Naidoc Week is here! Meet the man behind the poster…

Naidoc Week is here! Meet the man behind the poster…
This year has been anything but conventional, but after many months of waiting patiently, the time to celebrate has finally arrived! Happy Naidoc Week everyone!
This week is a wonderful time to celebrate the rich and diverse culture of this country, and to encourage more and more to do the same.
We at Life Apparel are extremely passionate about and proud of the work that we do. We continually hear from our customers about how our clothing has been a tool for connecting people, breaking boundaries and starting positive conversations around culture.
This year’s collaborating artists (Rachael Sarra, Loreen Samson, Corban Williams and Glen Mackie) have each contributed some truly inspirational work to this year’s collection. Together they created a combination of artworks that beautifully encompasses this year’s powerful Naidoc theme - Always Was, Always Will Be.
We are also super excited to introduce to you one of our newest collaborating artists - Tyrown Waigana. You have most likely seen Tyrown’s winning artwork for this year’s Naidoc poster. Well, without giving away too much, you can expect to see some more of his wonderful work on Life Apparel clothing in the very near future! (Eeep!) Keep your eyes peeled for further updates on this.
We chatted with Tyrown this week about his winning Naidoc Poster Competition entry, his creative life and his upcoming collaboration with us. Here’s what he had to say…
Tell us a little about your cultural and creative backgrounds.
I am both Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander. My traditional country on my mother's side is Wandandi Noongar country which is now the Busselton religion of South West Western Australia. I am also Ait Koedhal from Saibai Island on my Father's side. I grew up on Whadjuk Noongar Country in the wider Fremantle area. 
I am a multi-disciplinary artist and designer. I do painting, illustration, graphic design, sculpture, animation and I'm getting more into the storytelling forms of creativity. I've been drawing for as long as I can remember. I think I got into it because of family members always doing something creative and I've been exposed to it from an early age. I also started because I loved cartoons, and still do. This passion led me to university and into the career I have now. 
How would you describe your creative style?
I'm not quite sure if it fits into a certain style, but I always think it's simple and complex at the same time. The longer you look at one of my pieces the more you pick up. 
How did it feel having your artwork selected for the 2020 Naidoc poster?
I was pretty honoured that I was selected and I was happy that my artwork can visually represent such a powerful statement as 'Always Was Always Will Be’. I feel like now that's what that statement looks like if that makes sense. 
Can you tell us a little about the motivation behind that artwork?
The motivation to create the artwork was the attempt to win the NAIDOC competition. I do what I always do, work hard to create an image to the best of my ability and hope for the pay off and this time it did.  
You have recently been working on a collaboration with Life Apparel. What made you decide to collaborate with us?
The opportunity to work with a national brand that produces highly Indigenous-centred products. I also thought it would be great to create an image with my contemporary flair and get them on some clothes. This collaboration was a no brainer. 
The upcoming collection is yet to be released, but can you give us a little insight into what the work meant to you?
Yer think it's good to reflect on the society we live in today and take the role of the optimist. Just be grateful for wanting to have the connections we make with people around us. 
Any final thoughts to leave us with?
This is just the start for me so keep a lookout. 

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wow I have had the pleasure of meeting young Tyrone and his amazing family back in the day of when he first was in kindy/PP , he truly loved drawing even back then. He is a credit to his family and his culture .

Shelley Conway

Shelley Conway


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