This week we interviewed our friend, fellow studio resident and creative inspiration, The Zookeeper (AKA Joel Fergie). The Zookeeper is a Brisbane based street and fine artist who’s large scale murals look to break the monotonous routines of daily life. Fascinated with nature from a young age, his creative inspiration is drawn from parallels between animals and humans. Zookeepers work looks to create a vessel through nature, to bring positivity and optimism to everyday life. Through metaphor, Zookeeper aims to shine light on the many things that are overshadowed in our society and his heartfelt, emotive and evoking pieces are capturing the attention of creative communities across the nation.

You may recognise Joel from his latest regional silo artworks, his participation in Brisbane’s beloved public art collective, the Brightsiders or his regular features on our instagram.


JOEL, THIS IS THE FIRST SELF PORTRAIT YOU’VE EVER PAINTED, IS THAT RIGHT? Yes, this was the first self portrait I've painted! I've always avoided them because I haven't been a confident portrait painter, but I’ve been working towards changeling myself and am really happy with the outcome!

WHAT’S THE STORY BEHIND THE GLASSES? I I feel like in a way the glasses are framing me and all the other people who wear them, making an artwork in itself. Like looking through a window, it’s like looking past the reflection and exploring yourself, and I think there's a lot in that as a concept. The way I see it is like they’re framing our identity and that's a lot of what I was thinking about when I was painting this piece.

I shot photos of my friends in our new studio, Mayne Line wearing them and was really inspired. When I was painting in the wall, I was noticing all of the intersections in it, like the rendering and different sections that were broken or harder to paint and I was thinking about challenging parts of myself, deconstructing myself and putting that kind of reflective energy into it. The frames of the glasses really open that dialogue up for me … and they look fuckin awesome!

WHAT’S IT LIKE BEING A RESIDENT AT MAYNE LINE STUDIO? I absolutely love having a supportive family of artists around me. There's a unique energy in the space and we all push and challenge each other in really exciting ways, which is something I feel has a lot of love and power behind it.

Myself and DRALP are currently working on a project down in Victoria called Sea Lake, working on 7 large silos. We visited the town in early 2019 and engaged with the community so this will be a celebration. I’m excited to share it!

Mayne Line  Resident Artists

Mayne Line Resident Artists


We caught up with local art angel, Mel Stringer to chat girly facts and the inspiration behind her artwork for upcoming fem first exhibition, Praise You (launching Thursday August 22 at Lightspace, Fortitude Valley). Anyone familiar with Brisbane art who know that Mel Stringer is an absolute veteran. As a women who inspires many with her creations and encourages pride and diversity across all body shapes and sizes, Mel Stringer is an artist we’re absolutely head over heels for.

WHO IS MEL STRINGER? I'm a 32 year old Australian artist based in Missouri.

YOU'VE SEEN INCREDIBLE SUCCESS IN THE LOCAL, NATIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL ART AND DESIGN SCENES FOR SUCH A LONG TIME! HOW DID YOUR CAREER KICK OFF? I have been creative from an early age, having a cartoonist father helped with that. After I finished high school I worked for a year then convinced my parents to let me move to Brisbane to study art. They let me! I started making and distributing zines like Girlie Pains and involving myself in group shows. Livejournal and Deviantart were a great way to meet other likeminded artists, some of whom I've finally met since moving to the US!

HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR STYLE IN ONE SENTENCE? Equal parts sweet and sour, cute and tough curvy girls.

TELL US ABOUT THE ARTWORK YOU CREATED FOR PRIASE YOU. It was inspired from a recent trip to Joshua Tree and other desert-like places in the USA. It's a cute witch hanging out with an armadillo as the sun goes down.

WHAT DOES THIS ARTWORK AND THE CONTEXT OF THE EXHIBITION MEAN TO YOU? I wanted to create something peaceful with a little edge and a little bit of cute while showing off some curves. Also, I spent a lot of time painting it. It went through many transformations. It finally revealed itself to me and I had to stop putting down paint and know it was finished.

