Artist Interview with Luke Etho
Luke Etho (aka Luke Etherton) is a Graphic Designer based in Ballarat, Victoria. He is the artist behind our latest Koala Corpse design. He has collaborated with clothing brands, bars, clubs, bands and event managers showcasing his unique art style which often depicts at least one of three things; skulls, doobies and/or tinnies. We interviewed him to find out what he's all about.
AF: When did you first discover your talent for illustration and graphic art?
LE: Growing up as a kid I was always trying to start my own artistic projects. Teeshirt brands, photographing, making video edits of my mates riding bmx. A lot of these projects were just for fun and never really went anywhere, but i knew I wanted to do something creative as a career.
I discovered my main passion when I decided to study a diploma of Graphic Design and started posting random sketches and illustrations on instagram. The feedback I received on instagram was a huge drive and I found so many other cool artists and designers that inspired me to stick with it!
AF: Can you describe your creative process?
LE: My creative process isn’t very technical. Usually something will inspire me to draw or give me an idea to play around with: Music, gigs/shows, video edits, other artists/designers and life events.
I'll start off sketching out a few ideas and then pick ones I like from there to progress them further until I’m happy with them.
If it's a commission design for a client I'll use the same method but show them updates of my progress along the way, tweaking the designs to their liking until we’re both happy with the end result.
AF: What programs and drawing tools do you generally use to create your work?
LE: I have an iPad Pro with an Apple Pencil and I use them for everything. I use procreate app to sketch out and ink my projects, I'll then vectorise my designs and work further on affinity designer app to tweak and clean up everything.
AF: Where do you get your inspiration for your designs?
LE: Music is a big one, I grew up on mostly heavy stuff and love the merch designs and gig posters. I like how they capture the bands essence if designed well. Now days pretty much anything will inspire me. I’m always thinking about drawing so I’m constantly trying to replicate a feeling I have, a quote from a book, a life lesson etc. Into an Illustration. I didn’t even realise I did that untill I looked back at some of my older work.
AF: What's your favourite piece you've ever created?
LE: Don’t really have a favourite I like them all in their own way. I really enjoyed recreating the commonwealth games mascot with you guys that was fun! And the schoolies teeshirt design I did for the Portland year 12 class last year was cool aswell.
AF: Do you have any other creative projects in the works right now you can tell us about?
LE: I’m planning to make my own merch soon, aswell as stickers and prints. I’m always working on cool projects with cool people keep updated on my instagram :)
AF: I noticed a running theme in your work is skulls and skeletons, is there anything in particular that influences you to draw them?
LE: That influence mainly comes from the heavy music scene. I love the merch designs there’s usually lots of skulls and skeletons. Also finding other artists/designers on instagram like: fuckyoubaker, staybold, kentaro_yoshida (just to name a couple). They all seemed to have their own style of how they draw skulls, I wanted to have my own style skull aswell haha.
AF: Is there any other subject matter you would like to draw more of but haven't had the opportunity?
LE: I’d love to be able to draw girls haha. I love Traditional tattoo pin up girls !
AF: Who are your top 3 favourite artists, living or dead?
AF: What music has been playing in your ears recently?
LE: Ghostemane, Wavy Jones, Denzel Curry, Conform, Thy Art Is Murder, King Gizz and heaps more
AF: Are you involved in any other creative pursuits besides illustration and graphic design?
LE: I play abit of guitar, always attempting to get a band going with a few mates haha.
AF: Has anyone ever got one of your drawings tattooed?
LE: A few of the Portland year 12 students got the skull I designed for their schooolies teeshirts tattooed on them, that was awesome!
AF: What is the most challenging thing about being a creative?
LE: Staying motivated is probably my biggest challenge. I just try to keep myself inspired all the time. Most my friends and family are really creative and always seem to have their own projects going so that helps a lot.
AF: What do you love and hate about being a designer?
LE: I love the idea of one day being my own boss. Hates a strong word but its abit annoying when people expect you to do work just for a name credit or a “shoutout.”
AF: What advice would you give to other aspiring artists?
LE: I’m still learning so much and thats one of the best things about it. But I found that just revolving your life around what you want to do plays a big part. Follow people that inspire you, study them like a fan boy and practice everyday.
AF: Is there anyone you would love working with in the future?
LE: There’s so many artists, designers, brands and bands, I’d love to work with. Don’t think I can name a specific one? Would be cool to work on a big mural piece for someone one day!
AF: What are your goals for the rest of the year?
LE: Just keep doing solid work, and gaining more recognition. I’m still only just starting up but I’m keen for what the future holds.