George McCubbin aka. Goodnight Thief Interview

George McCubbin is a Melbourne based artist who has recently quit his job at a top-tier law firm in order to paint. His style is ‘street art’ inspired. His works are large and created with his mediums of choice; spray paint and acrylic paint. Along side his original works for sale he paints by commission as well as mural work. George sells his work on bluethumb and this week has answered our questions…

What makes you want to create art/what inspires you?

There’s this quote from Dostoyevsky, that Beauty will save the world.  Art, to me, should be beautiful – it should act like a great movie or song, pure emotional escapism.  I want art to make me feel something – sorrow, sadness, happiness, and, most of all, wonder.  To borrow from Dead Poets Society, The human race is filled with passion.  And medicine, law, business, engineering, these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life.  But poetry, beauty, romance, love, these are what we stay alive for.  My day-time job is a lawyer, so art provides an important escape.

What’s your favourite medium to work with? Why?

I like to experiment with new media and techniques (my studio is full of random things that I find at Bunnings!).  Because I tend to paint in a pop art style, I always return to acrylics and spray paint to get those flat blocks of colour.

Do you like to take on commission work, or mainly paint what you like/feel at the time?

Lately my paintings have predominantly been commissioned – I’ve taken a sabbatical off work, so commissions ensure a steady income.  But, at the same time, I’m filling book after book with ideas for personal projects and I can’t wait to get started on them.

What are 3 pieces of art from any artists that have an influence on you and your work? 

I’m most influenced by pop art, impressionism, and street art.  I like the huge scale that street art allows and the colours and forms in pop art and impressionism.  I find the works of Conor Harrington so inspiring, because of his ability to mix traditional painting techniques with street art.


Whaam! (1963) – Roy Lichtenstein (Tate collection)


Self-Portrait (1889) – van Gogh (Musée d’Orsay collection)


The Savages (2013) – Conor Harrington (private collection)


Do you collect art, if so what’s your favourite piece? can you show us?

Unfortunately I move around so much that my art collection has dwindled over time. I used to be a regular at all the design markets, picking up pieces. Now I tend just to cut and paste magazine clippings into massive collages for inspiration.

Who is your favourite Australian Artist and why?

Some of my favourite Aussies include Rone, David Bromley, and Anya Brock.

We’d love it if you could share any photos with us to post with your Q&A. Any current W.I.P shots or shots of your studio/workplace would be interesting 🙂

I’ve been moving up and down the east coast of Australia for the past few months, so this is my incredibly messy pop-up studio.

Goodnight Thief - studio shot 1Goodnight Thief - studio shot 2

All of my works in progress are posted on Instagram (@Goodnight_Thief) and images of works at



2014 Bluethumb Year in Review

One Comment

  1. Are you a relative of the artist Frederck McCubbin? says:

    If so, we are related (my mother’s cousins were McCubbins in Ararat), I’m also an artist.


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