YOUR WORK REPRESENTS WHAT WE SEE AS AN ULTIMATE CREATIVE EXPRESSION OF BODY POSITIVITY, SHOWING THE BEAUTY OF PEOPLE ALL SHAPES AND SIZES AS WELL AS THE QUIRKS OF THEIR PERSONALITY THROUGH YOUR CUSTOMISED CHARACTERS! HOW DOES IT FEEL TO CREATE CHARACTERS, AND BE SUCH A POSITIVE ROLE MODEL FOR THE INDUSTRY AND WHAT INSPIRES YOU TO CREATE THIS WAY? First and foremost I create for myself and am inspired by my own body and other body types similar to mine. To know I inspire or encourage people who may look similar is really encouraging. I wanted to create art that I wanted to see in magazine pages and hanging on walls.


mel stringer.jpeg


With impending misfortune looming in the next month's trajectory, we're getting very excited to revel in all that is dark and dreary with an absolute banger of a group show, No Such Luck launching on Friday 13th of October.


We catch up with one of the feature artist's from the show, and a new comer to the gallery walls - Sydney based illustrator / creepy character creator, Mike Watt. 

CC: Tell us about the piece you’re creating for No Such Luck - what’s the story behind it?

MW: I was a massive horror movie nerd when I was younger and Jason from Friday the 13th was my favourite character. When I got the brief all I could think of was Jason, I think he's probably already a sign of bad luck but I covered him with bits of broken mirror just to be sure.

CC: What materials did you use to create it? 

MW: Mostly acrylic on water colour paper, there's a tiny bit of whiteout and biro in there too. 

CC: Are you superstitious, if so - what of? 

MW: I'm not that superstitious, but at the same time I'm really paranoid, so I avoid opening umbrellas inside and every thing I can just in case. 

CC: What should you be afraid of on Friday 13th? 

MW: Jason.

CC: What’s the most unlucky thing that’s ever happened to you?

MW: I think it's really unlucky to drop food. It sucks on so many levels, you loose your meal and then you have to clean up. It's the worst.


Check out the facebook event for more artist interviews, artwork previews and spooky stories in the lead up to Friday 13th!!


The Culprit Club is proud to announce, BUSH FABLES – a solo exhibition of new works by Brisbane-based artist and illustrator, Courtney Brims launching Friday 09 June, 6pm in Winn Lane, Fortitude Valley. 

Inspired by the beauty of the Australian landscape, Courtney Brim's incredible new series of work, promotes appreciation and awareness of our unique biodiversity, while exploring ideas of destruction, displacement, rebirth, and the delicate connectedness of nature.

We catch up with the lovely lady herself to talk through the concepts and ideas of the show, and well as her inspirations and experiences as an artist. 

bushfables courtney brims the culprit club

How would you describe your style in one sentence?

CB: Loaded with tiny details and always a touch of macabre.

What’s the premise behind the Bush Fables show?

CB: The whole idea behind this collection of work was to bring attention to our beautiful endangered wildlife and plant species.

How do Australian fairytales and Picnic at Hanging Rock come together in contrast in your work?

CB: I wanted to mesh together the sweetness of Snugglepot and Cuddlepie with the surrealism of The Magic Pudding and the eeriness of Picnic at Hanging Rock. I feel like the Australian bush has all three of those qualities.

It's the idea of nature being this beautiful, cruel beast that's mysterious and dangerous yet vulnerable and fragile. There's this line from The Witches of Eastwick that says 'nature absorbs all', which kind of sums up my this collection perfectly.

With Picnic at Hanging Rock, I guess, in a slightly disturbing way, I've always liked the idea of these three ethereal girls walking off into the bush and vanishing, like the wilderness just gobbled them up.

In my narratives I'm not necessarily representing humans as the baddie. We're definitely not blameless for the state these species find themselves in and a lot of my pieces touch on the issues of feral predators and land clearing, but I wanted to focus the attention on how wonderful and unique our species are, rather than focusing on the blame.

Whether the bone fragments are humans that have perished because of how they treated the earth, or whether like Miranda and co, they have been absorbed into the bush, I like to keep it fairly open for interpretation.

The vibe of the show really remind us of Fern Gully! It’s like you’re whispering Magi’s words of wisdom! What do you want audiences to take away from seeing the show?

