“I do everything at Visink! I tried working from home, but it’s never going to happen!”, Chris M. is tapping at a computer, scrolling through a feed listlessly, he’s trying to organise his latest meet-up project and we’re distracting him. Chris M is one of most regular space users, he shows up most days he’s able and has been doing so for a little over a year. Chris is an artist, his practice has multiple focuses, starting in photography and gradually including, drawing, sculpting, painting (anything with his hands).
Chris came to Brisbane from Kingaroy, trained as a chef, but with a craving to do something creative. He went to Brisbane Youth Service to try out graffiti art, but it didn’t catch, so he started to scope out other kinds of art and wound up at the window at Visible Ink. Chris started drawing creatively a year ago and it’s become a compulsive activity, what he describes as “IMPULSE ART” – “It’s gotta be in existence”. Drawing is pretty new skill in repertoire, and although he’s always taken photos, Chris will essentially attempt any creative medium, considering himself a ‘free-form’ artist and taking an experimental approach through practice and collaboration. “Collaboration is what the world needs… it’s the new apprenticeship”.
Collaboration has been an underlying focus through Chris’ many projects, CHYLD – an attempt to provide an “escape where people can express themselves through photography without being ‘photography’”, PRIMARY ARCADE – a study based art group (“everyone studies design”) and main focus CREATIVE HANDS – the zine that never was, which became a meetup, which became art hopping, which became a place to share events and then back to a meetup!
It’s Chris’ background with photography that got him involved in 2016 Brisbane Youth Week, where he was part of the team documenting the many events that took place in April. It was what he can only describe as a “life changing” experience, “it opened my eyes to opportunities and how I could work in the industry”. While he’s taken work previously as a creative it’s been hard to professionalise it, “I’ve always underpaid myself, but now I’ve learned to value myself, to value my time”.
Working as a contracted professional, Chris was able to build experience and confidence through working collaboratively with a diverse group of young creatives “I haven’t had the opportunities, so I got to see how I worked… It was good to have the trust”.
Chris makes use of Visible Ink to “access the equipment I need”, it’s become his defacto studio, “it’s a safe & quiet working environment (when the office isn’t noisy)”, he uses our computers, internet, DSLR cameras, paints and canvases, and he’s incredibly productive. His debut solo exhibition ‘OUT OF PAPER’ at Deagon’s Artrageous was almost a sell out, with the premise to take his drawings and turn them into paintings, “it got me thinking about the future”.
Chris is embarking on a Film & Television course and has been recently experimenting with Video Art. His motivation, determination and adaptability gives him a pretty good shot at success.