Meet The Artist: Callum Preston's Boundless Street Art

Ellen Singleton

Meet Callum Preston: working from the Everfresh Studio in Melbourne, local street artist Callum Preston has recently made waves with his tribute art exhibition, Bootleg To The Future. Thisshow dedicated to the re-imaging of the classic ’80s trilogy Back To The Future. Working with the likes of Converse, Australian band Parkway Drive and reality TV show The Block, Callum’s creativity knows no bounds.

TCT: What is the most unusual request you’ve had for a commissioned piece of art? CP: I painted a 6 foot tall image of a really basic toilet graffiti style penis for a TV show set in a women’s prison once as part of a storyline where a prisoner draws the female warden with a penis. It was interesting.TCT: What advice would you give to someone who is trying to create art as a full-time job?CP: I would say it’s not just about creating art, it’s about creating in general. You make your own luck and build your own flexibility by taking on jobs that may not give you as much pleasure to design. It buys me time to do things that I want to do without the worry of taking the time out to do it. Plan well, but say yes to everything!


TCT: Once the Bootleg Exhibition is completed, what will you be working on next?CP: I have a large installation piece for Converse happening in November. Shortly after that, on November 10-11, I’m going to be a guest speaker at the Make It creative conference in Newcastle, New South Wales, along with some great creatives!

TCT: What advice would you give to your younger self? CP: I think I’d say, enjoy the time you have to just hang out and chill with people doing nothing at all, because the opportunities become less and less as life goes on. I’m happy when I’m busy, so it’s a double edged sword. I think everyone misses being 21 and having no responsibilities at some stage. I’d also say, floss more and easy on the sugar. Actually I’ll say that to modern day me too. ‘Callum, read this.’

TCT: What is your favourite gallery/street for art? CP: No particular gallery. If the work’s got passion and is interesting to me, I’ll look at it hanging in a garage, a shed or the NGV. I also don’t like the free beer crowd so much, get them free beers for sure! But don’t be annoying to the punters that want to look at the works.

TCT: What is the most memorable moment from your career?CP: Probably painting teeth on the Sea Shepherd ship. Or winning a $10 colouring competition in 1989. The opening of Bootleg to the Future was last night. I’m still buzzing from that.

TCT: How would you like to be remembered?CP: As a good person first, not perfect by any stretch, but I would like people to feel that having a go at whatever comes your way is a good attitude to have, so I guess that would be my legacy. Am I dying? You kinda have to tell me if you know something I don’t.

TCT: How would you describe your work in 80 characters or less? CP: I’ll name it in 4 characters: Marty McFly, The Fonz, Poochie the Dog and Wayne Campbell.

TCT Quick-fire Questions:Paint brush or spray can? BrushAmerica or Europe? America (It produced my wife)Sweet or savoury? Sweet for sure’80s or ’90s films? That’s hard. ’85-’95, I’ll take that decade. Split the difference.Apple or Android? What’s an Android?Fame or money? With fame you can use it to promote causes and do good in the world, encouraging others to do the same. With money, you can support good things but only to a certain extent. I think fame, used for good, without the ego.

By Ellen Singleton Ellen moved to Melbourne from Queensland four years ago after she fell in the love with the city during a holiday. She has an insatiable need to write, and her love of unique restaurants, street art and AFL makes Melbourne her favourite city in the world.

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