We catch up with local Gold Coast Speed Artist Anthony Pieters to find out what inspires his electric dance/drawing performances.
Where are you from?
I am from the Gold Coast, Nerang, born and bred. I’m one of the rare ones.
How old are you?
26 turning 27 in a few weeks
When did you start taking an interest in art?
Probably 5 years old.
Is that when you started as well?
I think so yeah, I was inspired by watching Disney movies. I knew they were drawings, which is what I started doing, I just didn't know how they moved.
What helped to develop your style?
My work is a reflection of how I feel at that present time. It’s a mixture between experiences and the music I’m listening to.
Is all your work paired with music?
I would say so, yes. I work as if I’m a dancer. I do have a bit of a dance background.
Are you classically trained in art or dance or do you freestyle?
Not in dance, but with art I did lessons in my early teens. I think that helped me develop an eye for proportion. And because of that training, unlike other artist, I don't need to use projections or a scale to do larger drawings. I know that the end of the mouth should match the iris…
Are the dance moves choreographed or is each performance of the cuff?
Sometimes yes sometimes no. It depends on the performance really, so I would say a little of both.
How do you choose the music you create to?
If I want to focus on an emotion I choose music that I think will evoke that emotion. Or perhaps lyrically the artist is also speaking about the message I’m trying to portray.
Is it always the same style of music?
I switch it up.
At MLK (where Anthony’s work is on display and for sale) most of your work celebrates pop icons, why?
I started with busking and I wanted to draw people that are recognisable so people take notice. It’s a clear way to showoff my skills.
In terms of speed art however, I won’t do celebrity portraits. I do more abstract portraits.
When you are speed drawing an abstract portrait, is it someone you know?
Not always, I have a lot of images in my mind of people I would like to draw.
I take one and then see if I can choreograph a matching performance. I try to keep in my head what I should have drawn by a certain point in the song in order to complete the performance on time.
Who inspires you?
Michael Jackson is my biggest inspiration. Everything that he did creatively was with excellence. He was ahead of his time. Everything he did was to the highest standard and to the best of his ability. In terms of an entertainer, he knew you had to have multiple things happening to keep your audience captive. It wasn't enough to just stand and sing.
No one can beat it (pun intended?) to this day.
Where can we see your work?
Right now only MLK but I have some shows coming soon
Where can we watch your performances?
I’ve got an upcoming LIVIN performance. It will be an emotional performance focusing on mental illness and substance abuse, and I’ve got a more upbeat pop-up show coming to Cavill Ave, Surfers Paradise with a feel good disco theme.
Where do you hope to see your career going?
To be earning a living from what I do and to be doing what I love everyday. Through my work I would also like to be a voice for people who are oppressed and to wake people up.
My favourite quote is from Banksy. He says ““Art should comfort the disturbed and disturb the comfortable.”.
Do you have a side job, if so, what is it?
Yes, I’m a graphic designer.
Where is your favourite spot to get a coffee?
I’m not saying it to be biased, but I do like MLK.
A good question is where do I end up going? I like Bam Bam, I like here (Cadence Cafe). I actually don't drink much coffee, but I love boba tea from Hazel Tea. I’m addicted.
What is your favourite restaurant?
JFX in Southport. It’s the best and you get more than you pay for!
Where do you like to see art?
Instagram, but on the Gold Coast I like 19 Karen. It’s a cool space!
What is your favourite outdoorsy spot?
I love anywhere on Mount Tamborine, and typical, Burleigh. I don't know if this counts as outdoors, but I love Surfers. I really love Surfers. Kirra and Kingscliffe are really nice too.
For more on Anthony Pieters and to keep up with his coming shows, follow him on Facebook.
By Marleigh Kelly