Converse recently released its new One Star campaign which features an insane ensemble cast of dynamic creatives that are shaking things up and challenging norms. Seeing the likes of Brockhampton, A$AP Nast, and Sage Elsesser rocking One Stars on their own terms inspired us to put a local spin on it. We grabbed five next gen Australian creatives who are doing it their own way and asked them about what they’ve got in store for the world. You better keep and eye on on this crew—they’re doing their own thing and pushing boundaries for the rest of us while they’re at it.
Next gen anti-heroes
Instagram handle: @mattsyrah
What creative work do you do? I’m sadly just another fashion kid who dropped out of college, along with being the kid who got dropped by his agency. I graphic design now so that keeps me content, along with working on my own project involving fabrics. The project is like three years overdue though. I’ve got no eyes on me right now so I’ll take my time with it.
How did you get your first start? The modeling thing was actually mad funny, I got dropped by my agency back when I was a youngin’ quicker than I got signed.
What’s the best part of what you do? Crafting art is always a vibe. As a creative you’re always hoping the world connects with your vision and the art you put forward. Hopefully ‘Black Twitter’ plays nice with me when I start crafting.
What’s the hardest part? I really don’t know. I feel that I’ve had a pree’ sweet ride on this journey of life, both creatively and not.
If you could change something about the creative scene right now, what would it be and why? I see people scheming at the moment which is tight, I’m just spectating and appreciating right now. Sydney probably deserves more eyes on it though. Things are happening.
What other creatives do you look up to? All artist involved in the abstract expressionism back in the day have definitely influenced my perspective on both life and art. Franz Kline, Jackson Pollock, Joan Mitchell, Antoni Tàpies, all of those artist have had a play on me. I guess you can chuck Warhol and Basquiat into this mix too.
What’s something or things that you’re obsessed with right now? Forever obsessed with Franz Kline, Basquiat, iced matcha, and archival Helmut Lang. Archival McQueen and Vivienne Westwood is pree’ tight too.
What’s are you working on? My project ‘Mahigashi’ should be tight, I can’t wait to get it out to the world. Mahigashi is pretty much a collation of everything I’ve experienced and felt these past 22 years of life, the good, the bad, the fab, just everything. I’m really just using the fabrics as a canvas to paint my story. It’ll be special.
Instagram handle: @daphnenguyen__
What creative work do you do? Photographer.
How did you get your first start? I volunteered to shoot a runway event and didn’t really know what I was doing. But there was an open bar and I met a designer whose pieces were the first I ever shot.
What’s the best part of what you do? Times where I produce work that has made the entire team’s time worthwhile and being able to meet many great personalities along the way.
What’s the hardest part? Finding parking during weekends when I’m on location is soul-crushing.
If you could change something about the creative scene right now, what would it be and why? I suppose I haven’t really put that much thought into the scene as a whole, I really think it is what you make of it. At the moment I’m mostly trying to focus on whatever I’m doing at the time.
What other creatives do you look up to? It’s impossible to list them all here. I just scrolled through some of my saved posts on Instagram and remembered Max Doyle’s @scrapdoyle is really cool. I have also spent a lot of time watching @extraweg videos on loop.
What’s something or things that you’re obsessed with right now? Rekindled my passion for pickles over the summer. Other than that I’m really into anything yellow. And refrigerated tomato sauce. It’s kind of difficult to explain obsessions, something just clicks I suppose.
What’s are you working on now that’s exciting you? I suppose there are a few things in the air that hopefully pull through… but where’s the fun in spilling all the beans?
Instagram handle: @yemisul
What creative work do you do? DJ, model, and I really want to get into presenting and film-making.
How did you get your first start? I threw my own event called ‘GIRLS’, the night was a huge success. From there it became a monthly event and I was getting booked as a DJ regularly.
What’s the best part of what you do? Making people dance and watching their faces light up when they like the song I’ve chosen. Or they’ve found a new song they like, and never heard of before, and I got to show it to them!
What’s the hardest part? Dealing with drunk people who think it’s hilarious to torment me or make a joke out what I’m doing or playing (ironically dancing to hip hop is so disrespectful to me). Being stamped as a “female DJ” and feeling like a gimmick.
