This couple started out as creative innocents, doing street portraits together, painting their friends on massive sheets of paper and pasting them up around the inner west. Then they got to thinking about a business venture they could do together and both enjoy. Building on strengths and using differences to their advantage, “The ART of WALL” is one mural company making BIG impressions.
Leia Sidery (Lil) is an illustrator and designer and Tobi Gambling a scenic artist. When you put those diverse skills together there’s an endless pool of exciting possibilities and so came to life “The Art of Wall”.
For a newer bizz, where they also squeezed in the baby-making process, The ART of WALL has completed some pretty damn fine projects. The unique skill set of this partnership is definitely a strong base to start any project. Tobi has worked in the film industry for almost 13 years, in the scenic department. She admits sometime’s the sheer amount of work affects the ‘buzz’, but every job is really different and still exciting due to constant learning that occurs.
One job might be loads of marble, one woodgraining or a massive bomb site, slick finishes and crumbling rotting finishes, it all depends.
Tobi has always been craft kid and liked drawing and making things. Lil has similarly loved making art since… forever. Her whole childhood was spent drawing and her first commercial venture as an artist was in high school.
My best buddy used to sell my Stimpy drawings so we could buy food at the canteen.
During her early twenties Lil got heavily into street art, started a crew called ACD PNX with a friend. They made posters, stickers and stencils n things. Lil later got into the LoBrow art style and painted a series of darkly themed childrens-books inspired by oil on canvases. Currently Lil’s day job is making websites, logos and illustrating for other people, which she enjoys, but if she could Lil would paint, make music and hang with her family all day every day.
Despite the massive tool kit they bring to any job, The Art of Wall has been susceptible to it’s own particular challenges. While Tobi gets really excited by big walls, all the while knowing the most simple design can be so striking and dramatic due to it’s sheer size alone, Lil get’s a bit nervous. Most of Lil’s work is small and that’s what she’s used to. In contrast Tobi is so used to working large scale that small canvasses freak her out. Fortunately there is balance and strength in their difference.
The only challenge we have really (aside from painting things we don’t love), is just getting our head around how we are going to pull off each job. Every job is different so you always need to sit down and have a good ol’ meeting about how your going to get it done, make sure your on the same page and stuff.
The ART of WALL are as committed to their client’s needs as they are to creativity itself. They always sit down and discuss the piece with the client before they start designing to figure out what styles they like, colours, vibes, finishes etc. and if there’s anything the client definitely wants featured in the piece. Lil’s an amazing designer and illustrator so her ability to get things down from paper to computer and make magic is really impressive. Tobi confesses she is more like the brute, and knows finishes and effects and is pretty skilled at getting the paint on the wall.
Some clients say ‘go for it’ others are very particular, in fact the only piece that was completely up to us was the cactoblastis mexican restaurant mural, which I gotta say was the most fun so far.
As with all creatives there’s a secret fantasy project being harboured! For Tobi, she’s been dreaming about doing nursery rhyme characters all over the city, or the inner west…or both. Like little jack horner two storeys high poking his head around the side of a building for example and she’d like to complete a series of them. Tobi complains, accurately, that Sydney’s so uptight, especially when it comes to art on the streets, and they’d never get permission. So I guess it’s no surprise that another dream for this talented team is a move to Berlin for 6 months or a year to work with some local artists on a project.
Berlin is such an art hub and so many buildings are giant canvasses it’s really exciting and inspiring…..we want a go on that!
In the meantime if you want The Art of Wall to have go on your big blank canvas at home/office/cafe/bizz jump on their website to make contact: