If you've spent any time in Sydney's Inner West chances are you're familiar with illustrator / pirate Sindy Sinn's work. His bold-yet-loose hand drawn style is instantly recognisable and perfectly characterises the fun, creative, laid-back vibe of brands and venues such as The Courthouse Hotel, Mary's and Young Henry's to name a few.
What do you consider yourself as? Artist or designer?
I consider myself an illustrator. Mostly working in the band, bar and beer aspects of the world. I have a hand-drawn style, which I translate digitally in preparation for commercial-reproduction. So whilst I spend a lot of time at the computer, my artwork has a hand-done feeling to it, which I like. I’ve actively avoided things like rulers my whole life, there’s a lot of character in a wonky line.
To answer the question, I guess I’m sort of neither and both. Maybe more of a drawsigner? At the end of the day, I like to draw fucked up skulls with a cold beer to a soundtrack of sabbath.
How did you get started in the industry?
I’ve always liked drawing, and I got started years ago drawing posters for my mate’s bands. Over time I got better and figured out my process, while the projects and bands I’m involved with have gotten bigger. Working for some huge bands like The Misfits, Kreator and Parkway Drive has opened a lot of doors.
At the moment I run an art-studio in Newtown, and we’re very fortunate to have a great crew around us. Being nice, working hard and knowing when to shut-up can get you a long way in any industry.
Do you have any artistic / stylistic influences?
Millions. With the internet at everyone’s fingertips, it’s easy to tap into a world of incredible artwork. Artists like Jim Phillips, Sketchy Tank, Tallboy, Burrito Breath, Alex Lehours, Ben Baker and Mike Watt inspire me.
I think inspiration is one of those things you can really find anywhere if you’re looking for it. You could see someone walking down the street and wonder what’s in their lunchbox, maybe it’s an octopus! From there draw the lunchbox with a slimey-tentacle hanging out of it, maybe a lollypop or a juice-straw stuck to it. And your individual style will dictate how that looks, how detailed it is even down to what colour the tentacle is. Being confident in your style and your process is as important as the ideas you funnel into it.
You recently collaborated with us on a tee. In your mind what makes a killer collab?
Killer collaborations happen when both parties are onboard and willing to share the experience and the process. I regularly collaborate with local beer-legends Young Henrys, and it’s always a really satisfying experience.
Working with Sol Invictus has been equally amazing. It started with an email which I turned into some sketches. We had some beers over sketches, we made some changes and we massaged into place what became the final design. And I think the result looks fucking rad. I’m proud of the work we’ve done together, we bloody nailed it. Plus the crew down at Aisle6ix Industries did a great job with the print, a killer team from start to finish.
What would be your dream project?
I have a list of bands that I’d love to work for… the dream list. Bands like Red Fang, Queens Of The Stone Age and Rob Zombie are on that list. Being given some artistic control on one of their projects is a bit of a wet-dream scenario for me.
So far I’ve been relatively fortunate to have worked with some dream clients.
Designing shirts for Mambo and The Rolling Stones have both been pretty big ticks on the bucketlist. But at the moment, I’m working on a range of shirts and prints for my own website: www.sindysinn.com.au
Making time to work on my own stuff has been really enjoyable (...even if the client’s a bit of a jerk).
And if anyone is keen to get their own rad artwork, get in touch. I won’t bite.