Q&A: Amok Island

The Netherlands-born, North Fremantle-based artist is capturing the eyes and imaginations of many with his bold painting, mural and sculptural works transforming landscapes across the globe.

Name: Amok Island
Occupation: Artist
Location: North Fremantle, Western Australia

When did you know you wanted to be an artist?
I think I always wanted to be an artist from a young age, but I never thought it would be a realistic option. It just seemed too hard with the cliché of the “struggling artist”. I was working a regular job for a long time, plus doing freelance graphic design work, and a mural here and there, with my art career slowly becoming bigger. Slowly I worked my job less days a week, and some years ago I could totally quit and just do my art. I feel very lucky every day to be able to do what I do for a living.

Favourite material or technique to work with?
Paint and brush. It’s weird, because paint was my least favourite medium as a child. Every time I used paint it became a mess and I did not enjoy it. I guess I learned how to control it. I enjoy using other materials as well, like photography, steel/concrete, and screen printing.

Who/what are your top influencers?
I come from a graffiti background, and growing up in Amsterdam there were a lot of older graffiti writers that taught me a lot about using colours and composition. Many of these guys are successful artists or designers now. I try to focus on my own work, as anything can inspire me unexpectedly; walks in nature, other art, photography, music.

If you could collaborate with anyone on any type of project, who would it be?
I would like to design all kinds of things and work with specialists in their field; furniture, a rug, fabrics, clothing, sculpture work. At the moment I am putting together a collaborative exhibition with photographer Jarrad Seng – more about that soon!

Where can people in Perth see your work?
There are some murals in and around Perth at the moment – some big ones in Leederville, a large seahorse and a praying mantis in Fremantle, and more spread over Perth’s suburbs.


Amok Island