When I make work, I think about the nine-year-old version of me in the outer suburbs, who is just coming to some realisation that he is not represented in the mainstream. Before I studied art, I studied journalism, and I believe that I have a similar function to a journalist, without being burdened by objectivity. I can be as reactive and subjective as I like. I make work for outsiders.
What I look for and love when having a creative practice are the ABCs of self-determination: autonomy, belonging and competence. I get to participate in a conversation I would otherwise be excluded from.
At the same time, I feel that artists are sole traders in the most fluctuating industry on the planet. There is no job security, and all we have to our names is our integrity. I have no problems with motivation or inspiration, but the business end is always challenging.
For that reason, copyright is essential to our practice. Our ideas are our currency, and need to be protected.
THIS BOOK CHANGED MY LIFE
For work: Nassim Nicholas Taleb’s The Black Swan was very influential. It challenged the idea of meritocracy, and revealed some commonly held beliefs about risk and reward.
For life: my father gave me a copy of Waleed Aly’s People Like Us in 2010. Waleed was a man who taught me my own history, and reinvigorated my passion for creative practices. He was someone I could immediately look up to.