Posts By: kate

Dylan Cattanach talks music and songwriting

With a passion for unpacking songwriting to be more than just structure and chord progression, Dylan Cattanach hopes to produce emotion and connection when creating new music.

I’ve grown up with music. My father is in a couple of cover bands with some other friends and my uncle is a muso. Either I’ve been hearing it live or on the radio my whole life. I just love music and the beat. I’m always sitting there tapping out a beat – annoying my family and friends – or picking out a new melody on the guitar or keyboard. My uncle has made a living from his music and I’ve always admired him. As soon as I realised I was comfortable bringing my songs and music to live audiences I’ve thrived on the buzz of entertaining.

“I had the opportunity to support Pete Murray for a couple of his shows outside Brisbane this year. It was a great experience to see professional musicians at work. It’s encouraged me to put in the hard work so that one day I may have that number of people coming to my gigs.”

Sometimes accompanied by someone on cajon and stompbox, Dylan has recently begun playing solo acoustic gigs. “The acoustic style really suits my voice and I’m happy with the positive feedback I’m receiving.” He explains that music offers a unique space for expression; it’s the drawcard for him.  “I love the ability to express yourself in a form that so many people can relate to. If I had the opportunity to make music my career full-time, I would jump at it.”

So what’s Visible Ink got to do with this? “Visible Ink are providing me with lots of advice, which is really important because starting off you know nothing. Helpful tips on biographies are especially important, as it’s hard to write things about yourself, pick the important things to say and make it interesting.  They have other services that I’ll be using very shortly, namely making badges, printing stickers and printing posters. Every little bit helps to get your name out there.”

What do you get up to in your down time? Do you have any hobbies? “Music is my down time. I’m constantly looking at ways I can improve current songs or writing riffs for the next song. I wish I’d learnt the saxophone when I was at school, but it’s never too late to learn anything, so I’ll keep you updated if I do that!”

Is there any advice you would give young people wanting to start performing? Or any advice you wish you’d been given beforehand? “The advice I’d been given was network, network, network. Initially it didn’t make any sense to me, but now I see how important that piece of advice was.  But also, go see other bands and support them. Go to as many live local gigs as you can and support the Brisbane music scene.  We all need to help each other.
You just have to get out there and play. Once you’ve done it a couple of times it becomes so much easier to work out what to do next. Organisations like QMusic are a good source of information, and they run Industry Connect courses providing lots of help along the way.”

If you’re keen to have a listen or learn more about what Dylan is up to check out his facebook, instagram, soundcloud or youtube channel.

Brisbane’s Creative Hubs

You can find out more about creative spaces across Brisbane from this neat little video from The Great Day Out which includes a tour through our space!

Tara Lawrence: co-founder Elsewhere Theatre Company

“I love what I do and it makes me so happy to see my actors striving for their best while enjoying the full process.”

Co-founder and instructor for Elsewhere Theatre Company, Tara runs the Brisbane program (they are also running out of Melbourne), which on a day-to-day level involves directing productions as well as running all of the administration work.

So how did Elsewhere get started? “A close friend of mine and myself started the company in mid-July of 2017 and from then on we have loved the work this company has brought us. We are both working actors and found we wanted to create our own opportunities, as well as provide like-minded young actors the chance to create and perform work they are passionate about.”

“I’ve always been trained as an actor, even throughout high school and when I was studying at University.  I have a love for performance which is what I feel has led me into the work I am doing today. There is something about live theatre that no other experience can replace which is what I find really special about the art form.”

What are you currently working on project-wise? “I am currently directing a production with Elsewhere that will be performed in mid-February. We are performing Michael Gow’s ‘Away’ and currently we are in our final rehearsal stages just perfecting things before we present the finished production!”

“I don’t really have any down time to be honest.” So what time does that leave for hobbies? “In my spare time I’m either reading new scripts or working on scripts I already have… I wouldn’t change it though, I love constantly having work to do that I love.”

Tara and her business partner Ali heard about Visible Ink in 2017 and have been regulars since then. “I thought it was too good to be true! After looking through the space, I found it to be a very warm and welcoming environment, which is perfect for us.” And what about other opportunities? Is it easy to get involved in theatre, especially in Brisbane? “Look around your local artist’s hub, or if you want to get involved in theatre I’d suggest taking a look at your local theatres and just having a chat with different artists. It’s great to chat and often you’ll find people are quite open to having a friendly chat.”

