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The Journey of Jack Of The Dust: Interview with Andy Firth

Welcome to our interview series where we feature talented artists from around the world. Today, we have the pleasure of speaking with Andy Firth, a self-taught Australian artist known for his unique style of using the human skull as his canvas. With clientele like Joe Rogan, Slash, Jason Momoa, Chris Brown and Nikki Tutorials, Andy has gained a significant following on social media and we are excited to learn more about his journey as an artist and the inspiration behind his work.

Tell us a little bit about your background. Were you always an artist? When did you decide to become a sculptor?

Why skulls and why death?

To me, skulls are the ultimate representation of life. They serve as the last remaining piece of the person that once was. It’s fascinating that beneath it all, the bones of humanity remain wildly similar. Funnily enough, I’m not really drawn to death, it’s more so the mystery of life and culture that surrounds that skull I find intriguing.

Which skulls are your favorite

My current flavour of the month is the “Crystal Skull”. It’s a solid cast 11lbs skull made from k9 crystal. It’s moulded from an anatomically correct tarnished human skull and has a few modifications to add extra reflectivity and clarity. It looks and feels like solid glass! When on display, it reflects all the colours of its surrounding area. It’s a very simple yet effective piece and I don’t believe there’s been a skull made to this standard before, so I’m very excited about its release in early 2023.

 Will you ever create products which are not skulls?

For sure! I’ve slowly dipped my toe into exploring other subjects. Like my first full face portraits of Salvador Dali and Andy Warhol. While they’re not hugely different, maybe for me there’s a little comfort knowing that the skull is just beneath the surface.

 What have you learned over the years?

Coming into the art space as an outsider with no formal training has taught me a lot. It’s helped me develop my own style through trial-and-error and self-taught techniques. When you’re working everything out on the fly there’s no such thing as right or wrong, which I believe is the key to true expression. Some people are absolutely in love with my artwork and some people aren’t and that’s okay. I have learned that the most valuable lesson is to stay true to your own vision and not to let others dictate how your art should look.

 Any advice for artists entering the space?

Stay consistent and keep in mind that nothing happens overnight. More than likely your early work won’t be your best, but it does get you started. Push for improvement, walk into unknown territories and explore. It can take years to develop your own style, so patience is a virtue.

Have you ever collaborated with brands before? If not, is that something you are interested in?

Earlier in my career, I had the chance to work on the cover [1] [MR2] for Michael Bay’s pirate drama, ‘Black Sails’ in season 4. Michael used my sculpture titled “The Final Destination” as he felt it embodied the season perfectly. With golden melting hands pulling a skull into the depths of hell, it represented the concept that greed leads only to death. I really enjoyed being a part of that project, and I would love to collaborate with more people in the world of cinema.

 Any VIPs and celebrities who are fans?

Yeah, currently 7 of my skulls sit in the centre stage of Joe Rogan’s podcast table, which I’m still blown away by! Joe had been following my work on social media for years, before he reached out through direct message and ordered 7 or so skulls! I’ve also had Slash, Chris Brown and Jason Momoa order a few pieces over the years too.

What’s next for Jack Of The Dust?

I’m currently exploring wall mounted artwork. Up until now, I’ve mostly focussed on table-top sculptures that can also be displayed on plinths and in wall niches. I’m really excited about this new format – there’s a lot to explore!
All Images Courtesy of Mathew McFerren

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