I love the arts and creativity. My early career was in teaching, writing, producing and directing for film, theatre, comedy and improv shows. Now I'm a professional creative content producer, mostly on digital platforms.
So where does a budding street artist, or just an artist who wants great quality supplies go to in Brisbane? The answer is to get into the store and brand that's favoured by some of the best artists in the business – Ironlak.
The first thing you'll notice when you head down the stairs from the Queen Street Mall into their Brisbane city flagship store is the expansive, open plan design. Black décor is dotted with pops of colour – the spray paints, pens, markers all arranged by hue really do make for a lovely shopping experience. You'll also find Ironlak merchandise like shirts for sale, plus blank canvasses and black books. Prices are quite competitive with other art suppliers, whether you're after a fineliner, dual tip, chisel nib, brush tip, spray paint or flow pen.
Out the back is a lovely, large workshop area. There are canvases around the shop and back room with works from notable street artists alongside those from novice workshop attendees. Plus, there's a large mural by Sofles that's worth a visit. It's worth noting that we got amazing and attentive customer service when we visited the store too.
Obviously neither I nor Ironlak would like to go on the record as condoning law breaking. Luckily, if you're a budding street artist, you can learn skills from experienced street artists without raising the ire of the po-po. Ironlak regularly holds sessions for those who want to learn and practice their skills. You can join their mailing list for updates on the latest workshops. Your subscription will also get you decent in-store savings, so if you're a regular buyer of art supplies, it's well worth it to sign up for free.
If you are a little too experienced for the workshops, there are now plenty of legal avenues to paint. Brisbane City Council's 'Artforce' allows you to submit designs for consideration for art on traffic signal boxes. Brisbane Canvas and Vibrant Laneways' Outdoor Gallery Program also offer chances to get up. Don't forget the annual Brisbane Street Arts Festival. Word on the street has it there could be another festival coming in November that will give artists the chance to paint in public too - if you're interested, don't forget to subscribe to my articles and as soon as I get confirmation you'll be first to know!
Until then, I can highly recommend a visit to Ironlak at Lower ground, 62 Queen Street Mall, Brisbane.