His work is colourful, chaotic and random - yet somehow it all makes sense. Alisse Grafitti spoke to up-and-coming illustrator Alex Lehours
When Alex Lehours was a young kid, he spent his time drawing his favourite things. Which is pretty much what he’s still doing today.
The 27-year-old illustrator is starting to make a name for himself in the world of street art with his t-shirts, murals, poster and cd-covers.
“When I was younger I was always drawing,” Alex said. “I’d draw my favourite basketball players, superheroes, comic characters – pretty much what I draw now really.
“I love pop culture and I like mixing vintage-looking illustrations and graphics with a modern twist. It’s usually whatever I’m feeling on the day. I don’t like to restrict myself to certain subject matters, I like to try all sorts of things so a lot of it is what’s relevant to me at that moment.”
Completing a Bachelor of Visual Arts and Design at ACU’s Strathfield Campus, Alex initially worked as a graphic designer before deciding to focus on his main strength.
“It’s really only in the last couple of years that I realised I could pull off illustrating as a career,” he said. “This year I started working purely for myself as a freelancer, so I’ve quit the day job and I’m focusing on mural work which is what I really enjoy.”
And it seems to be paying off. Alex’s work got the attention of the Darwin Port Authority this year who commissioned one of his murals - paying tribute to the 70th Anniversary of the Darwin Bombing.
The huge digital print was unveiled two days before the anniversary, and is now a permanent fixture at Stokes Hill Wharf in Darwin.
Late last year he also took part in the Outpost: Art from the streets project on Sydney’s Cockatoo Island, showcasing the best in t-shirt design.
“Cockatoo Island was great. The exhibition focused on the people behind t-shirt labels rather than the designs themselves. They had 50 or so artists photographed and profiled – ranging from people like me who are just starting out, to brands that have been established for 10 or 20 years. Above our portraits there were two or three thousand t-shirts hanging on cables which looked pretty cool.”
Alex said while he was never really into graffiti, using spray cans is something that is growing on him.
“I do keep it mainly to paper, but I’m using aerosols more these days, along with ink and pen, watercolour and acrylic paint.
“I guess you’d say my illustrations are quirky, weird, colourful and quite random really. A lot of my work is collage-type pieces with different elements in them that don’t necessarily make sense – its just stuff that I like to draw that I put all together – and it seems to work.”