“Just go for it. There’s nothing better than finding work in what you love and if you truly want success you need to put in the effort.”

You can find out more about Elsewhere Theatre Company, their productions and workshops via their website, facebook, Instagram or you can email them directly at

Cantalopez Collective: creators, collaborators, journey makers

What happens when a hip-hop artist and an engineering student meet at a poetry symposium? Made up of Pastel Don and Mulan Theory, Cantalopez Collective is a shared passion for innovation across multiple genres and a dream of being able to create music for a living. We sat down with the Collective over lunch, talking 90’s EDM, discussing the best summer recipes, and chatting about their passion for music and poetry.

What do you do, why did you choose to go down that path, and what do you love about it?
MT: We’re creatives with a strong passion for learning, for experimenting with sound and lyrics.
PD: I became infatuated with music making through my passion for poetics and lyricism, a subject I’ve has been studying at university level since the age of 16.
MT: I discovered my love of music creation when I was trying to find a way to loop some beat-boxing and fell into the rabbit hole of Ableton Live since then.

How did you hear about Visible Ink and why did you want to use our space?
MT: At first, it was from attending Friday Frequencies followed by Visible Ink’s official website. Visible Ink contains the equipment and space for us to be inspired and create music without blowing our pockets for renting a full-blown studio. The staff here motivate us to keep doing what we’re doing, to make more from Pastel Don’s poetry, turning it into music, and we appreciate them for that a lot.
PD: Because we’re here pretty much all the time, we’ve got to know some others that use the Studio and have started working with them on little collab projects.
MT: We like working with others, it’s nice to create together.

What are you currently working on project-wise?
PD: I’m working on the creation of my upcoming EP with Mulan theory helping pull it together.
MT: I guess I’m working on non-binary bangers for non-binaries to bang to. We’ve also been to Little BIGSOUND recently which was a nice chill day to meet new people. Be surrounded by good vibes and see who else is in Brisbane doing what we do. It was awesome reconnecting with some of the Friday Frequencies crew or meeting people who want to connect and give feedback to others in Brisbane’s music scene.
PD: We don’t want to just follow the trends with our music. We want to use poetry – poetic lyrics – to create a unique sound, unique vibe.
MT: It meant that at Little BIGSOUND we could target publicists that have worked with artists like Jaguar Jones and Deena Lynch who have a similar feel to them as we’re creating.

What do you get up to in your down time?
Pastel Don’s hobbies include: watching Pretty Little Liars (again), taking photos of plants and beautiful people, writing monster myth/erotic noir poetry, and having another pot of Symington Of Scotland’s Dandelion Tea.
Mulan Theory just does Mulan things: reading up on how VSTs are made, analysing song structures and arrangements of my favourite tracks, and fantasizing about how my drag alter ego would look.

“Although the circumstances in our lives often make our aspirations seem difficult, Cantalopez Collective is committed to continuing our journey together as both music creators and art makers.”

Is there any advice you would give young people wanting to get involved/started in this field? Or any advice you wish you’d been given beforehand?
PD: To any young or new art makers, we’d advise to remember that you are good enough. Passion can take you a thousand miles in the blink of an eye. Dare to be yourself! And finally, always choose adventure. Not for any big, sentimental reason but because it’s fun. Always choose fun!

How would you suggest young people get involved in this opportunity? Or opportunities like this in Brisbane?
MT: As creators, we have strong ties to a few of the arts communities that reside and thrive in Brisbane. In general, we’d advise taking a risk and attending events that cater to your interests and passions.
PD: Specifically, if you’re interested in poetry we’d advise following Ruckus Brisbane on Facebook. They’re our homies and they put on a number of friendly, all ages inclusive poetry events.

Feel free to check out Mulan Theory @mulan.gitsum.mula and Pastel Don @skiptosummer on Instagram and to have a chat.

You can also book Visible Ink’s Multi-Media Studio by checking out SPACES, get involved by sharing your journey via our STORIES or search #visink on Instagram.

Skyler Castillo: dabbler, artist.

Just 20 years old, into sketching, film and aesthetics, Skyler Castillo has become a regular fixture around Visible Ink, starting out as a volunteer at Brisbane Youth Week and going on to co-found a monthly creatives meet-up, KISVIS. Her passion for creation, motivation to learn, and open, friendly approach to collaboration make working alongside Skyler a lot of fun and we love having her around the space.

