We take a tiny peek into the world of pop artist, Aaron Craig from Sunshine Coast, Australia.
Aaron has been making waves creating his style "Pop Mash" art for several years. However, he has been around for quite some time. Let's see what he has to say in our 5 minute interview and get a glance at some official SpeedySlaps sticker inserts we are giving away this summer.
About Aaron Craig
Aaron Craig is an Australian pop artist based on the Sunshine Coast of Queensland. His paintings are recognized by the rich blend of pop culture that aim to give the viewer a strong sentiment of nostalgia. Aaron's talent is forging together conflicting elements from cartoons, comics, products, and advertising until they become familiar at first glance, though with a second look are completely unique. He references his art style as ‘Pop Mash’.
Aaron studied Fine Arts at Newcastle University before ultimately finishing his tertiary education with a bachelor degree in Visual Communication Design at Queensland College of Art. These two degrees helped in creating his super flat painting style with a discernible colour palette and strong sense of balance in his art.
Aaron has made artwork for clients including Disney, Mattel, Marvel, Sony BMG, Sesame Street, and Mr Men. His work has been shown in solo exhibitions in Melbourne, Hong Kong, and Taiwan, as well as displayed at group shows throughout Australia, Europe, and the United States.
"Creating a piece for Masters of the Universe was a childhood dream come true."
Speedyslaps: How long have you been doing this style of art?
Aaron Craig: Since 2019.
Speedyslaps: So far, what has been your favorite part of the journey and where would you be thrilled to have a Solo Exhibition?
Aaron Craig: I get to do my dream job everyday, so the journey in general is all rewarding. It’s a nice feeling knowing that people around the world love and cherish my artwork. My last 3 solo shows have been overseas (Hong Kong, Taipei, Los Angeles) so I'm looking forward to doing more solo shows here in Australia.
Speedyslaps: What was your first cartoon mashup?
Aaron Craig: I honestly can’t recall. I have painted hundreds over the last few years. Possibly Battle-Cat/Storm.
Speedyslaps: What is the most exciting commission piece you have created?
Aaron Craig: I’ve been lucky enough to collaborate with some of my favourite brands, but creating a piece for Masters of the Universe was a childhood dream come true. I also just finished a piece for Marvel of one of my favourite villains, Dr Doom. So I'm excited for that to be released.
Aaron Craig: Jack Kirby. He is the absolute GOAT with creativity, style, and the grandfather of comics.
Speedyslaps: Do you collect comics, and if so what are your prized possessions?
Aaron Craig: Yep I have a reasonable comic collection of gold, silver and Bronze Age. One of my faves is the Sub Mariner comic run #1-20 from 1939 featuring Namor.
Speedyslaps: What is your favorite piece you have made?
Aaron Craig: A painting for my second solo show titled “Exciting First Issue”.
Speedyslaps: What is the average time it takes for a Mash Up?
Aaron Craig: 5 minutes to 5 days depending on where it's going. Elaborate paintings take longer than a digital illustration.
Speedyslaps: What do you think about artists sneaking their artworks into major galleries around the world?
Aaron Craig: You mean like Banksy? For a publicity stunt its kinda cool.
Speedyslaps: Exactly! Would you ever or have you ever pulled a publicity stunt featuring your "Pop Mash" art?
Aaron Craig: Not really, other than stickers and few stencils / paste-ups. I consider myself a gallery artist so its not really my thing.
Speedyslaps: What other artists inspire you?
Aaron Craig: G.Grub is a character that I first drew in the mid-90s with the hopes of getting work experience as an animator. He made a resurgence in a lot of my works in the last few years. I’ll continue to paint him often.
Speedyslaps: Tell us more about your NFT's and where to acquire them?
Aaron Craig: I minted a selection of my character G.Grub as Pokemon. It is a collection of unique hand-drawn NFTs that was released on Rarible. Each NFT features variants of G.Grub.
Speedyslaps: What are your goals or milestones this summer?
Aaron Craig: My solo show opens at Gallery 1988 next week in LA, so that has been a big amount of work I’ve just completed. I’ll begin painting for my next solo show (Nov in Melbourne) in the coming weeks.
Speedyslaps: Tell us more about your solo show?
Aaron Craig: It is titled “Up Up & Away” and opens on June 2 at Gallery 1988, LA. The show features 56 paintings. 50 of them are smaller Pop Mash paintings in a style I call ‘Ham Radio’. They are unique character heads based off elements from popular cartoon characters. The larger canvas paintings use the same style but painted in a scene that tells a small story. The shows themes are a mix of my 2 previous solo shows titled ‘Ham Radio’ and ’Short Stories’. I'm really excited for people to see it.
2020 - Ham Radio - Honeybones Gallery, Melbourne, Australia
2021 - Pop Mash - 13a New Street Gallery, Hong Kong
2021 - Short Stories - Galerie Ovo, Taipei, Taiwan
2023 - Up Up & Away - Gallery 1988, Los Angeles, United States
2023 - COMING SOON - Outre Gallery, Melbourne, Australia
Speedyslaps: Any words of inspiration for future artists?
"Be professional. Treat it like a job. If you treat it like a hobby, it will remain a hobby." - Aaron Craig
Aaron Craig: I’d love to do something with San Rio, or Medicom Toy.
Speedyslaps: That would be awesome!
Speedyslaps: What other talents do you have?
Aaron Craig: I fish, coach soccer, am a massive Rugby League fan, and I'm a dad to 2 amazing boys.
Speedyslaps: What is the biggest fish or strangest catch you have made?
Aaron Craig: I caught a massive stingray a few weeks back. Took about 15 mins to land. It’s tail was over 1 metre long!
Speedyslaps: Where can we buy your art releases?
Speedyslaps: What is your next sticker pack release?
Aaron Craig: One with you guys :)
Speedyslaps: Nice! We just printed a fresh batch of limited edition inserts for your US fans. We love your work and how they turned out.
Aaron Craig Ultra Rare Holo-Foil stamped collectable sticker inserts* will be randomly placed in sticker and label orders this summer. Collect #'s 2S, 3S, 4S and 5S while supplies last. Place any custom sticker or label order to get your collectable. *specific # requests may be granted in "special instructions" or by email but not guaranteed.
SpeedySlaps: Thank you for sharing your story and brand with us Craig. We are following all of your socials and have subscribed to your newsletter for the latest updates and are excited to see and hear about your next projects for 2023 and beyond.