GRAFFITI ARTIST CHUCK MAYFIELD
Chuck Mayfield is a professional graffiti artist, who has a successful painting company, Mayfield Palace, in Brisbane Australia. He has travelled to many countries around the world to experience new cultures, and collect inspiration for his lifelong creative journey and passion for livening up walls with his fantastic art. While historically, graffiti was considered simple vandalism, nowadays, it has become a way to regenerate dilapidated city areas, and as a means to brighten up businesses with intricately sprayed decorations. The art itself has evolved from “tagging walls” with initials and slogans, to something entirely more complex and beautiful, featuring 3D designs and amazing levels of detail.
Having first visited Nha Trang nearly 2 years ago, Chuck offered to paint the laneway beside Color Waves Gallery on Nguyen Thien Thuat, and added some beautiful fish graffiti to the previously run-down wall area. Back again on his 2nd visit to the city, he once more wanted to leave his mark, and was in search of a wall or two to spruce up.
Discover Nha Trang was only too happy to put him in touch with LivinCollective and Skylight Nha Trang; both companies are great supporters of artists and were eager to let him provide his talents at their businesses. When he paints on his travels, he tries to make his work a reflection of the place and culture he’s in and so he came up with 2 very different concepts for both locations.
Can you please tell us some of your ideas about the paintings that you worked on at LIVIN Collective and Skylight Nha Trang?
– At LIVIN collective I wanted to give the space a burst of colour, and create an illusion of depth, so it feels like you are looking out the window to a view. This wall is like my personal reflection of Nha Trang. The graffiti is combined with natural botanical textures and flowers native to the area, framing an ocean sunset – Nha Trang being right on the coast. The team at LIVIN are doing great work to support creative culture and art in this city, so I also wanted to depict abundance, growth and beauty. A fertile garden of creativity.
– At Skylight, the restaurant is full of plants, the walls are glass, the view is breathtaking (and the food is amazing!) it’s like a greenhouse in the sky. Something about the place seemed kind of powerful to me, so I wanted the piece to expose something powerful underneath, emerging through the surface. Again I used graffiti painted in a botanic style, breaking out of the existing green wall with obvious motion, scattering leaves in its wake. There is a slight reference to a dragon, with a small flame leading the way, though the piece in not necessarily meant to depict a dragon, but more a powerful force.
I wanted to tie these two walls together somehow, making them both an expression of this particular trip.
DNT: There are so many different places in Nha Trang that you can leave your trace of art, why did you choose LIVIN and Skylight?
Chuck: When I travel I will talk to people I meet from the area about what I do, and explain that I would like to paint local walls. In this case, I was talking to the right guy who connected me with the fantastic people behind these locations. They offered me the support and creative freedom to paint their space, which is quite valuable in my line of work. Aside from that, they are a couple of the best spots to check out in Nha Trang – great locations for my artwork to be seen and hopefully enjoyed.
DNT: What are the motivations that help you to keep going and make art central to your life?
Chuck: When you spend your time doing something (such as art) you are choosing not to do everything else. So while I spent so many younger years pursuing painting, I could have been gaining qualifications which led to a more certain income, or ‘stable’ life. I wouldn’t say I’ve paid a price for being an artist because art itself is its own wealth. If I have paid a cost it’s been the many years spent in jobs that made me unhappy, and trying to do art on the side.
I’m mostly motivated by the day to day experiences I have on this journey. I go to new places all the time and meet new people. I get to ponder and reflect on life, and then put it into my work, and see how people react. I do have to manage my life so I have an income, and can afford to keep doing this, and I work very hard to earn this lifestyle.
DNT: Nowadays, there are so many young people who are so afraid of doing something new or being different, and are afraid to choose art as a career. How do you overcome that?
Chuck: I think I it’s a struggle for most people, some are better than others at ignoring their inner critic and doing what they want. Firstly, the only thing that will make you truly happy is being your true self, so even if it seems impractical or people doubt you, you should do your best to follow your calling. It will also attract the right people into your life, and they will appreciate you. They are the only ones you need around anyway.
DNT: As a person who is has taken a risk in pursuing art as a career, do you have any advice for those who are thinking about it but are uncertain?
Chuck: Be practical about what you do. Learn to earn money from what you love doing. If you can’t earn enough to live at first, do it while you have a part time job until you work out how to.Successful people fail more than anyone, because they keep trying again until they make it. Learn to love failing for its lessons.
DNT: It seems like that your artwork always conveys a connection and communication, is it right?
Chuck: I suppose this common theme throughout my work is about recognizing the beauty and wonder that is right in front of us in day to day life. It is also an encouragement to dream, to exercise the imagination and enjoy its endless possibilities.
Chuck was happy to make a video for us, to see the creative process in action, we have linked it for you here below:
Be sure to check out Chuck’s other work through Mayfield Palace on his INSTAGRAM, or Facebook Page. And, if you would like to see the paintings in person, drop into LivinCollective and Skylight Nha Trang.