CB: To go home and watch Fern Gully!! Not to take what we have for granted, be a responsible pet owner and familiarise yourself with the awesome work of conservation groups like Bush Heritage, Australian Wildlife Conservancy and Arid Recovery.

How much time do you spend creating each piece?

CB: Anywhere from a few days to a few weeks.

What materials do you use to create them?

CB: I use of combo of Polychromos and Prismacolour pencils on paper.

What's you favourite thing about Australia’s native species and why?

CB: The diversity! Mountains, deserts, beaches, woodlands, reefs, rainforests. It gives us the most amazing biodiversity.

If we were to rummage through your backpack, what would we find?

CB: Crackers. I rarely leave the house without snacks.

What would you be lost without in the world?

CB: I guess it would be really inconvenient if I lost my right hand.

If you could be any native creature / critter, what would you be and why?

CB: A quokka! They seem so damn happy with life!

courtney brims the culprit club brisbane bush fables winn lane
courtney brims bush fables brisbane the culprit club


This week our friend ProCreativ gave the gallery wall some flavour! Completed entirely with brush and acrylics, it's safe to say he went well past the extra mile on this one. Pop into Winn Lane and check it out before out next show in June!

Check back to our last interview with the legend here.


For mural enquiries for your business, contact Steve at

Having spent many years travelling, ProCreativ cut his teeth early in the streets of Brisbane. Now working from his studio at Jugglers Art Space in Fortitude Valley, he spends the bulk of his time working on murals and large-scale projects in the area. With his hunger for new challenges, proficiency in aerosol, brush and digital mediums and 20+ years of experience, ProCreativ splashes dedication and talent through each piece he creates. His style is as commendable as his kind, creative soul. 


As a close friend and extended family to The Culprit Club, it gives us great pleasure to introduce ProCreativ. Having spent many years travelling, he cut his teeth early in the streets of Brisbane. Now working from his studio at Jugglers Art Space in Fortitude Valley, he spends the bulk of his time working on murals and large-scale projects in the area. With his hunger for new challenges, proficiency in aerosol, brush and digital mediums and 20+ years of experience, ProCreativ splashes dedication and talent through each piece he creates. His style is as commendable as his kind, creative soul. 

procreativ the culprit club

How would you describe your style in one sentence? 
Tentacle inspired, funkified movement, with a touch of darkness and a twist of light. 

Tell us about the current piece you have available at The Culprit Club?
“Octoblast”. It’s an exploding octopus. Acrylic on canvas. 

Where did your creative career begin, and how did it progress to where you are now? 
It began with copying my uncles 70s record sleeves as a 10 year old kid, I then discovered illegal graffiti at 13 which blew my mind. Most of my art training was done on the streets during the 90s.. This eventually led me to crave creativity of any kind. I was in a career where I wasn’t happy, so I ended it, and began my art journey. Now I work on mural projects, illustrations, canvases, digital art, hand painted signage and art installation. 

Who are your major creative influences, and why? 
So many and for so many different reasons. Alphonse Mucha and H R Giger had a massive influence on me in my younger days, with the flow and energy in their works. Glen Barr, Anthony Ausgang, AAron Horkey, Hannah Yattah, Onour, Rough, Robert Williams and the list goes on. Old school writers like Merda, Delta, Puzle, Cruel, Dio. They were, and still are, true style innovators. My daughter, just because. My friends and peers who are always pushing forward. They influence my drive. 

What’s the best and worst things about being a Brisbane local artist? 
Best thing: Being part of something that is alive and thriving, with a bright future.  Worst thing: Not enough diversity in artists getting opportunities.... And all that buff. 

Do you find it difficult sourcing paid mural work in the city? 
Sometimes. It depends how hard I go looking for it.

If we were to trawl through your studio, what would we find? 
Paint, works in progress, a sketch book from 1990. My studio is my base but anywhere can become a makeshift work space. 

What’s the future got in store for Procreativ?
A life time of creativity. Keep sharpening the blades. Exciting projects and good times. 

Where can people find more of your work? 
A few random walls around Brisbane, several bars in the valley, Aether Brewing at Milton has my art on all their beers, my lounge room, and I exhibit regularly in group art exhibitions like No Acronym.

@Procreativ and @Procreativ_digital on instagram   /