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Sam Octigan

Despite flitting between the stuff of both dreams and nightmares, this Australian artist’s impressive attention to detail remains constant

Sam Octigan is a Melbourne-based illustrator, equally talented with a pencil as he is a paintbrush. His versatility also extends to the images he creates, exploiting his musical influences to create macabre, ink based work one minute and turning people, including Thom Yorke, into fantasy like paintings the next. We took his pulse...


.....your work all about?

Variety. I don’t have one theme, message, style or medium. I like to work on a large range of projects and am always trying new things, looking for new ideas.

.....the one piece of work you wish you'd created?

Hmm, not sure. It’d probably be one of those ‘why didn’t I think of that?’ things, like Harry Potter or the Misfits shirt with gold teeth. To be honest though, I don’t think many artists go around wishing they’d created someone else’s work.

.....the most important thing for an artist to remember?

Work hard.

.....the best piece of advice you've ever heard?

Don’t stress.

..... the most inspiring thing you've ever seen?

One particular thing doesn’t really come to mind. When I’m inspired, it’s usually from reading or hearing about someone who’s had a goal, worked hard and just gone out and made it happen.

..... the cleverest thing you've ever done?

Bluffed my way into a job, teaching primary school English in France.

..... the stupidest thing you've ever done?

Bluffed my way into a job, teaching primary school English in France…

No, just kidding it was awesome. Stupidest thing would probably be something equally as boring, done after too many drinks.

.... the name of your hero?

I don’t really have any heroes. I guess if I had to choose someone it could be Prince.

..... so special about your hero?

He wrote Purple Rain and at one time had his name changed to an unpronounceable symbol. Also this:

I guess I do have a hero, haha.

Moving house/studio, an exhibition with Jake Rolfe at Rancho Notorious Gallery in Melbourne and artwork for my band’s new LP.

Text by Fiona Cook