Justina Maku: Artist: Melbourne

It’s liberating putting your work out there and being so vulnerable knowing people will either love it or hate it.

First and foremost Maku’s real name is Justina Makurata Bisset but her nickname has been Maku since she can remember. She has been passionate about art all her life but never took it seriously until late 2013 when Rusty approached her to buy a piece of artwork that loved of hers. That kickstarted her work and today, she is still trucking along as a freelance illustrative artist. She loves what she does and plans to continue doing it for a long time.

Name: Justina Maku Bisset aka Maku
Occupation: Artist
Hometown: Devonport
Current Location: Melbourne
When I was a kid I wanted to be…either an Actress or a Singer.

My earliest, fondest memory is… hiding in the tyre swings at lunchtime in kindergarten so that I didn’t have to go inside.

The studies I took to get where I am…I chose to do a Bachelor of Education over a Bachelor of Fine Arts because at the time it felt like the right move for me, I spent most of the time doodling all over my resource books, assignments. Once I finished that I started teaching in a Montessori school and I did that for 6 years and genuinely loved it and I think I always will, I used to draw new resources for the Kids and do face painting in school holidays so Art was always there. Then I moved to Melbourne and decided to do something for me and I started taking Art more seriously. I painted and drew every night until I really felt like I had a style that was me and took a good couple of years, but I don’t regret my path at all and I am proud to say that I am self-taught!

I’m most creative when…I have a clean workspace and loud music.

I choose this career because… I enjoy it, it’s liberating putting your work out there and being so vulnerable knowing people will either love it or hate it. I’m not all sentimental like ‘its my passion’ I just love it, I like that I lose my mind when I paint I don’t have any of my usual stresses or worries.

The tools I can’t live without…Posca pens, watercolour paint, brushes, pencils.
I’m most passionate about…I actually have a crap tonne of passions. hard to pick which one means more than the others. I am passionate about education for young children, I am passionate about animals being treated right, I’m passionate about food and about people being able to be who they want.

I’m inspired by… ah. this question is so hard. ummm I don’t know, I kind of just think of things I don’t know that they are necessarily related to anything specific. I guess seeing other artists living the dream motivates me and inspires me.

I’m currently reading… The Walking Dead Comics

The website I hang out on the most… Facebook probably.

I’m currently listening to…Anderson Paak, Marc E. Bassey, Vince Staples, Bas

The last film I watched was… Point Break (the original)

Travel is… life

My travel essentials are…phone, clothes, pen

One thing I would like to do but haven’t got around to it yet…skydiving

The challenges of being a creative…talking to non-creatives about being creative.

The highlights over the past 12 months have been…working for Dakine for sure, getting on the cover of Stolen and my Solo show in New Zealand.

The advice I have to share for those who want to follow in my footsteps… you need thick skin and patience, art is subjective and try to remember that and be proud of your work that’s what people resonate with – confidence in your own work. Use social media, it’s an incredible tool for promoting your work.

Do What You Want… www.stolenpublications.com

Website / Facebook / Instagram / Snapchat makujackson

Photographer: Tom Terlaak