Rone at the Omega project
Words and photos: Manuela Millan
I was lucky enough to sit down with Rone on the last day of the Omega Project in Alphington where he has collaborated with Carly Spooner and others to transform a derelict home into a public art installation as part of the YarraBend re-development.
With more than 7000 visitors over nine days and coverage on local and international media, Rone has been amazed by the response to his work.
Rone was introduced to the Melbourne street art scene in about 2001 and began putting up stencils around skate spots in the city.
I was really into skateboarding and all of that culture. I moved to Melbourne to study arts and graphic design and I saw a lot of the stencil art that was happening in the city at that time and I just fell in love with it.
He made friends in the street art community and continued to paint and hone his craft over the following years. He did it for the joy of it and never expected the success that he has now achieved.
He now travels the world making a living from his art, and has produced work in Tokyo, Amsterdam, Munich and others, including a 13 storey work in Gothenburg Sweden last year.
MM:What has been your best experience so far?
R:The best experience was when I painted in Vanuatu with some friends. We went to a small village, and after working on their wall for two days all the villagers came out and were watching us paint. The community leaders made us stand in a line and one made a speech thanking us. He came and shook our hands and he made everyone else in the village come and shake our hands too. That was incredible.
MM:How important is social media for you?
R: About a 7, but my mailing list is a 10. If you told me I had to delete my Instragram or my mailing list I would delete my Instagram first. Facebook can change an algorithm and then not everyone gets to see your work - that's why it's a 7.
MM: Where do you get your coffee?
R: 7-11. It's a quarter of the price but it's not half as bad. I do appreciate good coffee though, Alimentari is outside my studio and the coffee there is fantastic.
MM: And food?
R:There's a fantastic place on Smith Street, a Japanese supermarket/deli called Hinoki - I love it, I eat there a lot. My friends have a deli and restaurant called Smith and Daughters which is also great.
MM: What does your typical Sunday look like?
Because I work for myself I'm kind of working every day, but on Sunday I sleep in a bit, grab a coffee in the morning, get breakfast, hang out with friends and maybe go to the pub in the afternoon.