Artist Profile – Drew Funk

Words by Julia Howland

Photos by Andy Donohoe

“Spray paint only has a sixty year life. But linen? That shit’s archivable. I want my art to last longer than I do.”
This is Drew Funk. Part of Blender Studios, an excelling artist, and not to mention a pretty rad dude, he’s a local artist whose work you have most likely seen more than once. We went to pick his brain about the Melbourne art scene, his career, what it means to be an artist, and life in general. Turns out, he pretty much has all of the answers.

It all starts with a jug of cider, a pencil, and a bare page in my notebook. After the formal greetings Drew begins sketching me in my awkward attempts at an interview. I ask the standard questions, “How long have you been in Melbourne, do you like the art scene here, who are your influences?” Kind grins as he looked up to sketch my hand. My journalism skills are failing. I need to pick up the pace fast or leave with nothing more than a slight buzz, a failure in itself. More cider is needed.

A little more social lubricant and the philosophy that is Drew Funk becomes very clear. After moving here from Malaysia he finished his degree and focused on his artwork. But not before having to give up his intended career in design, “I gave up my career for my passion.” He’s been at Blender Studios for four and a half years and speaks nothing but love and admiration for those involved. I become curious as he keeps using the term “true artist.”

“So, what does it mean to be a true artist?” I ask.
“Someone who lives and breathes art. Someone who is willing to fight for it.”

I’m humbled by what follows as he explains to me his belief system, which is centred around respect, passion, and never wasting time doing something you don’t love.
“The poorest people in the world are usually the happiest. They have love and respect.”

Drew first started drawing cartoons when he was a kid and at about thirteen was given a sculpture done by his grandfather, which set his artistic destiny in stone. He dabbles in all forms of mediums and even claims to be “greedy” when it comes to his preferred, but confesses spray paint will always win his heart. Linen has been a new fascination as its life is ten times longer than that of canvas or other materials. He’s soon to leave Blender to go traveling but will be back in full force within a year. Also, keep an eye out for his book coming out soon(ish), “It will be the evolution of my work, the documentation of my change.”

Finally I asked Drew what advice he had for aspiring artists (since most of us aren’t making a dime from art!). He says, “Just stay positive, keep positive people around you and work hard.”