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Creative Clout: George Rose

Josephine Walsh

George Rose cannot sit still.

You can almost see the sparks coming off of her as she speaks about life as a practising artist.

“I really identify with people who can’t stop or control their artistic output,” George explains. “They just keep on going and making things because that’s the only thing they can do. I totally get that – it’s really inspiring and productive.”

A designer-cum-illustrator slash mural artist who also dabbles 
in typography, installation, and ceramics, George’s passion for art was born from studying graphic design at the University of Canberra.

“I spent my final six months at the School of Art, which was really interesting as it taught me about how we educate designers and artists,” she explains. “My education has had a real influence on my creative practice – it set up and shaped the way I think about creativity and how I practice making art.”

These days, more often than not, you’ll find George halfway up a ladder creating magnificent murals for clients who commission her large-scale works.

Screaming Hand by George Rose. Photo by Shane Parsons

Screaming Hand by George Rose. Photo by Shane Parsons

“Up until now,” she says, “I’ve approached these commissions as ‘Oh, I’ll use my skills and creativity to envision what you have in mind’. But more recently, I’ve come to a certain point where I’m pushing my own style and what I want to the forefront.”

She explains her rule of making her first pitch to clients who 
tell her she can do ‘whatever she wants’ is the weirdest, most insane idea she can think of.

“It’s a way of trying to prise out what’s inside their head,” she explains.

It can be challenging working with non-visual people who hire her
 for her artistic pep and pluck, and George believes it’s a fallacy to expect that you’ll get an artist’s best work if you don’t set any boundaries.

“I did a mural recently in Sydney’s Centennial Park, and there were disagreements around colour,” she says. “In the end, I chose a colour that 
I would never ever use, but it ended up being quite a strong work. So, having those restrictions can actually push you to create something new, different and interesting to what you would normally create.”

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It’s this drive to keep moving and thirst to create clever art that leads George to break her own perceptions and expectations of her art.

“Sometimes when a client gives you critical feedback, you’re pushed a bit further in a direction that you don’t want to go in,” she says. “But, if you move beyond it, you can come back with something really amazing. I aspire to create something that looks cool, accessible and poppy, but makes you think a little bit more deeply. I love work that grabs your attention, but on second glance it pieces together deeper concepts and ideas you normally wouldn’t fuse together.”

THREE THINGS YOU DIDN’T KNOW ABOUT GEORGE ROSE

Artistic practice in a nutshell “Looking from the inside out, not the outside in.”

Creative influences “People who push themselves, and push their own boundaries. I look up to Sancho [Murphy, creator of Sancho’s Dirty Laundry], so much. I think it’s amazing what she has created, and she is super cool.”

My idea of a nightmare? “Apart from having my arms chopped off, not being able to produce work. That and monotony – being in the same spot and made to repeat the same task again and again is my idea of hell.”

Feature image by Martin Ollman

This article originally appeared as part of our Creative Clout article in our Magazine: Break The Mould for Autumn 2016. Find out more about Magazine here

Magazine Break The Mould Cover

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Josephine Walsh

Jose Walsh loves A-line skirts, the arts, and all types of pasta. She moved to Canberra in 2011 to study at ANU, and follow her dream of working in a museum. With an education background, she's currently harnessing her love of connecting people in a social media and PR role in a national institution. She loves great film, rambling about her succulents, and finding the perfect spot to share with her favourite people. More about the Author

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