Q: So how did you first hear about Visible Ink?
I first found Visible Ink through my school. We were just having a day trip around the city and from the second I was introduced to the space I fell in love with the chill atmosphere. They [Visible Ink] haven’t been able to get rid of me since. I use the space mostly just to develop my skills as an artist by hopefully working on bigger and bigger projects as well as collaborating with other artists.

Q: What does developing your skills mean for you project-wise and how does that relate to being an artist?
Well currently I’m working on building up my portfolio of work. I’m hoping to work in the Art and Graphics industries in Melbourne at some point, although really I’m kind of just winging it. I’m an artist at heart. I’m just your stereotypical struggling paint nerd and  I wouldn’t have it any other way. There’s a saying “What’s bad for your heart, is good for your art.” and I think finding ways to get around a barrier or block is what makes artworks so good. Plus let’s be real, drawing a pretty picture is pretty dang cool.

Q: What are a few of your projects and what are you working on project-wise currently?
Currently I’m building some 3D-printed prosthetics using online resources (check out e-nabled) I’d like to get some working models out of the printer and stylise them so they look more like art to bring attention to what technology can achieve. Lately, I’ve also been exploring digital art, a medium I haven’t gotten into until recently but it has been a fast learning curve.

Q: What would you say led you to where you are today? How was it that you got started?
Probably growing up in an uneasy neighbourhood with little-to-no money, yet I always found a way to do art. I’d borrow friends colouring pencils overnight and ask the teachers for printer paper to make my own sketchbooks. I’ve just always enjoyed being creative so I’ve never let anything get in the way of that. I think this has also incorporated it’s way into my work as far as subject matter goes, I’ve been inspired by almost anything that nobody else sees. Trying to explain things to people can only go so far – and I’ve never been great at describing things – so to me it’s more meaningful to create the visual representation of the warm rays of the sun through leaves or the black abyss, then to merely say it in words which would just sound off and cringe.

If you’re passionate, you’ll find a way. Just keep at it. There’s advice people just don’t give you about starting out or deciding on a direction. So in the end practice makes all the difference, even if it’s just doodling every other day. If it’s finding time do draw, paint, create on the bus or train, while talking to people, while drinking coffee,  there’s always five minutes you can doodle on a piece of paper. And if it’s materials holding you back, there’s heaps of free ways to get what you need. Volunteering at events or finding youth spaces like Visible Ink – almost all are equipped with art supplies – even at your school, ask your teachers if they can help by making it a part of your school work somehow. There are plenty of opportunities to volunteer and do a project for free to gain experience and see where that leads you. Brisbane is surprisingly filled with opportunities.

Q: Now that you’re on this path, what keeps you motivated to keep moving forward?
Just my overall passion for trying new things, this is what I do in my spare time this is what I want to do for a career. If I slow down I’m not moving closer to my goal.

Q: Other than hanging out at Vis Ink, what else do you get up to?
Most of my hobbies are creative as well. I do film projects here and there. Recently I have been dabbling into photography, which started just as a reference platform for my art but I fell in love with it after learning from photographers like Peter McKinnon and Mango Street. I’m also a terrible drummer but it’s fun and hot damn, it lets off steam!

Find me at @kitten_phlegm on Instagram and feel free to message me for art meet ups and collabs!

Get to know KB Theory

KB Theory are a Brisbane-based indie band blending pop-rock to create catchy melodies and bursts of pop with fun lyrics that have become a part of their signature sound. Dylan Cattanach, songwriter and lead vocalist chatted with us about their upcoming projects, getting started, and influences.

Dylan met the band’s bassist, Campbell Harris, at Music Industry College, a school that is producing some of Australia’s best up and coming musicians. Both Dylan and Campbell got their musical grounding with the many influences happening around them. From there, drummer Andrew Barnes was introduced through mutual friends after working together on a local musical production, and on the look-out for a lead guitarist, Harry Verity joined KB Theory in late 2017.

“All the boys are just naturally gifted musicians who complement each other and we genuinely like hanging out together.”

KB Theory have a broad range of influences from The 1975, Last Dinosaurs and The Strokes, providing a beat to move to and a captivating, fun show to watch live. Their latest single, Hope describes how in life you don’t always feel in control, that you don’t fit. “You’re the support act, living in the background, when you really want to take that step forward and end up the star of your own life and write your own story.”

What is it about music that draws you in and where are KB Theory heading?
I love the ability to express yourself in a form that so many people can relate to. If I had the opportunity to make music my career full-time, I would jump at it.
At the moment we are writing new music and would like to start recording the demos soon. This music is taking a different direction and I’m excited to see how it turns out. There are some more elements of electronic pop coming up in this new crop of songs. We only have one gig left this year, but we’ll be starting up again next year and would like to do some gigs outside Brisbane too.

