Campbell La Pun’s Tokyo Sea Change

Before embarking on his art career, Campbell La Pun used to work full time in the corporate world, insuring high-rise, high asset value buildings around Melbourne.

Like many artists, Campbell still made time for his creative side even while working a full time job, creating music for TV and short films on the side as well as playing in various bands.

However, in January 2013 he decided to dive headfirst into a whole other passion. “I remember thinking I was going to dedicate the first 4 weeks of the year to painting and see what happened.”

Artist's studio shot.

A progress shot of one of Campbell’s pieces.

Almost five years later, Campbell is living in Japan as a highly successful artist.

“I have always been fascinated by Japanese culture,” says Campbell, “and thought it would be a great experience to live there, so I quit my job and moved [to Japan] in August 2013. My paintings had started selling in Australia so instead of trying to find a job in Japan I focused on painting, and eventually started exhibiting and selling work worldwide.”

Versace Gold

One of Campbell’s famous spray cans, Versace Gold. We’re lucky enough to have a few of these hanging in our office!

Campbell’s fun and glamorous style is instantly recognisable. It’s no surprise his work has found a home with several high-profile celebrities known for those same qualities. “Mel B from Spice Girls has a couple of pieces now and Kylie Jenner has one too.”

Campbell’s unique style stems from his constant curiosity and willingness to explore. “Anything can become a source of inspiration,” he tells us. “I have always loved colours, which is where the Pop Art influence came from, and soon I started combining western and Japanese culture, fashion and street art too. People and conversations also inspire different elements of pieces. Everyone has a different journey and life experience that relates to some kind of imagery.”

Desk A visual representation of the creative process.

The actual process of executing these concepts in Campbell’s signature style is a little less spontaneous.

“Each piece is first designed as stencils that are printed and cut by hand. Generally each colour is a different layer however occasionally multiple colours are painted using one stencil. Each stencil is aligned on a wood panel and painted using spray paint repeating this process until all colours have been painted on top of one another.”

Artist in studio

Campbell hard at work in the studio.

Campbell’s advice to any artists who are stuck in a 9 to 5 lifestyle? “Try not to listen to everyone’s advice, just listen to the few that feel right. One of the few people I listen to recently told me ‘no challenge, no new discovery’.”

Below, take a look at Campbell’s work featured in this ad from Qantas, which tells the story of our whirlwind trip to Tokyo and how we pulled off a successful pop-up exhibition.

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