ALTD Diaries #003
This month, the ALTD team had a chat with Joel Moore AKA Mulga the Artist, a Sydney based artist, freelance illustrator and poet who paints murals, designs t-shirts and runs the Mulga brand. Mulga tells ALTD how he has never had a drink in his life, and nor has his Dad, and what it was like growing up in a country that places alcohol at the centre of its culture...he also explains that he doesn't like cucumber but he does like tzatziki....OK
Please tell us a bit about your work & what you do
I’m an art dude and I like to paint summer inspired characters and scenes focusing on animals, bearded dudes, fruits with moustaches and other good stuff like that. I paint a lot of murals, collaborate with brands and also design and sell my own range of merch.
What are you working on at the moment?
I just finished a long run of murals and have recently finished putting designs together for collabs with a few brands coming out next year. Some collaborations have just been released with Maxwell and Williams and Havaianas which is exciting. I also recently opened a pop-up shop at Westfield Miranda which we open every Christmas, it will be open till 19 January 2020. I also have a small team working on taking my art to Japan, China and Korea. Lots going on.
Is it true you have never had an alcoholic drink, ever? (awesome by the way)
It’s a true story.
Can tell us a bit about why that has come to be?
My Dad said his Dad said to him that if you never drink then you’ll never become an alcoholic. There must have been someone in my Grand Pappie’s life who had problems with the drink. Anyhow, my old man has never had a drink (while I’ve been alive anyway) and I thought that was pretty cool so I decided to follow suit. It’s funny because at a party it seems like he’s had the most drinks but he’s just a lunatic and is high on life.
What was it like growing up in Australia, surrounded by mates presumably that were drinking, and probably encouraging you to drink?
I remember in Year 8 or 9 at lunch time at school all my mates would talk about was how they were going to get grog or what they drunk on the weekend, it was super boring. Sometimes it was pretty annoying especially when an event is based around drinking. I can tell you that fridge to fridges or bucks party pub crawls were pretty boring when not drinking and going to the pub is not appealing also. Having to drive my buddies around on nights out got old as well. Going to some kind of event where the drinks are included sucks as well, I get to pay for everyone else to get on it. Not cool. Our culture is heavily based around drinking and not drinking you do get left out but what can you do.
Aa far as peer pressure went when I was younger I liked being different and had no problems saying no. My mates were constantly were trying to get me to have a drink but it was never a temptation, I hated the thought of being pressured to do something you don’t want to do. I just won’t do it. I remember I was at a party once and a friend was trying really trying hard to get me to have a sip of his beer I wouldn't do it so he asked if I would dip my pinky finger in. I did that to shut him up.
Does your not drinking surprise people?
It does every time, most people don't know anyone who has never had a drink, it’s just the weirdest thing to them. When I get pulled over for a RBT I never answer the question ‘’Have you had a drink tonight’ with ‘I’ve never had a drink’ because they never believe you.
On Friday night your go-to drink is a.. Diet Ginger beer.
Favourite alcohol-free drink?
Share something that most people don't know about you
I don’t like cucumber but I do like tzatziki.
You have and are working with amazing brands. Do you have a Favourite collaboration? What makes for a great brand collaboration?
Yes, I’ve been very lucky to work with some cool brands. Making some art for Slurpee cups was really cool and in some 7/11’s my art is wrapped on the slurpee machines or printed on the windows of the shop. That collaboration has been the biggest in terms of reach and awareness. When it first came out when I would go to 7/11s and I was a bit excited I’d say to the shop dude that I did that slurpee art but they didn't believe me.
The last track played on Spotify or heard on the radio was?
Heartbeats by the knife. I have a Spotify playlist called Mulga’s favourite songs which has some crackers.
Anything else you want to say?
Thanks for the chat and keep up the good work, your drinks are delish.