Practical Tips From Street Artists: Akisiew / Kim Siew

Part 1 of our practical street artist guide


Perfect Match (i.e. Christmas for Culture Scouts) is back. As if by magic, Inner West walls are bedecked with a whole new array of new street art. But the actual creation is not that easy. How do you start? Do you need permission? What is the best glue for paste ups? What do you do if you get heckled?

With the help of Australian muralists, Culture Scouts has put together a practical ‘Perfect Match’ guide. Here’s Part 1 with Akisiew.

Akisiew (Kim Siew) is a Sydney based illustrator and mural artist. Inspired by zine culture, graphic novels, her love of children’s books and the age old art of storytelling, her artworks captures characters within a moment, exploring fabled worlds made up of pattern and shape. Her work can be found across Sydney’s Inner West. You can see her works on Art Pharmacy online gallery.

What are common hurdles you might not expect when creating a mural?
If you’re painting onto a brick wall, take a look at the surface so you can prep your wall properly before you start. If it has never been painted before, slap on a thick undercoat first so you can fill in all the cracks and so the brick won't suck up all the colour paint you’re going to apply.

House paint, spray paint or acrylic paint - what’s the difference for murals?
I paint my murals using house paint, only because I lack the skill of spray paint! I use exterior house paint as it has weathershield and the colour will last a few years in the Aussie sun. It also comes in a huge range of colours!

How do you get your image on the wall - projectors v gridding v freehand?
I create my design to scale of the wall, print it out and then mark out a rough grid on the print out. I put a few marks on the wall of half way points etc, but it’s pretty rough and ready – as my style is flat and unrealistic, I tend to paint free hand and can get away with things being out of proportion etc.

What do you wish someone told you before creating your first mural?
That I should have started ages ago. It’s the best fun ever … just go for it!

Giles ColliverComment