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No Sleep for Artist Kyle Hughes-Odgers

Kyle Hughes-Odgers is based in Perth, Australia, and uses a wide range of materials to create his art–primarily acrylics, watercolors, and spraypaints in muted, earthy tones. Kyle gained notoriety as a street artist in Australia, and his work has made forays into galleries as well.

Kyle has exhibited fine art throughout Australia, in the U.S and Europe, and his street art and installations have been seen all over Australia, Berlin, Paris, Madrid and New York. Now his dynamic work can be seen on a Poketo t-shirt collaboration, just in time for our new Fall line of brand new shirts!

What do you like about creating street art vs. creating gallery art?

I like street art because it changes how you look at a city, and it offers a platform to make tiny or large-scale work in unexpected places. All the textures from years of paint, rain and sun building up onto a wall or surface are amazing to work with and hard to replicate in a gallery. I like making gallery art for exploring detail, playing with narrative, and story-telling. It is also a great place to showcase specific ideas and images in a more intimate environment.

How did you get started creating street murals? What is it about street art culture that drew you into it?

I started early on because I had no idea how the gallery world ran, and it was such an immediate way of getting an audience for my work. I like the idea of people looking at art rather than advertising as well. I started to meet other like-minded artists, and plans and projects started getting more ambitious and larger in scale.

What are the most common themes and motifs you like to explore in your work?

I really like texture and narrative-based works. I try to make paintings based on my own experiences or stories I have been told or overheard. Shown through characters, buildings, spirits, handmade objects and layers of pattern which build up the melancholy folk world in which my stories are told. For my last solo show, I enjoyed making work around themes of chaos, survival, communication and community.

You are involved in many large-scale projects…is there a size limit for you? What’s your dream mural project?

I hope there isn’t a size limit. Every time I paint something large-scale I always feel inspired to paint something bigger next time. I like painting large-scale projects because it is so different from the works I create in my studio. It’s nice to paint all day using tiny brushes then spend the next week on a scissor-lift or huge ladder painting a building. I would quite like to paint 10 stories or more and maybe an airplane, anything really. If anyone wants a passenger jet painted send me an email, I’m super keen.

Take us on a tour around Perth and tell us about some of your favorite spots.

I live just outside the city. I usually get coffee in the mornings on Beaufort Street, which has lots of café’s, bars, and people. It’s nice and close to my house and studio. William Street is probably my favorite street in Perth. It’s got a good mix of creative businesses, rad independent shops, studios, galleries, graffiti and street art. I’ll always pop into see my mates at Last Chance Studio and The Butcher Shop if I’m strolling past. I also like heading to the coast in summer to cool down when it’s a million degrees.

Could you tell us the story behind your t-shirt design?

Whenever I travel, I get to a point where I feel like I could sleep on anything. Sleeping up a ladder on a table in an unfamiliar city, but still having a nice sleep with interesting dreams. That’s what I based this design around.

To see more of Kyle’s work, swing by

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