Tim comes to Surly from St. Paul via Sydney, Australia. You know, the traditional journey that everyone takes.
He’s creating label art for our 2019 Darkness line–the OG, the barrel-aged, and any variants. The art will be featured on bottles, posters, shirts, and at our annual Darkness Day celebration. It’s a full-fledged, paid gig, and Tim joins local art luminaries Brandon Holt, Erica Williams, Josh “JAWSH” Lemke, Brent Schoonover, Michael Berglund, Aesthetic Apparatus, DWITT, Nic Skrade, Adam Martin, Adam Turman, Adam Sward and Michael Iver Jacobsen as a Darkness storyteller.
We talked to him about how he got here, how he’s handling Minnesota winters, and the state of the craft beer scene in his native land.
How did you end up here? I met my beautiful wife, Anna, in Sydney four years ago. She’s a St. Paul girl who moved to Beijing for work for a few years, then work took her to Sydney. After a long time away, we decided it was time to buy a house and be near family here. I braved my first full winter in Minnesota this year and still love it, so I expect we will be here for many years to come.
What is your background as an artist? How did you get your start? My background is in marketing. I’ve always loved to draw, but never studied art. I was working in an office and was asked by the marketing team if I could draw some pictures for a instructional guide they were putting together. I did a few more drawings here and there and one day was invited to join the team as a graphic designer. Now, I can’t imagine making a living doing anything but art and design.
What are some other projects you’ve worked on? When I moved Minnesota and left my company of 18 years (dating myself, I know), I decided to throw my efforts 100% at art. It’s been less than a year, so I’m still focusing on creating and expanding my portfolio. Apart from marketing work and art I have created for myself, Darkness is my biggest project.
Do you have any artistic influences? Way too many to name them all. The first one I can think of is Jim Lee. I loved his comic books as a kid and tried to draw like him. As I got older, tattoo art was a huge influence. One of my favorites is Claudia De Sabe. I also follow a lot of amazing (and lesser known) Japanese tattoo artists. I’ve made a few trips out there for my own tattoos. I love the classical paintings of John William Waterhouse. Instagram has been an amazing tool for finding new art and artists. My current passion is the work of Jillian Evelyn.
What is your favorite Surly beer? Has to be Furious. IPAs really haven’t taken off in Australia and it was my wife that got me hooked. My first Furious was actually in Sydney. Anna had just returned from the States and she wanted to bring a true taste of Minnesota back and that was it. Haven’t stopped drinking it since! We still bring Furious and Axe Man back to Sydney when visiting my family. It only sometimes explodes in our suitcase.