We had a chance to interview Lee Harden after his Catharsis exhibition of subversive explorations. Here is what the graffiti writer himself had to say.
Tell us a little about yourself?
I grew up in Townsville and relocated to Brisbane about 3 years ago. I have been a graffiti writer for the last 20 years.
What does art mean to you?
Art is my purpose in life; I was born to do it. I believe artists are born not taught.
How and when did you begin your journey as an artist?
As a young kid I began drawing and painting but it wasn’t until I was 12 and first encountered graffiti art that my real artistic journey began.
What are your nonprofessional interests?
Travelling and helping people achieve their goals.
I noticed a very diverse stem of inspiration in your pieces, where would you say you get most of your inspiration?
From the people around me along with life’s experiences I guess.
Do you tend to look at an image while you do your pieces or do you do it all free hand?
I use a my own reference most of the time.
How long does it take to do each piece?
How long is a piece of string? Haha maybe around 40hrs, if I was going to have a stab in the dark.
Who are some of your favourite artists?
Frank Frazetta, Seen, George Aldridge and The Ironlak Team.
What are some of your accomplishments as an artist?
Meeting the godfather of graffiti- Seen and painting with him, and being able to live the lifestyle that I live.
Have you found it difficult breaking into the industry?
Yes it is quite hard at times but I try and focus on what I’m doing and persue that, if you worry too much about what other people are doing or think you get caught up in it.
Has your work and style been well received internationally?
I’m not sure, but I’m gonna give it a good crack!
Tell us about a difficult time that you have experienced in regards to being an artist?
Living like a king one day then a peasant the next! It can really test the human spirit. Not having that solid income and then going to my bank and enquiring about a loan and realising they wont lend me anything because of my lack of regular income. Sometimes it can make you wonder is it all worth it haha.
What advice do you have for aspiring artists?
Learn to market yourself and back yourself, because if you won’t then no one else will and be ready for a few bumps along the way.
What are some of your goals?
To do a show in NYC of portraits of my long-time friends who live there who backed me way back then, and to be happy with what I’m doing.
Where can our readers find out more about you and your work?