Optimism, travel and what it means to be an artist: experience the glass-half-full mentality of Gus

How many times do you walk through alleys and see a massive painting on a random wall that brightens up a grey street? Or spend an afternoon in a gallery getting lost in your favourite paintings? Brisbane based artist Gus has the best of both worlds.

Taking advantage of both concrete walls and canvas, his artwork is a refreshing new mix of nature and portraiture. His paintings show a deep international inspiration and the willingness to develop further in his art.


Balanced between the worlds of street and gallery art, the bright portraiture of Gus finds a home wherever it lands.

HAPPY: Could you briefly introduce yourself?

GUS: My name is Gus Eagleton and I am an artist currently residing in Brisbane Australia.

HAPPY: Your portfolio is filled with both graffiti and oil paintings. Which method do you prefer?

GUS: At the moment I have been channeling a lot of time into larger mural works utilising materials that best suit the scale of the work like aerosol, rollers, big brushes. But my artistic roots are founded in traditional painting, concentrating on figuration and realism. One of the key differences that defines the two methods is the boundaries they are limited by.

For instance, an image painted on a canvas using oil painting techniques could not or would not be ideally painted the same way if you were to paint it on a large concrete wall. If you were to paint an image from a larger mural onto a smaller canvas you would not be able to use an aerosol can on such a small surface in the same way. You would need to replicate the image using different materials and effects.

I enjoy both methods but find canvas painting can be very time consuming, generally I have always utilised both methods in different ways rather than creating the same body of work in both.


HAPPY: Do the people you’re portraying influence you or are they just random faces that express your art?

GUS: As an artist I have ideas that pop into my head, and when they do I go out and try to bring them to life. I really want my work to be down to earth and grounded so anyone can relate to it. I paint people that are in my life or people I come across.

At the same time, if I come across an image of a person or someone in particular that intrigues me an idea can spark from that.


HAPPY: Would you say you’ve found more inspiration in foreign destinations?

GUS: I take inspiration from anywhere – art, music, people and experiences. A lot of the foreign imagery I paint is because of inspiration I get while I’m travelling. Being out there seeing and doing new things fills me with new ideas and new ways of thinking.

Once I am back to my regular way of living life seems rather dull, but on the upside I usually kick into overdrive and I try to materialise all the ideas and imagery I have seen while exploring.


HAPPY: Which cities are the most inspiring for you?

GUS: I really liked Germany and Italy, I found them incredibly inspiring and the art scene over there is awesome, there are so many things happening. The cities and the landscapes are beautiful, I really enjoy the European vibe it’s uplifting. European countries have so many really old buildings, new surfaces to paint and abandoned buildings to explore.


HAPPY: Would you define yourself as a street artist or an artist?

GUS: I like to define myself as an artist because my work has never been one single thing and there are too many different opinions regarding what street art is, which I don’t want anything to do with. And who knows what I will be making in five years time? I just like painting things and that’s that.


HAPPY: What other passions do you have apart from art?

GUS: Art and painting have pretty much been my whole life for a long time now which hasn’t really left me much room for other passions. But I do enjoy eating nice food and trying new things, especially travelling to new places.


HAPPY: Many artists, especially street artists always want to send a message with their art. Is there any message you want to bring across with yours?

GUS: There’s no one message I am trying to convey, I generally have different ideas for each piece but if I had to sum it all up into one thing, my goal would be to help people see through mundanity – or beyond face value – and enjoy life.


HAPPY: What are your creative plans for 2017?

GUS: I hope 2017 is going to be filled with lots of travel, fun and art. I’m going to focus my attention on some exhibitions and large mural projects. I hope to be super proactive in making a lot of art and pushing my ideas and pieces further than I have before. I want to get into some new things and new adventures!

I’m looking forward to seeing what 2017 has to offer.