I came across the work of Cam Stynes through instagram and his collaboration with The Snake Hole. With a street meets pirate vibe, Cam surrounds himself with a strong creative crew in and around the Mornington Peninsula. He is a man of many talents with an inspiring passion for art. He not only founded, but built (with the help of his father) Black Spot Gallery, an impressive ground floor gallery together with private upstairs art studios. The building has been finished to the highest quality, the studios over generous and made me wish it existed in Melbourne – but it seems there is more than enough talent in Mornington to fill its walls.
Both a painter and a surfer, it is his artwork that shapes the way he surfs. Experimental and relaxed, Cam is more interested in thinking outside of the box rather than making a mistake. His easy going nature is evident as he picks up a pen and starts layering on top of a finished canvas without a moments hesitation. He has fun with his artwork and goes with the flow.
When do you know you were a little more creative than the rest?
I don’t think anyone is more creative than anyone else. I think everyone finds something of their own that they love and that’s what I do. I create what I like, I don’t do it for anyone else. I’m not too worried about what people think as such, I’d rather be happy with a piece personally than make a piece purely for someone else.
Where do you draw inspiration from?
A lot of my inspiration comes from culture, the streets and anything that I feel passionate about. Family, the ocean, tattoos, anything that captures my eye I like to redraw it in my own way.
When you started surfing and did that change the way you painted?
No I think painting changed the way I surf. I try to draw a different line and try to do different things on a wave. A lot of the time I probably blow the wave because of it, but I kind of like to think outside the box and try something that’s abnormal rather than stick to the same routine.
How would you describe your work?
My work is messy, sometimes rushed and playful.
How do you feel when you’re creating?
I don’t think too much when doing it. When I’m creating I’m just sort of having fun, I’ve got a good song on, I get inspired from that or if a colour works with something else like another colour bleeds and it sort of moulds into something new I just go with it. I don’t try and stick to a certain routine, I’d rather the artwork or the painting take me on a journey and let it evolve itself. I kind of just go with the flow.
Has anyone been a major influence in your life that has filtered into your work?
Not as such. I pretty much find my own path. Just painting how I feel and just for the fun of it, I never thought anything of it. I always thought that it was just a good outlet and it was a good release. It was some time I could spend on my own and just do things I enjoyed. I never thought it was going to develop into anything further but I’m glad it has.
What’s your favourite medium to work with?
At the moment I like working with spray paint and mixing it up with water. When the spray paint reacts with the water it separates and it sort of merges and blends into another colour. It dilutes and I then add layers and layers to that. I like working with wood and I like painting on surfboards. I really like seeing how paint reacts to different surfaces.
Were you ever into graffiti?
No I’ve never done graffiti or tagged. With spray paint it’s always been on surfboards or skateboards. I’ve never had a tag so I’m proud to say I’m not a tagger.
What about street art?
I’ve done some street art but it’s never been with spray paint, it’s all been done with brush.
That’s interesting, how big was the piece?
The biggest one I’ve done was in Bali, it was a huge Popeye head but I changed all the features to be more of a self portrait.
How would you describe your creative process?
I normally start with an idea of what I want to do and most likely halfway through it changes and I’ll paint over it and then start again. A lot of the time it’s just whatever I’m feeling at the time. I just like to paint and let it go, I don’t try to prep too much, just kind of go for it and hopefully it comes out the way I had it my head.
How do you know when it’s finished?
It’s never finished. I find that I can always go back to a piece and add something or take something off or redevelop another style. It’s hard to know when a piece is actually complete without going too far. A lot of the time when I go back to things I’ll take it too far and end up painting over it and starting again. I don’t believe that art is ever finished.
What is something that not many people know about you?
I’m 5’ 4” and I can slam dunk… no I can’t.
Everybody knows everything about you?
Yeah pretty much, I’m an open book. I don’t like to have secrets. I’m a family man, I just live every day as it comes and I don’t think too much, I just go with the flow.
Why did you say yes to this collaboration?
I like to say yes to everything. I don’t like to be a no person so I like to try and experience challenges. I’d like to be the person that wants to get involved and try something new.
What is your inspiration for your clock?
I’m looking at different techniques on timber. Trying to work out how I can use some of my elements on the bamboo and have it work. I also want to create a piece I would want in my home.
What type of person will be drawn to your clock?
Someone that is happy go lucky, that doesn’t take things too serious. Someone that likes to think outside the square, likes things a little bit different, that are pleasing to the eye and that doesn’t take things too serious.
What do you love most about creating?
What I love most about creating would be the freedom. There’s no rules, I believe you’ve got to be happy with your own work before other people will be happy with it. Don’t think too much of what other people think. If you do it for yourself it comes naturally.
Has there ever been a time where you felt unhappy and you hadn’t been free?
Always. I always feel like there’s times where things aren’t coming together and they’re not working like you had them pictured in your head, but I think that’s part of being an artist.
Have you ever worked on a circle?
Circles have always been something I wanted to do. I’ve seen some amazing art done in circular form. I’ve never actually done a straight circular piece so I was really excited to challenge it.
Cam Stynes’ Clock for the Hunting Collective 2016.
Cam’s clock is made with spray paint, acrylic and ink. Cam’s clock is available via online auction. To bid, click here. Cam Stynes in an artist from Mornington, Victoria. Both a painter and a surfer, it is his artwork that shapes the way he surfs. Experimental and relaxed, Cam merges spray paint with water to create a marbled effect.