We’re not worthy of Monaux

Just like Wayne and Garth grovelled at Alice Cooper, the Strutten kids were in awe of Brisbane artist Monaux. After Steve showed us his site we all had our hands up to be involved with interviewing him. He is just that good. Although we had to consider the talent’s wishes, which meant we had a quick email interview with him instead.

Karl Kwasny, who works under the name Monaux, is 26 years old and Brisbane based. Monaux is the creme de la creme of illustrators and as such he is an artist the Jacky Winter Group, Australia’s premier illustration agency, represents. With brilliant skills for illustration and typography, Monaux has landed jobs working for big names such as Coca Cola, Toshiba and Virgin Blue. His personal works remind me of magical journeys and love-sick melancholy.

Strutten are proud to announce that Monaux is one of our artists for the Strutten Launch Party and Exhibition! which will be held at Bleeding Heart Gallery on June 17th.

Have you always lived in Queensland?
Mostly. I was born in Melbourne, but my family moved to Brisbane when I was five.

How would your friends describe you?
I’m not sure what they’d say. I am quiet, I don’t like crowds, I get stressed out easily and I’m happiest when I’m making something.

Where’s the best place to drink in Brisbane?
I used to love this place called “The Brew House” which was next to Replay in the city, but it has since been sold and turned into something else. Even if it was still around, I wouldn’t be able to drink there due to a congenital pancreas defect which put me in hospital a little over a year ago.

How would you describe Brisbanes art scene?
I think it’s small but growing. There are definitely some nice galleries popping up and some great artists living here.

What inspires your work?
Art I like, things I see around the place, things that happen to me. I think if you pay attention to the world you can find loads of things to be inspired by.

Do you listen to music while you work? If yes any particular bands?
I usually like to have some sort of sound on, but it depends on what sort of mood I’m in. At the moment, I like Neutral Milk Hotel, Olivia Tremor Control, Bright Eyes, the Decemberists, the Mountain Goats & the Weakerthans. I also find that audiobooks and podcasts are good to listen to whilst drawing – old Mercury Theater recordings, Chris Morris’ Blue Jam, The Ricky Gervais Show etc.

When during the day do you find you are most creative?
I’d be inclined to say the night-time, but I’m not really sure. I think it depends on how I’m feeling.

Could you describe how a normal working day goes for you?
I try to wake up at about 8am and get to work by 9. Every day is different and I usually try to fit some personal work in, be it sketching or working towards something larger.

Has anyone ever used your work to get tattooed onto themselves?
All the time. It is really humbling to think that people like my art enough to permanently wear it on themselves. Lately I’ve been getting almost an email a day asking if I do tattoo commissions. I wish I was able to accept them, but if I agreed to every tattoo commission I’d have no time to do anything else.

Are you working on any particular project right now?
I have a picture-book planned which I want to complete by the end of this year. Also, I want to compile a book of all my personal work at some point. I’m trying to complete one illustration per week for it, but it’s difficult to keep up! I recently worked on a music video for Sony which should be released in the next few weeks.

What other artists work do you admire?
There are loads. I’ve been researching Dr. Seuss lately – I think he’s my new role model. For brush-work and line quality, Charles Burns is very inspiring. I also like Roald Dahl/Quentin Blake, Albrecht Durer, William Morris, Mark Ryden, Vania Zouravliov, Norman Lindsay, Aubrey Beardsley, the older Disney animated films, Barbara Canepa, all my art-friends…

How long have you been a part of the Jacky Winter Group? How has your workload changed since joining them?
I’ve been with them since 2007 and I cannot sing their praises highly enough! They have the utmost respect for their artists, which I think is why they are so successful as an agency, actually. Most of my larger jobs wouldn’t have eventuated without the involvement of Jacky Winter.

What projects do you have coming up?
I never know what’s coming up, aside from my various personal projects. The life of a freelancer is always filled with uncertainty!


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