So how did you hear about Visible Ink?
KB Theory needed some posters printed for a gig. Up until this stage we’ve been printing and paying for them ourselves. Or just haven’t been having them as printing posters are too expensive. One of the guys in our band found out about Visible Ink and mentioned it to everyone. We made a phone call to find out how the space works and we’ve just sent off our first gig poster to be printed. We’re also heading to Little BIGSOUND, hosted by QMusic, after receiving tickets through Visible Ink’s Enterprise music and production programming.

Is there any advice you would give young people wanting to start a band? Or any advice you wish you’d been given beforehand?
The advice is the same no matter if you are in a band or a solo artist.  Network, go to gigs, support the local music scene. Check out the gig guides and go see someone you don’t know.

Keep up to date with KB Theory’s upcoming gigs in the new year on their Facebook page and follow their travels on Instagram.

Nikki Nicnevin & Found Fashion

Found Fashion – a guide to second-hand shopping in Brissie – is a bright and quirky zine. Creator, Nikki started the project because they are passionate about bringing inclusive thinking into fashion and wearable art.

“Expressing yourself through your outfit shouldn’t be more difficult because of your looks or your budget.”

Why did you choose to create Found Fashion and what do you love about it? No matter what I’m working on, I thrive on the pride I feel when I look at a finished project and say, “I made this.” but this zine in particular is extra special to me since I’ve always wanted a career in fashion but could never afford to study after high school. I’ve modelled before at a professional level and have always loved dressing up, being in front of the camera.

It would bring me a lot of joy to rally some local young people as models for this project, especially those of marginalised identities, as I know first-hand how good it feels to look the way you feel inside.

Nikki first started swinging by Visible Ink in 2016, being bored and dropping in for their partner’s rehearsals. “Once I saw all the fantastic features available for FREE, I was completely hooked. Now I come here on my days off to indulge in self-led art therapy and to keep my creative side sharp.”

Is there any advice you wish you’d been given beforehand, before starting Found Fashion, or any creative project? Art is easy. We think it’s hard, but it’s not. Don’t judge your work in terms of ‘good’ or ‘bad’ art; everything you create does something good for your spirit! Also, if you’d like to model for me, I’d love to hear from you. No experience required – you’re eligible if you occupy a physical form! :)

In their downtime, you can find Nikki painting, baking, singing, writing, taxidermy, window-shopping, dog petting, etc. etc. – “I’m the kind of person who hates to waste a day off!” – or you can follow them on Instagram or Facebook @caointeach or Nikki Nicnevin. You can also see a digital version of Found Fashion.

Is there anything else you’d like to add? Thanks to the Vis Ink team for putting up with my weird (and usually barefoot) antics! <3

Visible Ink takeover The POD: Ben Frost

Located on the Brunswick Street Mall emerging artists will activate The POD with Visible Ink support on Thursday 5 and Friday 6 July during the winter school holidays. Showcasing the best of Brisbane’s young musicians and performers this is a free event. We’d like you to meet some of the awesome talent gracing the stage and let them tell you about who they are and where they’re going.

Ben Frost is a Brisbane-based musician you’ve probably seen around the tracks, known for his chill approach to people and music. We asked him a few quick questions recently –

Q | What are you working on project-wise?
Currently, I am working on getting an album of songs I’ve written out into the world. I’m hoping to inspire people with my work, make them feel something positive through my music. I wanted to share how I see things with the world. I write songs and perform them. I love it because it’s a release from the struggles of life and a way to have a good time.

Q | How did you first get involved with Visible Ink?
I heard about Visible Ink through one of my colleagues. I like to drop in to Vis Ink because it’s a nice place to practice my music and interact with like-minded people.

Q | How have you got to where you are today?
I’m not really sure what led me to where I am today, but I know that I have a passion for music and a creative spirit and it’s those things that allure me to Visible Ink.

Q | What about opportunities? Have any advice?
For people just getting started in music, I would say keep going, don’t give up. If you get an opportunity to express who you are, and live the life you love, go for it.

In his spare time Ben likes to watch a good movie or learn about something new and different. You can catch him on Facebook or at around Brisbane’s live venues.

For the full lineup of performers at Visible Ink takeover The POD please check our Feed closer to the date.

