Jack Miers and Josh Brown are both graphic designers and illustrators in their own right, though their decision to join forces has allowed them to combine their artistic talents and take on large-scale projects, both here on the Peninsula and further afield. The duo specializes in mural work; designing and illustrating all of their concepts before executing the paint. If you’ve walked into local jaunts like Bass Surfboards or Jetty Road Brewery – you may have noticed their floor-to-ceiling artworks adorning the walls.
Their collective style is quintessentially coastal – creative, light-hearted and laid-back. Having grown up on the Peninsula, the pair are deeply connected to the small business community and enjoy working with like-minded creatives to help bring their visions to life. A tour of their local commissions could also serve as a Peninsula food and wine trail – with sprawling artworks at Mornington Peninsula Brewery, Ten Sixty One Cider, Commonfolk Coffee, The Heritage Balnarring, The Somers General and the aforementioned Jetty Road.
Jack and Josh sat down with us (virtually) to talk about all things creativity and design.
Firstly, tell us a little bit about yourselves!
Jack: I loved drawing from a young age, which led to studying Graphic Design at Uni. Whilst studying, I was also working as a Carpenter. It was great to be working outside and with my hands – as opposed to being on a laptop every day. After Uni I found myself getting into freelance jobs quite easily. I loved the freedom of working my own hours and being able to work and travel at the same time; that’s really what led me to focus on the graphic design side of things. Whilst travelling overseas I started doing wall murals in hostels and bars for fun, which then sparked some interest when I returned home. As Josh had been doing murals on the side of his graphic design work, we naturally teamed up and began illustrating and designing mural projects together.
Josh: I’ve been working as a freelance graphic designer and illustrator for the past 10 years and before teaming up with Jack, I dabbled in some mural work on the side too. I started my career working as a graphic designer within a few different marketing agencies, before moving to Sydney and working in the surf and fashion industry as a graphic artist and clothing designer. After a few years up north, I moved back to the Ninch to pursue freelance design and illustration full-time. Nowadays, aside from our mural work, I run a small independent clothing label called ‘The Snake Hole’ and a creative co-working space called ‘The Nook Gallery & Studios’, located in the Mornington Industrial Estate.
Tell us about Jack and Josh, and what services you offer for your clients?
Our service covers full creative direction, not limited to just mural artwork, but the entire creative process from start to finish – including idea generation, illustration, concept design and social media content. We work closely with our clients, ensuring that we create artwork that represents their brand's personality in a bold and impactful way.
Why did you decide to team up and work together?
Having worked by ourselves for many years, the appeal of working together as a collaborative team was much more fun and exciting than doing jobs solo. We love being able to bounce ideas off each other which then, in turn, leads to a more refined final outcome.
How did murals become the focus of your collective work?
It was a natural progression for us, having both previously worked as freelance illustrators, we were naturally drawn to mural work as an extension of our illustration and design. Many of our clients are cafes and breweries so a lot of the time they would be looking to feature some of the illustrations we had been creating within their venues. We both share a similar style of illustration and design, so it was a really good fit right from the start.
What’s been one of your biggest achievements so far?
One of the major catalysts in launching our business was our work with 'Furphy Beer'. Some of the highlights were designing their limited edition cartons and cans, painting a wall mural in the birdcage of the Melbourne Cup carnival and rolling out a series of murals throughout suburbs of Victoria showcasing the local communities. The work for Furphy led to other exciting projects such as working with ANZ at the Australian Open, showroom murals at Toyota and office murals at AAMI Park for Melbourne Storm.
What are some of the challenges that you've faced as small business owners?
Our biggest challenge is always the weather! We've been rained out so many times. We had one particular mural which we had to repaint twice throughout the process because the rain just washed all the paint away as we were working. It wasn’t all bad though, we were painting on the side of a pub so it was a good excuse to thaw out by the fire with a cold beer!
What do you both love about living and working on the Peninsula?
We’ve both grown up on the Peninsula our whole lives so have developed a real love for it down here. The surf here is a big factor for our love of the Peninsula as well as all the great people that make up the Ninch too. It’s such a beautiful place to live year-round, even if it does get a bit cold in the winter! It’s super exciting to see how much the creative community has grown too, it’s great to see so many young creatives starting local businesses and killing it. There really weren’t many options for work when we were growing up, which meant a lot of young creatives were leaving the Peninsula and living in the city to be closer to work. It’s pretty rad to see that mentality has shifted, there’s more opportunity for creative career paths and our community is thriving because of it.