Like every surfer, Luke Kennedy, loves being gifted a big, blank canvas to draw lines on, but for Luke the same creative headspace applies to his art, where he specialises in large-scale mural work. 

Over the past few years, the Maroubra surfer/artist has built an extensive portfolio of work. LK gets a major buzz out of reiventing local, urban settings, but he also takes his act on the road.

Below LK talks about his work and makes it clear he’s still finding time for tubes between projects. Check out more of his work @mynameislk on Insta and mynameislk.com

Note: The Luke Kennedy whose artwork is featured in this article is NOT the Tracks editor. That Luke Kennedy can’t draw or paint to save himself.         

What does it feel like to be given the green light to hit a wall with your art? 
The best feeling in the world. Especially when I have full creative control. I love large-scale painting and the impact it has on the viewer.

LK and the urban tiger. Photo: drewdillaphoto 

Do you think councils and even privately owned dwellings should be more generous with their wall space?  
Of course. Especially in the east –  They need to let go of their boring brown walls. Gentrification gets the best of everyone.
 
Bold, bright colouring and cartoonish figures seems like a focus for you? 
Where does your work take its inspiration from?

The world around me. Too many artists to list. Warhol, Haring, Matisse, Fairey, Reka, Cecster, Klops, Kuma, Tomcat19, All my Friends and New York style graffiti and culture. I have recently been taking inspiration from the natural environment and jungle.

LK bringing life to an otherwise ordinary wall

Can you diversify or do you like to stick to a definitive style?
I think style is most important. To be instantly recognisable. I can diversify but I still try to keep my own perspective.

LK tagging one at Ours
Maroubra, where you grew up, is still a bit of a concrete jungle. Do you think murals can have a positive impact on the psychology of people? 

It definitely brightens up peoples’ day. I think more people painting personally can help their psychological state. People are getting more onboard the murals around Maroubra and it’s great to see all the support. We need more murals on the beach! (hint hint Randwick council)        
 
What does your process involve? Do you draw small and then enlarge or visualize and go straight to the wall? 
I start with a sketch on a piece of paper. It’s then just applying it to a larger scale. The end product is most rewarding seeing your idea come to life. You definitely need to envision it on the wall.

The surfboard always doubles as a canvas. Photo: drewdillaphoto

East coasters might have seen your LK or snail tag around. What’s the buzz you get from having a signature tag that’s spread far and wide? 
Work all night. Wake up famous. What snail tag?

Keep an eye out for the LK signature. Photo: drewdillaphoto

 Is the commercial work starting to happen? 
Yeah, it’s been really good. Years of no sleep is turning its reward.

Freestyling is great but you also have to be able to meet the commercial brief.

 Looks like you are still making plenty of time to pull in?
I’m still getting a few head dips.

LK enjoying a Padang Padang cocoon. Photo: Leoneves 

 Do you take your act international? 
Travelling and painting are like the perfect couple. I can’t do one without the other. When I’m in another country I feel so alive and I have to leave my mark.

LK reinventing a Warung in Indo.

 Are you sick of people thinking you are the Tracks editor?
Can people stop sending me photos of you? It’s creepy.

LK is everywhere