Re-Issued: Seff Mudge’s Vivid Black Artistry

As part of this ‘re-issued’ series of posts – turning back time to take another look at some of the people who contributed and helped form the first iterations of Malaise – I wanted to lean into the artists who took enough interest in it to made work specifically for the zine. It’s also a part of this agenda to put the artists of the the skateboarding community to the forefront and build social space for us a niche within that community, which I think is vital and rare.

Seff Mudge contributed a really impressive illustration for the second issue. Back then it took me by surprise to see how much effort is put in with every piece he does, even if it’s this pro-bono scene he flicked my way – doing work for free as an artist these days is tough and I’m super thankful he took the time.

grim reaper taking soul A4.jpg

Since following him on instagram and his facebook page over the last two years he’s become increasingly prolific and sets a good tempo for an active, developing illustrator. So I caught up with him to hear what he’s been up to and what he’s got planned for the future.


First up, how are you?

Whats been transpiring for you creatively over the past three years?

Pretty good thanks. I’m gonna have to try to think back now haha. I guess I’ve been fairly consistently throwing artworks into a bunch of different exhibitions around the Brisbane area over the past few years. I was also lucky enough to be selected to design a skate graphic in the Converse Cons Project on the coast and also win best illustration. That whole weekend was so fun, inspiring and just ahh! Designing a range of commission pieces for CRMC, an alternate clothing brand based in Scotland is also a major highlight and seeing the garments coming to life at the moment is awesome too. It was also cool getting the chance to spread the word about habitat destruction when I was accepted into the Decks for Change project last year. That whole experience has really inspired me to start putting more nature orientated messages into my art and who knows I might enter again this year. In more recent news I’ve just designed a few t-shirt commissions for Brisbane metal band Outlive, one of which is in the process of being printed and sold at their shows, definitely look forward to working with them a heap more.

Definitely noticed a shift in subject matter with your work since I last checked in. Much more interpretive symbolism. You’re self taught?

Yeah I definitely see that my work has changed. Not that I felt I didn’t previously but I’ve started putting a heap more thought into the concept stage before even beginning any part of the inking process. My pieces usually take ages to complete so it seemed natural that I should plan things out smoother before going straight into it and spending all that time. It feels like a much more healthy approach to making art, for me anyway.

Back to your question. I am self-taught. I was drawing way back in preschool but by the time I got to high school I had almost completely stopped. The first “drawing lessons” I had received, and this is probably going off on a bit of a tangent, was when I was chosen to go on a camp at some old castle place called Woodlands back in like grade 6 or something. From what I can remember it was a pretty cool experience, me and random other school kids got to meet and work with professional writers and illustrators to produce a story book. I’m pretty sure I had already been practicing most of what they were teaching beforehand anyhow, so no real improvement there haha. Besides the old high school art classes it wasn’t until I finished my design course back in 2014 that I started drawing again.

Where’d you study?

At CATC Design School in the valley. It was just a Diploma course.

Understand you’re preparing for an exhibit launch at bean on friday called ‘sloe’, what else is in the future for you as an artist?

Sure am. There should be some fresh interesting work to see there, definitely something to check out if you’re in the area. As for other exhibitions so far, I’ll have 1 or 2 pieces in the ‘Lords’ art show at Crowbar toward the end of February. I’m also going to be more active within the Primary Arcade and The Brisbane Collective groups so hopefully you’ll be able to check out more of my work in their upcoming shows. As far as personal work goes I haven’t got plans to start any art challenges or anything, as of yet, just going to focus on improving, looking within for inspiration blah, blah, blah and all that sorta shit haha. I would also like to be able to do a few more merch designs for local bands as well as working with other clothing labels in the UK or somewhere.


Vivid Black Artistry


Re-issued: Story of a Mum Who Skates

For posterity, I’m reposting some select articles, interviews, and features from the first two issues of Malaise that were published in late 2014 and early 2015. Here’s Indigo giving a brief insight into herself as a mother and skateboarder. Indigo is also a bona-fide Dr. Nerd with accreditation in Sociology from University of Queensland and Griffith U and is a part of the Asian Australian Film Forum and Network. But skaters are dumb, right? 

Drop in at the old Paddo. Photo by Pat Gemzik

MY name is Indigo Willing, nickname ‘Indi’, and my locals in Brisvegas are Fairfield and Paddo. I’m 1001 years old, I’m a mum with a primary school-aged kid, and started skating two years ago.
It’s awesome how welcoming skaters in Brisbane have been, given I am different like that. And because I started skating super old I progress differently.
The guys and girls I see skating inspire me everyday to just do what I do and get in there. Whenever I roll, any troubles of the day also drift away. Life’s sometimes been hard for me, as it is for everyone. But when I’m skating I’m always laughing.
And I’m so grateful to say that because then my son is raised by a person who’s happiness, strength and courage is highly visible.
To show happiness is good; because I’m from a Vietnamese orphanage, have mixed heritage, and even though I was raised by a new Aussie family who never treated me differently, I lost my first family and am an orphan that way for life.
Being an outsider, you carry around a sense of loss and this deeper sadness, no matter how resilient and independent you also need to become along the way.
I like being resilient no matter what as it’s helped me achieve things like a PhD in Sociology – which surprised a lot of people given I was in trouble a lot and no-one had high hopes for Vietnamese people when I was growing up; gangs and heroin were the most noticeable element of our community.

When I finished studying, which was in-part to honour my Vietnamese ancestors and their sacrifices for my new life, I still worked very hard.
But you can also burn out, so I made time to start skateboarding, and life just throws the right people in your path sometimes.
The first person to teach me to stand on a board was my neighbour Evie Ryder who is a girl-skater who kills it. She was a finalist in the Girls Skate Australia skate comp in 2014, and was featured in an exhibition at Love Love Studio recently called ‘Play Free’.
The first time I learned to drop-in was at a skate workshop run by  Pat “Patty G” Gemzik and with some of Brisbane’s best skaters. Since then, I’ve continued to meet some of the most courageous and soulful people ever through skateboarding. All ages, genders and life stories.
My young son doesn’t skate yet, but he’s into art and is growing up surrounded by a lot of awesome skater friends, including a number of girl skaters from Brisbane and the Gold Coast.
I love that it’s natural for him to see females changing skate trucks at home, getting immediately up from a slam and going for the same trick until they get it, or watching our skate videos and seeing us being very happy, supportive and strong.
This is way better than seeing his mum sitting around obsessed by mainstream TV and magazines about starving, plastic bodied celebrities wearing $400 socks with $4000 handbags, or failing to know how to respect other females for anything beyond how they look or who they date.

A skateboard is not influenced by that crap and doesn’t care where you’re from, how you look, or what you earn.