Saxon JJ Quinn
Where are you from and how did you get into being an artist?
I'm from Australia and currently live in the Northern Rivers with my Wife, daughter and two dogs. I've always been surrounded by art, my mother is an artist and my late father was a designer and painter. Mum has had a home studio/gallery on the family property since I was born, and I've spent many days down there with her. I began to paint after living in NYC for a bit over a year, I returned to Sydney, hired a neighbours garage and started painting as a hobby - this was 2016, from there we moved to Melbourne and it began to snowball - from small group shows to solos etc.
What were you doing before you started painting?
I was a Lead Product Designer, before that I had launched a bunch of startups, and before that I launched a streetpress mag and had some clothing brands.
What are some of your influences?
Family, childhood, friends, weathered clothes/pavements/buildings, my daughter, music and more... generally everyday life.
People seem to be drawn into the dream-like background in sharp contrast to the minimal childlike drawings. Can you explain?
I'm not sure why people are drawn to this, for me, when I see kids drawing or rough doodles on paper, there's no sense of limitation to the imagination or outside pressures put on what's 'real' or 'not' - a dog can have 5 legs and breath fire.. personally I love that.
You are a new Dad, yet seem just as prolific as ever. What is your average day like?
I think Luna has actually helped me free up my creativity a bit and explore the playfulness that I have always wanted to.A typical week day would be:Wake at 5:00am throw on the espresso machine and make a long black, let the dogs out.5:00 - 5:30am send and reply to emails.5:30 drive to the coast for an hour or so surf or gym.7:30 Luna has generally woken then, play with her for a bit, get her changed and take her to the local cafe for a morning coffee.8:30 - 9:30am get into the studio, if my wife is still sleeping Ill take Luna down if Cinthia is awake, she'll take Luna and ill carry on in the studio for the day.I generally will do a run to my local framer through the week a few times, the hardware store and courier.Each day in the actual studio varies a bit, Im either staining lengths of canvas, cutting or working on a few pieces at once for shows and or photographing / editing images.Ill try to be in the studio until 3:00 or 4:00pm, after that Ill take the dogs for a walk, or we might all jump in the car and head to a nearby waterhole for a swim if its a stinker of a day.
Did living in NYC shape how you painted?
It certainly inspired me beyond belief. Not just for the actual art side of things, but the hustle of people, overhearing conversations of what people are doing and the scale of which people are working and who they're working with was always an energy boost.
The city itself - its age and the flowing concrete inspired my initial cement works and visiting the brilliant galleries and seeing the amazing artists gave me a good kick up the bum to consider getting into it.
Last great piece of media (book, movie, show, music):
We watched a couple of great films recently: Triangle of Sadness and The Banshees of Inisherin.
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Saxon’s Instagram: @saxonjjquinn