About Wayne Harrison
First place winner of Automotive category
I first started airbrushing in 1978, by trial and error and self-taught. I feel this is when I feel in love with this form of art.
I started airbrushing Panel vans. During this time I felt my work improving, gaining the knowledge & skills needed to move forward, I did this for many years during the van days. My work winning many awards at car shows.
Then in the late 80’s I found my way to the sign industry, as there was no digital print machines then, I airbrushed 1,000’s of billboards for around Australia. Many as big as 60m long and 15m high and also Including buses in full pictorials.
This is when I won Airstorm 95 in Atlanta, for a bus I had done. I was honoured there to meet my American colleagues.
In 1993 I started Advanced Airbrush. We were so inspired by Airstorm and the friendship and support of artist for each other, we chose to do one here. We called it just the Airbrush Expo, as airbrush was not as well known here and that was a challenge in itself. Running our first one at Rootyhill in NSW in 1998. That year we also started and formed the first Australian Airbrush Association. Both of these events kept running for years, I bowed out as president after a few years as my business commitments grew.
In the late 90’s I picked up the contract of Airbrushing every Virgin Maiden on all aircrafts in Australia the “Virgin Maiden” They were each hand painted, all 136 aircrafts as well as repairs.
I also airbrushed the tail wing on the Air Asia aircraft in Singapore. During this time I was well recognised and winning several Business awards, and multiple awards for my work. & art. One of the awards was “Business Man of the Year” “Penrith”NSW.
I also was involved in the sponsors buses for the Sydney Olympics in 2000.
2012 saw a new venture, we were involved in a New TV reality show “Flesh Air”. This was based around my love for car & bike art and love for body painting. This show not only aired in Australia but has sold around the world.
I am honoured that still today the Panel Vans that started my career, I have just won this Automotive art with. The last Van Nationals was held here in March this year and all 3 Mural awards, the vans I all Airbrushed and where all my work.
Also just last week I was again, guest artist on the local P & 0 Cruise ship. I did an airbrush demonstration in the large atrium for 2 hours and in the afternoon put on a mini airbrush workshops for 2 hours. This was done everyday we were at sea.
Never stop learning, share ideas and grow. Airbrush is my business and my hobby.
1. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself, what is your background? When did you start airbrushing and what was the learning process like for you?
I started airbrushing in the mid-seventies and I am self-taught. I worked mainly in the commercial industry, airbrushing billboards as digital print was not available. The first vehicles I airbrushed in the 70's were panel vans, which I still do today. A well-known airbrush artist then who gave me a lot of support was Frank Lee, well-known in the industry in Australia.
"I worked mainly in the commercial industry, airbrushing billboards as digital print was not available"
2. Can you tell us a bit more about your winning entry piece? How / why did you choose it? How long did it take, and what inspired you?
I chose Steam Punk for the subject as I love the theme, and it gives me a large scope for creativity. The name of the van was "timeless," which I felt just fitted this theme. The vehicle was produced over 7 months, I did this as a back project as I wanted to make a statement with it. My client was extremely forgiving to the time frame and allowed me the time to feel and be inspired to the project.
3. What does airbrushing mean to you and what drives your passion for airbrushing and creating art? Also, how do you find the ideas for your other works?
Airbrushing is my life, it‘s my business of over 30years "Advanced Airbrush" and is also my hobby, weekends I work on private projects including artwork around my home. What drives me is seeing other artists work, I have never stopped learning and enjoy seeing other artists as they always have something special and different.
4. What are your goals / targets for airbrushing? What do you want to achieve?
I just wish to keep painting for many more years, I hope my art inspires other artists. My next goal is to improve my computer skills so I can help and teach others through the internet.
5. Do you specialize or prefer to work on a specific surface?
I love all surfaces, as they all have their own challenges. To be able to paint on any surface I feel makes you a complete artist.
"My preference would be automotive, as I get to watch my art driving around."
Close second is body painting.
6. How would you describe your style(s) in airbrushing?
I am a freehand, old school application artist and I also use modern techniques for modern application.
7. Any advice to beginners looking to start airbrushing?
I would recommend to first practice freehand and get good at gun control. Paint things that fit your current ability and increase the difficulty as you improve. Be self-critical but not self-destructive. But mostly paint regularly and enjoy.
"Be self-critical but not self-destructive."
8. Do you have a website or blog? How can people reach you on social media?