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For the latest edition of Create Not Destroy [VOL.8], our artist collab, Choose Your Weapon with @nirvana.tropicana, introduces a unisex capsule of graphic tees indulging in the idea of souls being freed by faith yet bound by fear.

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Shrine-like and laden with visual imagery, Nirvana's artwork is a playful rearrangement of spiritual worship and grunge culture printed onto our eco-friendly hemp threads. While we find ourselves fascinated by the aesthetic allure of her works, Nirvana quickly deconstructs our sense of ease by introducing fear of the unknown, the grotesque and the disturbing. While we may feel a sense of disquiet in this Byron-based artists constructions, her ability to render the deepest realms of human sentience with remarkable technical skill and playfulness continues to draw us in. We caught up with Nirvana to get a glimpse into her creative & colourful world of late, as well as debrief on the inspo behind our latest collab.

Talk us through the inspiration behind our latest collab, Choose Your Weapon?

I always draw from themes that I am currently into and bless Afends for rolling with it. My art seems to have an underlying Gothic theme, so that's a given but, I usually incorporate elements from my personal work that I am experimenting with and haven't yet strung together. With this brief, Lucie requested orchids, which I was painting a lot of at the time, and a colour palette of greens, greys, and black. The colour palette reminded me of the cybersphere: a digital world. That's where 'Choose Your Weapon' comes into play. Connecting the dots between my brief, I was inspired to design a video game-like assemblage of images that made it feel like you're creating your own game - the last piece is choosing your weapon. 

When you’re not creating art or being queen of the Afends warehouse, where would we find you?

Luckily for me, I love my job, so you will most likely hear me from the other side of town when I'm working in the warehouse haha. Everything outside of that consists of cooking fancy meals I like to think are healthy, annoying my boyfriend, watching trash reality TV and Alone, sinking piss, regretting sinking piss, social six aside, running errands (always so many errands), walking, and talking with the gals, beach vibes, decaf coffee, socialising with mates, loving my mates, calling my family, online shopping, living in a share house with eight people, listening to Bay FM, reading Marching Powder over the span of 1.5 years, $1.50 oysters at the balcony, watching camping gear reviews on YouTube, spending time in nature, running away from my problems and daydreaming, oh and a tiny bit of art if the stars align.

When you sit down to draw, talk us through your creative process?

Procrastination first and foremost! Followed by some house chores to kill time,  then maybe some baking to squash out the rest of the day. After a couple of naps and snacks, I eventually sit down and close my eyes. I like to see if I have an original untainted vision of what I want the design or painting to look like, sometimes these visions come in dreams or spontaneously when I'm out and about. Then I scroll through my Pinterest and gram for inspo and see if I can mash something up in my brain. I sketch it out on paper, and then the rest is magic, honestly couldn't tell you how it happens. I blackout. If I don't know how to paint something, I will watch tutorials and learn from them. The final result often looks different because the process is a journey and many things influence my ideas on the way.

We've obviously seen you around the office in some amazing outfits, talk us through waking up and styling yourself in your Nirvana steeze!

Haha, love this. Honestly, I wish I could tell you my style is methodically thought out, but I literally wake up at 6 am with my eyes still sealed and take a lucky dip through my wardrobe. Some days are better than others... I guess you could say my style accurately reflects my ever-changing personality: lots of flavours to choose from. I also don't really care, which adds that extra flair and takes my outfit to the next level. I love things that clash and create wearable chaos it's hard to pull that stuff off you know. Unfortunately for yall, if you hate it, then I love it.

What is your must have accessory for any outfit?

Every outfit needs a conversation starter... ladies, gents, and all my non-binary friends out there: this one is for you. You are guaranteed to meet the person or friend of your dreams on an otherwise dull night out if you wear an item that is either incredibly interesting, weird, or super funky. For example, my staple used to be these long black silky gloves that I had bedazzled myself with a hot glue gun. Every time I went out, everyone wanted to know what the hell was going on. Right now, I'm vibing BMX culture, unit fashion, etc... fondly reminds me of my teenagehood. 

If you could be anything in another life, what would you be?

I would be one of those survivalist experts off 'Alone' that live in the wild, are super knowledgable about their environment, and can make cool huts out of trees, or I would be a mountaineer that scales cliff faces all over the world. Both options are still on the cards...

We have heard on the grapevine you are heading off on a road trip, tell us more?

Yes, the rumours are true. This Gemini seeks yet another horizon to feast her eyes on. Change is good, but this time it's a bit harder than it has been before... I move around a lot however found my place in Byron. It's probably the people I have met here that make it so hard to leave, but I know it will always be here - plus, I need to learn how to scale cliff faces and survive in the wild, so I got shit to do. My BF and I are heading off on an open-ended Aus trip in our 4x4 (how original) there'll be lots of art along the way, and daily vlogs, so watch this space. Peace.

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