Shay Bakar is a graffiti artist currently based in Melbourne, who describes his work as psychedelic or surreal. His advice for aspiring artists is to see creating as a privilege. Read on to find out more about what inspires him and what art means to him as a creator. You can find out more about Shay at his Tumblr or Facebook.
Tell us about how you first got into graffiti.
I loved graffiti and street art from a young age, being surrounded by great artists from Perth in the 90’s and early 00’s. Eventually I would end up learning directly from these artists, who’d run workshops and youth programs in my early teens. So from there I fell into galleries, commission, design.
How would you describe the style of your art?
Psychedelic, to most people. Abstract, expressionist, impressionist. I use a lot of terms but in the end I feel it is quite psychedelic or surreal.
What is your favourite piece of original work by another artist and why?
What about your own piece of original work?
Ones that i’ve sold.
What inspires you?
Difficult question. To be frank the things that have inspired me most is profound experience – things that cannot be explained in language, in music, in dance.
Favourite part about your work?
The improvisation and freedom. And that it’s completely unnecessary – sometimes I revel in the idea that people do not care for what I do.
What is meant by the term Shamanism?
That it’s about healing, a process that affects both the viewer and artist. Where a lot of art exhausts the creator, I like to think my work asks mentally as much from the spectator.
What does art mean for you as a creator?
It is an honour.
Tell us about your plans for this year.
I will be curating an exhibition called Richest Guy In The Graveyard which will be a small group show featuring local and Perth artists. Then hopefully I can begin to move into clothing, as I’ve been looking at making unique fabrics and textile for some time.
What advice would you give to aspiring artists?
That it is a privilege to create. If you feel the urge, take the time to help it grow. When I first started I knew that it would be 5 years before I got anywhere, much like an apprenticeship..