. His other brother Kieran, is a wedding photographer and co-band member of Joel’s other project, ‘Mulgas room’; so it seems like a natural path for this 30 year old. The catchy name of Mulga was a nickname that has carried on from his school days, taken originally from a Banjo Patterson poem. And like Banjo, Mulga likes to compose verse either for his band or poetry that marries along side his varied characters that he creates.

Joel, who surfs regularly in Sydney’s Cronulla, says that he is influenced by a number of artists, especially with a ‘cool style’ including Sydney based mural artist Beastman and others involved in the skate or surf culture. Drew Brophy is also another artist that utilises the ‘Posca pen’ that is one of Joel’s most useful mediums.  Melbourne based Kirra Jamisson is also someone Mulga admires for her careful attention to detail and marvels at her application of the little vinyl pieces. He is currently coming up with designs for a surf club, expanding on his t-shirt designs and prints of his originals and has also started to put designs on skateboards.  A recent exhibition in nearby Cronulla at Space 44 earlier this year saw Joel sell a large number of original artworks and T-shirts.

Mulga has a little bit of a beard obsession and one of his latest works of a viking shows a happy looking chappy with horns and a beard, showcasing his pen handiwork beautifully. Other characters centre around creepy sea farer zombies or silly sausages, meaning there is always an underlying humorous tone in his illustrations.”I like to make people laugh” Joel says warmly. Furthermore, being a little bit Maori, there is definitely a tribal element to his line work and compositions.

So what’s in store for the future? Being that Mulga has been carefully journaling his cheeky characters along with poetry and quotations for so long now, there is a possibility of looking at putting together a Children’s book in the future. He also wants to set up shop at Sydney’s Bondi Market and be involved with more exhibitions. A financial planner by day, he battles sometimes between being able to play gigs with his band and the drawing; but for now, the drawing reigns supreme, to the delight of his audiences. You can find out what Mulga is up to on a regular basis here: