Interview with Vans the Omega , very talented Australian street artist
Is there a story behind Vans the Omega?
As a really young kid the first names I practiced writing were my family members names. My Fathers name is Van as well as my middle name from birth so I played with these letters a lot growing up. At some stage I wanted to add a letter to the very rigid look of the letters V,A,N so S was my only option. Now the Omega part came about from finding an old sketch book from primary school that I had written an Omega 2 tag in when I was around 6-7 years old. It re surfaced from the basement of my parents old house. After seeing this I really felt to use it and was looking for something that I could have fun with on the street. 10 years down the track friends and colleges were asking are you Vans or Omega and the reply was Vans the Omega.
where are you originally from?
Born and raised south side of Adelaide, South Australia and have found this to be my home after many years of traveling.
Where was your first mural? Is it still available to see today?
I did a couple in the lane ways behind my school when I was real young which were from Crayon, paint markers and pen. When I was 11 I did something close to home that was built over soon after. All of my earliest works were painted out or destroyed but I think there is 2 works from 95 that still exist in my home town.
When/Why did you start putting your art onto walls?
I always loved art but graffiti was the thing that got me painting outdoors. I rode the train and tram system a lot as a kid and seeing some of the first pieces go up around 83 had me hooked at first sight. I would get home and try to re create what I had seen during my travels and fully render them artworks in colour on paper. At this time is was purely innocent and the word graffiti had yet to enter my consciousness.
Do you paint with spray cans or do you use any other techniques or media?
I use a wide range of application techniques and media to achieve the look I’m after.
Many things that might be typical to a studio I like to play with on walls and vice versa.
Where do you get your inspiration ?
Life and every element which is swirling around me. I never understood people not having ideas and not being able to tap into creativity. Its in every aspect of of daily lives. It can be something so mundane and simple. It only takes to look a little closer or scratch the surface of anything to uncover an entire universe under each rock.
Which of your artworks are you most proud of (And where can we find them)?
Lately after having my first child I have been taking my time in the work I am doing and delivering some of my greatest works as a result. Right now 2-3 of my fav works are in South Australia.
Have you collaborated with other artists ? Do you have any artists you would like to collaborate with ?
Over the last 28 years I have collaborated with many hundreds of artists in 100’s of cities across the world. There are always new artists that I see and wonder how our works would look together. I would love to work with Os Gemeos, ARYZ in the future.
Is there a dream place worldwide where you would like to create an artwork?
I would love to make a large work in Iceland against its amazing natural wonders and beauty.
Do you have any exhibitions or upcoming art festivals?
Currently I have just finished a new work with Bank Slave from Kenya for Sanaa Festival in South Australia. Next week I’ll be in Victoria for The BIG Picture Fest and have many new projects coming up this year including a trip to Nairobi in June.
Thank’s a lot . Would you like to add anything else for Streetart360 readers?
Have a brilliant day and get creative
Books – Street Art in Australia
All photos by Vans the Omega