Paralleling some of history’s greatest artists, Sean Morris never received any formal art training. At the age 21, Morris first dabbled in the arts, drawing up band posters for friends; a year later, the Perth-born artist hosted his first art show, leading to an abundance of illustration jobs with various international agencies. Since then, Morris has held countless solo and group art shows around the world. Now Melbourne-based, Morris has received worldwide acclaim for his work, receiving editorial recognition in magazines like Juxtapose (USA), Acclaim Magazine (Aus), Be Street Magazine (France) and Retune (Japan), to name a few.
Often drawing inspiration from 1950s pulp mags and 1970s exploitation movies, Morris maintains an iconic white, blue, pink and purple color-scheme atop comic book-style illustrations for each piece he creates. While originally claiming his past artwork was, “Unnecessarily grotesque and sometimes offensive,” Morris takes pride in his ever-evolving work as he emerges within the art world and sets an original theme to his work that draws in global appreciation.
Kismet Collective made contact with the immensely talented illustrator to speak on inspiration, new projects and his current art exhibiting at Subliminal Projects:
KISMET: Your work seems to consistently possess a purple, blue, pink and white color scheme. Is there a method to this madness?
SEAN MORRIS: I’ve spent a long time experimenting with color, but over the last year or so I’ve started to trust my judgment and stick to the colors that I enjoy the most, and which I think are the most effective. It also speeds up my process to have a set palette, and not have to decide on a new color scheme every time I do a drawing.
K: Do you create solely with illustrations or have you dabbled in other art forms?
SM: I did a lot of film and animation stuff when I was younger. I don’t know if I’ll go back to film, but I’m always trying to make time to work on animation again. I’ve also been dabbling with a bit of sculpture in my free time.
K: How do you feel your work has changed since you first began creating?
SM: It’s really gone through a lot of incarnations. When I look at those drawings I was blogging 11 years ago, there wasn’t a lot of confidence to them, but they were surprisingly vulnerable and personal. Five years ago, I was making art that was unnecessarily grotesque and sometimes offensive. I wouldn’t do that now, but it was definitely fun. My stuff is less shocking and maybe less personal these days, but I know exactly what I want to say with it. I think it’s tighter than ever. I guess it will just continue to change with who I am as a person.
K: You recently had a group show in LA a couple weeks ago with some like-minded artists, with music by Shepard Fairey. How did the show go for you?
SM: Ah yes, that was at Subliminal Projects, which is Shephard and Amanda Fairey’s gallery space. Seemed like it went well! I love exhibiting in LA.
K: What’s next for you? Any more upcoming shows, events, projects, etc.?
SM: My girlfriend Maddy and I have an exhibition coming up together in Perth this May, so I’m working on some pieces for that right now. I’m also planning some group events in Melbourne and LA for later this year!
*Troll his Instagram, he’s always a good time.