Luke Okay is a man of many faces and many talents. He designs, draws, paints, sprays, pastes, surfs and skates. Most of which he does better than anyone i’ve come across and he does it all with a smile and an attitude that will see him go further than he already is.
Velvet Sea are very excited with this MEET: and I think you, the reader, will be impressed too. Read on good people, read on…
Depends on the piece but generally i give lead pencils and the poscas a good thrashing
I duno… I take inspiration from a lot of different things. Whatever tunes I have pumping at the time of drawing generally plays some sort of role of the mood or whatever. But artist wise, guys like Meggs, Mike Giant, Roach. Sometimes its even old school like Vincent Van Gough. Then there’s the goobers in the Mambo and La’ Division camps that constantly push me like Brent Smith, Lee Mc and Trait.
Projects and Jobs (present) –
Im kinda scrambling for time now days, getting a bump up in Mambo and taking on the Boys division there is going to take prime seat. I’m also trying to get together my next range for La’, launching our website, and now theres discussions of getting a few art exhibitions happening in the next couple of months. Then there’s always crew throwing me surfboards to scribble on… So pretty much sleeping isn’t an option, but hey I love what I do.
Projects and Jobs (past) –
Hmm geeze, the last few years have been a blur from from one project to the next. I think the main projects have been with my label La’ Division. We’re always jumping from one canvas to the next which is always rad and throwing our fav pieces onto tees and running surf comps and exhibitions. That side project will always be apart of what i do past and present. Being a part of the Go Font Yourself exhibition a couple years ago was a pretty amazing project and put me on the map with the Mambo guys. Another great job was freelancing for General Pants label “Found”.
Role at MAMBO –
My role at Mambo has just changed which is really exciting and big step to where I want my design career to go. Getting my own division (boys) to go mad on and B-spice is giving me a bunch of mens artwork prints and I’m sure i’ll get roped into a few womens designs too. I love mixing it up though and seeing how I can push my work and style into the different genres. Mambo’s a pretty fucking cool company to work for and everyones super close knit with several bro-mances and bro-sister relations going down with everyone, hopefully I also play some sort of role inspiring the crew the same way they do for me.
Tell us a little bit about LA Division. What exactly is it and how did it start?
Started a few years ago when my mate Kane “Trait” Horspool and I would get maggot at the pub and talk art, politics, surf, skate fashion and how theres so much unknown talent in our region for a bunch of sports and arts and wanting to combine all of that talent into some sort of medium and push each other with everything we do.
One day we cleaned out his garage, turned it into a studio. We were meeting up every few days with new art, photos and surf/skate vids that we’d shoot and just really inspiring each other to keep creating. It wasn’t long before we started getting others involved and growing awareness and expanding our crew. We run two surf comps a year, and throw a few art shows here and there and generally just have fun doing what we love. It’s still pretty underground and based out of kanas garage but thats what I love about it.
What are your plans moving forward? Total retail domination hey?
Well the last year Ive had a mate in portugal running LA’ over there, which is a trip to think La’ is in Europe. Its still got the underground, out of the garage, vibe going on over there too. So the plan is, at the moment, to move the production of our apparel over there for financial reasons, and so I can say I run a european fashion house haha (not really).
Hopefully get a few art shows happening over there too which would be epic! And I guess really focusing hard on my Mambo stuff and growing as an artist/designer so i’ll one day have the tools to make La’ a successful label.
You’ve been pumping out some of the best board sprays/designs we’ve seen in, like, forever. Who you done some for and can you pluck one out of the archives that stand out as a fav?
Ha! Cheers man, I think my main idea behind my board sprays is actually doing art on boards rather than the generic sprays that have been around since the 70’s. Ive done that many now that it’s hard to keep track of. But guys like Cheads, Mitch Coleborn, Blake Thornton, Rhys Bombaci, Dean Bowen and all the boys that ride for La’. Probs one of Coleborne’s, a couple of Chead’s boards and Deano’s have been some of my best works id say oh and one my team riders Robbie Goodwin always asks for something interesting…
What’s your take on Bromance? Up for a bit of a bro-down?
Oh man Im such a bro-mancer, I have individual bro-mances with all of my friends. It’s all good though, my friends are my family, they keep me grounded, keep me sane and constantly push me to be a better person so I love giving them my time for bro-dates or whatever. You know I’m up for a bro-down, whenever you want bro haha.
Like your Bro-Friend Brent Smith (who also did a MEET: with us here) you have some nice tatts, whats your best and any more in the pipeline?
Id say my best is my brent smith surf guru guy. Theres always plans for more, its a major work in progress type deal. Im covering myself with all my crews art, every clothing drop i do with La’ i’ll get my fav piece inked. The next one is by So’ke (Soren Kearny) its a sweet looking spaghetti haired girl with poker dot waiferers on.
You’ve been illustrated for a while now, what’s your take on the “tatts r cool” craze that’s getting around at the moment?
Yer I dunno, I used to get pissed off with all the goobers getting ink just cos it’s the new cool thing to do, but i guess I realised theres not much I can do about it and in the end the joke will inevitably be on them when they realise in a few years that it was a fad and now they’re stuck with their bad ugly ink for life.
At the risk of sounding pretentious, tattoos have been something I’ve been fascinated with since I was in primary school, so I’ve done my research and know what looks good and what i’m after and its completely different to what the footy jocks and 12 year old girls get so I’m not worried.
Any last words?