Adoring fans and awestruck students surrounded Allan Wrath, a well-known illustrator here in New Zealand, last week at The Hub, Mt Albert campus as he sketches an artwork on a white wall set up outside the Yellow Lecture Theatre. Allan began his journey into the art world when he was 19 and since then, it’s been years of drawings, sketches, and typography . Allan has worked as an art director and been engaged in the branding and fashion fields, too. Luckily, Unitec Student Media managed to borrow him away from the crowd for a quick little chat.

Hi, Allan. Thank you for your time. First off, can you tell us what makes you happy?
Basically I like to draw and I just love what I’m doing right now. I enjoy creating art and that brings me immense joy.

Share with us your style in making art.
Usually, it’s just a bunch of pens, depends on the paper or the wall I’m working on. If I want them to last longer, I use paint pen on walls that creates a permanent impression on the art work. Occasionally, I go for the brush. I kind of like the look of the sharp lines and alternatively, I use the whole Adobe package as I do commercial illustrations as well.

Did you always want to become an artist?
Yes. It all started when I was six years old and my family and I had just moved back from Perth. I was determined to become an artist from the moment my Grandad taught me about Michelangelo.

Is there any particular design or artist that inspires you?
Heaps, actually. But in particular, I would say Geoff McFetridge and Jeremyville. In addition, I think at this very instant I find the biggest inspiration from talking to other artists and people who appreciate my work.

What do you do when you experience a creative flop?
Aw, man. I just go surfing or ride bike or complain to my wife!

What do you want to convey through your art?
I want people to look at my art and feel ecstatic. I expect them to see themselves in it and always portray a positive message like world peace and love. Nothing negative.


If not an artist, what would you have become?
I really like people and I love talking. Maybe I’ll be a motivational speaker or maybe a person who captures rainbows and sells them to people. But then again, I don’t think New Zealand has a lot of rainbows!

Name three things you are interested in apart from art.
People, surfing, and music.

What’s the best and the worst piece of advice you have got?
The best I have heard from people is they always say follow your heart, do what you want to do and be satisfied regardless of you earn money or not. The part of bad advice is that you have to deal with small headed people who go like ‘Dude why you doing that it doesn’t make any money or that’s not a real job.’

Isn’t it disheartening to have people discourage artists?
|It’s like Noah’s ark. It’s the same concept. People aren’t really supportive when you do something that no one has done before. But then again, they are the ones who are going to drown and eventually you will be the survivor.

Do you think social media is helping blooming young artists to portray their works to the world?
It is the most powerful tool for our generation. Before that, it had to feature on TV or newspaper which were really expensive. But I really think social media and internet is paving way for artists to put their art pieces out there in the world.

Where can we have a look at your works or get in touch with you?

Interview and Photos by INDUMATHI CHITRAMBALAM.