You may have seen any number of Shane Walker’s retro, eye-catching works of art scattered throughout the Western Bay of Plenty, or spotted his stall at the Little Big Markets. A rising star in Tauranga, we wanted to know more…
From stunning murals decorating community buildings to characteristic animal prints – Shane’s work is easy to spot and hard to forget.
A full time artist, he uses a range of mediums to paint or draw landscapes, portraits, murals, illustrations and “a bit of quirky stuff”.
But despite an obvious talent – the decision to make a living out of his art was not as clear.
“I’ve always dabbled in the arts, but it is one of those professions that are make or break.
After a laborious work background: mining; bush work; and other random stints of work, Shane was left asking ‘What next?’
“I was back after traveling and on the bones basically, when a friend phoned and asked if I would like to paint a mural. I said yes and one thing led to another.
“That’s when I made the call to dedicate all of my time and mold my hobby into a career. I had an empty work shop at hand and locked myself away.
“It’s been a bit of a rough ride but nothing good comes without a bit of old fashioned hard work and struggle. It is what I love to do; sometimes I dream up an idea and basically spring out of bed to get started on something.”
It’s been 18 months and Shane’s loving every minute. His work involves commission work for clients and council groups and his own personal works when he finds the time.
His murals have turned some of the dullest dwellings – toilet blocks in particular – into key features in places like Waihi Beach and Rotorua.
He also sells his prints at the Little Big Markets and online at www.shanewalkerart.com
Born and raised in Waihi Beach, Shane recently moved to Mount Maunganui. “I love it here – it’s an outdoor recreation park right on the front doorstep, with the ocean, the bush and the city all at hand.”
If we were to ask you…
Who inspires you?
I get a lot of inspiration from nature: the water, native bush, birds, animals, natural lighting. I have a few local heroes Mike Hill and Ben Young. Painters – Tim Wilson, Madsteez, Joel Rea, Rone…the list goes on and on.
Best place to eat in Tauranga?
Burger fuel or Johneys Dumplings mmm!
Favourite place in the world?
The Coromandel stretch, A few favorites up there! Some of which I cant spill.
Number one professional goal for the next 12 months?
To keep developing and progressing in the arts, and to eventually go international.
Best piece of advice you’ve received?