“First thing in the morning, a fresh coffee, maybe a little doobie if it’s the weekend, some Gregory Isaacs in the sun, sign me up.”
Saul Good’s creative flare kicks hardest in the mornings – a time when the mind is fresh and full of promise. The graphic artist hailing from Sydney/Eora’s Inner West creates vibrant, larger-than-life works that spotlight certain pockets in our culture, including fashion, food and rap steez to rattle off a few.
For as long as Saul can remember he’s learnt by being hands-on and simply having a crack. No spectating whatsoever. “I’d spend hours and hours alone in my room replicating and learning from other artists’ work…just fucking do it, failing and trying again.”
This may sound insular and arduous to some but Saul has always leant into solitude. Like so many other creators, the art form allows him to escape his internal monologue. “It takes me out of my own head, which is really needed sometimes.”
These days, Saul tells me he can’t go more than a few days without drawing or creating, explaining a dreaded emptiness starts to well up inside him. “I feel like I feed off the joy my art brings other people, bringing their ideas to life. I need to keep at it.”
Studying Saul’s work there’s a playfulness and zest to every subject matter he tackles. In one piece, a painter whistles a merry tune as he heads off for a day on the job. In another, a jolly fruit vendor juggles oranges in a commissioned work for Atomic Beer. What’s special is both characters appear genuinely stoked with their situations, evoking a sense of positivity and contentment for the viewer.
It’s not all fun and games though, with some of his art touching on deeper issues of greed and human vices. Linking up with Melbourne/Naarm streetwear brand Judah Tribe, Saul delivers a powerful piece that touches on the poisonous potential of dollar bills. While in a pub still life from 2021, a cigarette burns out beside a schooner, their owner a great mystery.
Another artistic theme that runs through Saul’s work is graffiti. Tag-like typefaces and eye-popping colours abound, similar to those we see sprayed across trains and public facades.
Funnily enough, it was the squeezing of aerosol cans as a teenager that whet his appetite for self-expression in the first place.
“I discovered graffiti at 14 and asked mum to buy me some spray paint from Bunnings, so I could give my BMX “a new paint job.”…One night I snuck out with those tins to do some no doubt horrendous bombing in my neighbourhood.”
Although Saul’s never considered himself a lad, his pieces are littered with odes to the rebellious and anti-establishment subculture – we’re talking Nike TNs, Airmaxes, Northface attire and more. “The music, fashion, sneakers, art and style of lads is something I’ll always resonate with and respect.
I have a feeling this affinity stemmed from that aforementioned night of revelry, telling mum a porky and sneaking out in the dark.
Since that cheeky night, Saul Good has spent years honing his style – one full of spirit, joy and all the colours of the rainbow. Taking in his illustrations is like receiving a compliment from someone you love and respect, you just feel good. For an instant, the toils of the world are forgotten, allowing you to sink into the vitality of his creations.