If you could change something about the creative scene right now, what would it be and why? Diversify it in every sense of the word diversity. Inject a ton of money into the creative scene so people don’t have to work for nothing most of the time. Double it in size so it becomes more interesting and allows for space so were not all clambering on top of each other for limited opportunity that is available at being paid and recognised.
What other creatives do you look up to? I really love Yasmin Suteja’s work. Skepta, I also find incredible not only from a music standpoint but creatively. And I’m also really into @exotic.cancer on Instagram too!
What’s something or things that you’re obsessed with right now? Really into Vivienne Westwood, I don’t love the clothes but if you listen to her talk she has some incredible things to say. Her main concern is climate change and how serious it actually is. I already knew that but the way she breaks it down, it makes you understand the urgency of it all.
What’s are you working on now that’s exciting you? As Beyonce said, “I just might be the next black Bill Gates in the making”… So yeah that’s going to be pretty exciting. I’m envisioning my global film, content empire that I want to create and manifesting the tools I need to make it happen.
Instagram handle: @philipjvo.ai
What creative work do you do? Fashion design and digital design.
How did you get your first start? It started by looking up to my sister, Isabelle, she used to go to art class when I was like six and i loved watching her create. My own creative journey began in high school. I used a cracked version of Adobe Illustrator to slang art.
What’s the best part of what you do? The freedom of expression and using social media to help the youth who doubt themselves.
What’s the hardest part? The hardest part is definitely the shit sleep from juggling a day job and full time design. But I enjoy what I do, which makes it worth it in the long run.
If you could change something about the creative scene right now, what would it be and why? I understand that Melbourne’s a very creative city but I would like to see more collaborative work and events that push young creatives to link up together. Melbourne has so much potential but I feel as though there’s a huge void in terms of coming together.
What other creatives do you look up to? Vivienne Westwood and the whole UK scene in the ‘70s and ‘80s. Jamie Reid, Malcolm McLaren, and Westwood all played a crucial role in terms of my inspiration. I love the political messages and the anti-authority their work presents.
What’s something or things that you’re obsessed with right now? I’m obsessed with Frankenstein at the moment, I love the whole psychological element of the 1931 film. It propels experimentation, detriment, sorrow, and beauty—themes I want to explore within my own work.
What’s are you working on now that’s exciting you? I just released my website and first body of ongoing work. It was released exactly 200 years, two months, and 20 days after the modern prometheus (Frankenstein) was first published. I want my work to suggest that things are not always what they seem—if you look hard enough you will always find another interpretation. That’s why I preach New Riot.
Instagram handle: @docg_
What creative work do you do? Design, illustrate, photography, paint, murals, model, and stylist. I’m not any of them, these are just outputs of what I’m feeling. I’m just attempting to create something each day, that eventually evolves—building its own expression and style.
How did you get your first start? I was around it as a young teen, had an older homie (@digablegoods) teach me the ropes and inspire me of the idea of the creative ways of the force. So during high school I gradually did things.
What’s the best part of what you do? I get to do what I love everyday.
What’s the hardest part? The disrespect of people who have no clue of what we do as creatives—our body of work is more than just an “opportunity”. Value your work and your own vision.
If you could change something about the creative scene right now, what would it be and why? Just spread love.
What other creatives do you look up to? Peter Schuller, you’ve probably never heard of this dude or maybe you have, but he was my art teacher from high school. Most people have never seen the hundreds of finished pieces at his home studio. Man’s never been in art exhibition, but saw and experienced the pure joy genuine act of creating via this genius. He taught me a lot about life and pushed me to pursue creativity.
What’s something or things that you’re obsessed with right now? Bahn mi and Vietnamese iced coffee are literally two things I could have everyday for the rest of my life. It’s something i grew up on in the west when my parents would take us to the markets on the weekend. And watching cartoons is my jam.
What are you working on now that’s exciting you? My projects are unique—that’s what makes everyday and everything I work on exciting. At the moment collaborating with my beautiful partner (Aki Yaguchi), scheming with the tribe of Judah. And also producing an event in Tokyo with the crew @montanasa_.