As a part of Visible Ink takeover The POD, all performers are encourage to get involved with Visible Ink’s Enterprise program for professional development including supported opportunities to attend events such as Q Music’s Industry Connect or Little Bigsound, and participate in The QUBE Effect.

If you’re interested in finding out more about other artist that are a part of Visible Ink takeover The POD check out our Profiles page. For more information about music and production, Enterprise or Visible Ink please email or call (07) 3403 0136.

Announcing our new Developing Artist in Residence!

Each year Visible Ink offer opportunities for young and emerging artists to have space, resources and mentoring to develop their practice. The Developing Artist in Residence (DAIR) works closely with VI staff to curate exhibitions, facilitate workshops for other young people and produce their own works, showcasing them at various venues across Brisbane.

With that in mind, we’d love to introduce you to Skyler Castillo: artist, dabbler, and Visible Ink’s DAIR for 2018. Check out her interview on our Profiles page.

Emerging Visual Artists: Sam Bradley

As a part of Visible Ink’s Enterprise program, we support young and emerging visual artists to scale their work to suit large sites and submit an Expression of Interest. This year five young artists worked with Jugglers and Brightsiders to submit their EOI to Brisbane Canvas. They were successful in their designs being incorporated over two sites during the Brisbane Street Art Festival.

We’d like to introduce you to the artists that have turned out some amazing designs during this program, including Sam Bradley, who uses traditional signwriting techniques to create custom calligraphy and lettering.

You first got involved with Visible Ink through the Visible Ink Emerging Visual Artists (EVA) program, what was that like?

I really enjoyed the opportunity of working with The Brightsiders team (Jordan & Jordy) and Emily of Frank and Mimi fame. They were all extremely welcoming and made the whole project an important and valuable learning experience. The time spent spraying and brushing up the Jugglers driveway poured metho on my creative fire and painted my greymatter full colour.  It’s been surreal seeing these professionals work and teach up close, the techniques, tricks and attitude they taught will always be remembered.

I’d also like to thank everyone at Visible Ink and Jugglers Art Space (shoutout to Pete) for giving us a place to scribble and learn. And of course, a big thanks to Imogene Peach and Ashley Peel for their contributions and motivation in bringing our mural to life!

What are you currently working on, project-wise?

Currently I’m putting together a series of T-shirt screenprint designs for Velvet Couch Clothing, an Aussie streetwear company run by Gerard Ahrens who supports all kinds of creative talent worldwide.

What do you do and why did you choose to go down this path? 

I like to make original hand lettering focused design work combining traditional media with graphics programs. I also enjoy hand painted signwriting. There’s something about handmade letters that add a humanity to the work, no font licenses, the possibilities are endless and hopefully it can’t become obsolete when the robot overlords take over, ha ha!

What would you say led you to where you are today? 

I’ve enjoyed drawing and graphic design most of my life but didn’t get completely immersed until I saw a signwriter gold-gilding a sign at the pub next to a pizza shop I worked at. Now I’m just trying to get as skilled as possible, and make as many (arguably) beautiful things as possible until my inevitable demise. There’s so many talented artists painting walls in Brisbane and obviously on Instagram, that quality inspiration is everywhere you look.

Is there any advice you wish you’d been given before you started in this field? 

Just start drawing. I think a lot of people (myself included) are scared of being bad at something but the great people you see now just pushed through the self doubt of it. I’d recommend buying a ream of A4 paper, as many kinds of pens as you can and copy your favourite art styles as a reference. By the 500th sheet of paper you’ll probably have some good stuff. Also make sure you’re actually enjoying it and taking chances which will reflect in the work.

The best advice I’ve been given is to just keep working consistently and don’t compare yourself to others too much. Everyone has a unique style and once you harness that it’s a secret weapon – no one can do better.

What do you get up to in your down time? 

I love skating, cooking, stand up comedy, hanging out, mashing around town on a bicycle listening to heavy hip hop and learning old school signwriting techniques.

How would you suggest young people get involved in similar opportunities such as EVA?

Keep an eye out online by following your favourite artists locally and abroad, go to events in your city and visit Jugglers Art Space on a Saturday for a paint sesh.

Where can people get in touch with you?

I mostly post work at or, check it out y’all. Or if you want to meet Sam in person come along Sunday 15 April, 10am-4pm at Toombul Skatepark – 46 Parkland Street, Nundah – as a part of Brisbane Street Art Festival and funded by Brisbane Canvas to see his work.