Adam Head is an accomplished artist and designer who has worked on a range of projects from films sets, bar designs and sculpting. Get some insight into this talent’s design process and his latest projects.
How did you first get involved in art and design?
I started out as an animator which led me to a job at the Movieworld studios as a storyboard artist and concept designer.
As soon as I saw one of my set concepts created and it looked exactly like what I had drawn, I was hooked.
What is one of the biggest challenges you have had to face when designing?
I really think it’s budgets today. Most of our work has to be restrained in some way in order to fit some pretty low budgets.
What piece of you work are you most proud of?
Probably the North Gregory Hotel in Winton, Qld. It was so great to return a run down outback pub back to it’s full mid century glory.
It was a big job though. We did everything from initial design to the whole exterior, front bar, lounge, beer garden and 30 rooms. It was a great challenge.
When approaching a new project how do you get started?
I guess it harks back to my days as a story-board artist. I like to start by doing a really detailed concept / artist impression of the project. A visual always helps to get everyone on the same page.
What was the inspiration behind the large Pink rabbits for Brisbane festival?
Noel Staunton the festival’s Artistic Director approached me with the idea of making the bunnies based on an artist drawing by Perth based urban artist Stormie Mills.
The original idea was for Stormie to do some big murals on buildings around Brisbane. But Noel had the idea to do some sculptures. When Noel got me in, we decided that 4 meter high bunnies would have a great impact. We then made a mini bunny sculpture to exact scale and when everyone was happy with this, we went into full scale production.
What Christmas projects are you currently involved in?
For the past 4 years we created a complete light display for house on Chatsworth Rd at Coorparoo. We add a few more characters every year and we design and create each piece out of steel. Then all of the characters movements are animated to a music soundtrack. I’m also working on a few little jobs for Southbank and the Lord Mayor’s Christmas concerts in city hall.
What was the process like for designing Brisbane’s new whisky bar Sabotage Social?
The owners came to me with the idea of doing a whiskey bar. I really wanted to do it in a speakeasy style and capture the old underground feel of the Valley, but with a modern twist, like making some of the lights from skateboard decks. I also wanted to incorporate one off bespoke designed features to the bar, so I decided we would try and hand make as many things as we could. All of this resulted in making it the incredibly unique venue that it is.
Some people believe other Australian cities are better places to get involved in art and design than Brisbane, what would you say to them?
This may have been the case 5 years ago, but I really think Brisbane is coming into its own now and more open to ideas and different designs.
Brisbane is slowly filling with places don’t want to be like everywhere else and have a unique edge.
What creative challenge is next for you?
Back to doing some movies for the moment. Making sets and props for a top-secret english road movie as well as designing and building a set for John Jarratt’s new movie. And then early next year sets and special effects for a zombie western.
What advice would you give to aspiring artists?
Never stop drawing. It is what has helped me do many things.
And never be afraid to have a go.
In love with all things art and design? Why not check out one of Brisbane’s best art galleries this weekend?