Stories of My Mind was the debut exhibition for Sydney-based artists, Mick Lakin and Joel Sammut. Combining their skills in animation, illustration and design, Mick and Joel have created a series of artworks that venture from the awkward to the surreal, and somewhere strangely familiar in between.

We helped bring their vinyl decal dreams come true and interviewed Joel on his thoughts about leaving the Commercial Space and entering the world of freelance & full time artistry…

Create OR DIE.

What does “create or die” mean to you?
I guess it describes what i do day to day – weather from designing identities and websites to creating artworks or doing commercial illustration. Everyday i have to wake up and create to eat really.

What do you do for a ‘day job’?
Recently I’ve move from working in commercial web design to concentrate on art projects and illustration. I loved working in the digital space; I was able to work on a huge variety of clients and learn a bunch of skills including; video, character design, and commercial illustration. My day to now consists of spending half the week working in freelance design, with a few days dedicated to picking up some cans of paint, or attacking a huge drawing, to even cutting a little film project. I also love my coffee and work at a cafe few days a week to make sure the rent gets taken care of. I’m mostly just a bit obsessed with making coffee and haven’t been able to stop since i picked the craft during uni.

What do you want to be when you grow up?

Modern Day savour of the art world – continue Salvidor Dali’s work or arrogance. Haven’t quite worked out which it was he did yet. I think both – mostly due to his films, artworks, studies in surrealism which i think has been some of the most important visual studies in history. When i first watch his 1929 short film – Un chien andalou, it literally blew me away. It was the first time i saw art that revolved around an audience’s perception of a certain reality. Also loved the surreal formula – establish the viewer with a familiar reality, then twist it or make it strange. So yeah not really sure what that looks like yet – i guess that is the journey.

VIDEO : Joel Spraying the decals
Check out more of Joel’s work here: