We first discovered the work of J Bux when out exploring an abandoned school on the outskirts of Sydney, Australia. In a place filled with your usual male rage vandal destruction – broken glass, shitty tags and the occasional pretty good throw up – J Bux’s work jumped out. All pop culture, cartoons and girl gang attitude. Her work was everywhere! And we rushed around the place looking for it all. Our favorite being a mural of a smoking home made plastic bottle bong accompanied with the words “billies over willies.” It was and is a perfect image.
(Picture below of J Bux’s weed over dicks work – featuring that classic Australian home made bong)
With work that references animals, marijuana and both American and Australian pop culture – ‘The Simpsons’, ‘King of the Hill’, ‘Blinky Bill’, ‘Ciggy Butt Brain’ to name a few. J Bux can readily be compared to fellow Australian LUSH. But were LUSH is all cynicism, politics and the male gaze, J Bux brings a sense of fun, femininity and sass – A unique vision from a unique artist.
With J relatively new to the art game, now is the perfect time to get to know her, by reading the Art Talk, below…
Basics/Getting to Know
Name + D.O.B?
** silence – which is only broken by the gurgling and bubbling of a large bong **
City, State n Country you’re from?
Was raised in Greenacre, Bankstown Sydney Australia
City, State n Country were you currently reside?
Currently in Stanmore, Sydney Australia, but I move around Sydney quite a bit.
(Pictures below of J Bux – buns in the sun mode!)
Describe a memory from some stages of yr life ….basically trying to piece together your pivotal moments. Concerts, art, action-figures, romance, school, crime… ANYTHING.
* age 5 – beginnings:
Age 5 I would have been starting kindergarten at Mount Lewis infants school in Greenacre.
* age 10 – continuations:
Age 10 was a big year, we moved houses, and to a completely different suburb.
We had to move to Ingleburn near Campbelltown, south west Sydney.
I had to change schools, and make new friends, I was leaving year 4 going onto year 5 at a new school, I remember being scared shitless on my first day of school in Ingleburn.
(Pic of ole J Bux as a kid, below)
* age 15 – getting serious:
Age 15 I was in Year 8 going onto year 9.
I don’t remember too much about this time, I do remember a bully in the grade above me who made fun of me quite a lot. His name was Alex. And he used to grab my hair and my friends hair and bash our heads together sometimes when he saw us. My Mum used to tell me ‘he bully’s you because he likes you’.
I sadly believed her haha and used to think about him a lot.
(Pic of J aged 16, below)
* age 20 – young adult:
Age 20 was definitely a game changer haha, this was a very big year.
This year I made my first international trip, I went to America by myself.
I lost my virginity this year.
My dad asked me to leave home, so I had to move out.
I adopted my dog Watson, who I still have with me today.
I also got myself into a shit tonne of debt along with a full blown mental breakdown haha.
It was an intense year.
* age 25 – meanderings:
25 was just last year, it was a good year, pretty chill. I moved back home to get back on my feet. I bought myself a new car.
I ended a 3 year on and off relationship and also cut ties with him which was hard but it had to be done.
I’m definitely getting wiser in my old age I think haha.
(A recent picture of J Bux and her doggas, below)
The things you don’t do, you regret more then the things you do.
Art + Graffiti Questions
Why the name “J Bux”?
* silence – only broken by dulled laughter, exhaling and coughing *
Favorite other artists and why?
Writers: Cherie Buttons and Maid, I also follow a heap of tattoo artists on Instagram that I love to lurk.
(Pictures below of some J Bux pieces in the wild)
Worst aspect of the art hustle?
I just do it for fun/as a hobby, but the only thing I really have a problem with are bitchy boys in the ‘graf scene’, who always have something shit to say about your stuff when the reason I do it is simply just for fun.
I feel as though I get better every piece I do, I learn off other writers I follow on instagram and stuff, but no way am I on that level, I know that, but I’m still allowed to give it a red hot go.
Best aspect of the art hustle?
Meeting new people, learning, and exploring new places to paint.
Especially abandoned buildings.
When and why did you first start making art?
I’ve always been into it ever since I was a kid, my mum did crafty stuff a lot with us when we were young.
I did art as a subject all through high school, my major art work was a series of realistic drawings of Mother animals and their babies.
I have been working in tattoo shops since 2011, so I got real into tattoo art from then.
And just a year ago I started graffiti, I used to tag along with my mate J and watch him paint, he let me have a go a couple of times and then I went to an all girls graffiti work shop in Sydney, ran by writer ‘Maid’. It was real fun hanging with a sick bunch of girls and learning stuff from Maid. I loved how pro girl power she was and inspiring more girls to go out and do stuff that is so male orientated. She definitely inspired me the most being the feminist that I am haha.
(Picture below of some traditional pencil art by J Bux)
Any pivotal artistic moment/influence?
Definitely the all girls graffiti work shop ran by maid.
What are the best and worst parts of living and being an artist in Australia?
Not enough places/legal places to paint.
Also Australia being quite backward in the art department.
What are your thoughts on the general Australian scene today?
I like to keep to myself to be honest, I can’t stand phonies and false people.
I have a handful of people that are good for me. Plus my dogs.
(Pictures below of some in the wild J Bux pieces)
Do you consider your work to be ‘art’, ‘design’, ‘vandalism’, re-hashed crap?
I guess it is art because everything is, but it’s just fun really!
In the graffiti scene there is a friction between what seems to be a desire for recognition – namely placing stickers and art all over public spaces – and a reluctance to be interviewed, set up an online presence and all of those other ‘normal’ art hustle things…
…What are your thoughts on this schism and the reasons why it exists?
I think it’s fair enough for people that do pretty red hot shit. I don’t feel as though I have been painting long enough to do anything too crazy. But I totally get why they do.
I do follow Cherie Buttons on IG though, and I love that everyone knows who she is because she’ll post selfies and stuff. But then the mysterious ones are very cool too. Especially when you spot something of theirs around town.
(Pictures below of some in the wild J Bux pieces)
Describe the method of making and materials used for a ‘J BUX’ work? (dot point all o.k.)
* your large pieces?
add little details
probably forget a major point
add jbux to sign off
take a cheeky pic
* your throw ups and tags?
Don’t do much of this honestly.
* your works on paper?
Quick sketch before a paint as a guide and that’s it.
(Pictures below of J Bux getting up)
What does an average day out getting up involve for you?
I work most of the time to be honest.
But I always start the day off with an hour long walk with my dogs.
If I’m feeling good I’ll go to the gym after.
If I’m going for a paint I might spend a few hours there and always celebrate with a feast afterwards.
How, in your opinion, has the rise of platforms such as Instagram impacted the life of a street artist, and the scene in general?
I think instagram is great for any artist or anyone showing the world what they love to do.
I love following such talented people on IG. I follow pole dancers that are absolutely amazing, tattooists, writers, different food IG’s, heaps of shit.
I think it’s sick that so many people have their thing or specific talent and it’s a place they can get recognition for it.
What advice would you give to the next generation of writers coming up?
Don’t get busted haha.
And don’t be a bitch.
(Some more in the wild pieces by J Bux, below)
What do you think the general public’s perception of graffiti is and why?
My parents hate it, and I can see why. They are old school. But I still show them pieces I have done and they love it.
My mum even let me paint her garage.
But I think anything their children do is ok in their eyes haha.
But I guess they see it as messy and disrespectful. Someone tagging your brand new colour bond fence isn’t exactly nice haha.
What is the craziest thing that has ever happened to you when out painting?
Nothing too crazy.
My mate and I ran into a junkie once and asked us if we had any meth, he was searching through the abandoned building looking for copper to sell.
Care to list some of your favourite places to paint… and explain why it is that you dig em?
Macquarie boys high school in parramatta, it is just a really cool looking place, no one bothers you there and there is heaps of space to paint.
Plus an abandoned motel in camden, very quiet, cosy place.
Odds n Ends
What role did toys play in your childhood?
My sister and I would play with our toys for hours, we loved our barbies.
We had crazy imaginations and we didn’t give a fuck what each other thought. haha
Who was your 1st crush and why?
It was a boy in primary school named Sam. I don’t remember why I liked him haha, I think cause he was a sporty kid and he was cute.
Does sex change everything?
If it’s bad, yes.
And if it’s really good, yes.
(Some pin up style photos of J Bux, below)
Please describe your latest dream in detail…
I had a weird dream last night, it was a combo of different things. I think it’s cause I ate chili before bed.
I know one part was about the zombie apocalypse and I couldn’t find one of my dogs and I think she got eaten but it was very sad.
And another part was a classic naked dream, came to work without a top on and didn’t even realise my tits were out haha.
Have you ever tried psychedelics of any sort? And what was the experience like?
I’ve done acid a few times. It was fun, I didn’t see any crazy shit though. But I laughed a shit tonne.
What does ‘lad’ culture mean to you and why?
I think lad culture is pretty funny to be honest, I think everyone does.
I do honestly like their style but haha.
(Picture below showing the commissioned ‘Slapweh Skate Co‘ shop-front painted by J Bux)
Please describe what you think the Australian Psyche/Zeitgeist is today?
Don’t know enough about to comment.
Which 1990’s era cartoon, would you most like to see in a tribute sex toy, and why?
Kakuna from pokemon, the cunt looks like a vibrator for reals.
Who would win in a fight and why: an tatted up Australian bogan on his way home from the pub Vs. A rowdy lad with backpack full of cans?
Australian bogan for sure, they don’t feel pain I swear.
(Pictures below of some commissioned murals by J Bux)
Katy Perry, Paramore, Blink 182, old school Michael Jackson, Die Antwoord, Limp Bizkit.
Favorite TV show(s)?
The Walking Dead and Game of Thrones
Favorite sport(s) + teams?
(Picture below of a J Bux X Mosskief piece in the wild)
Jennifer’s Body, and any thriller movie.
Favorite books and comics?
The walking Dead comics and the Hunger Games series.
Any collaborations in the works?
Nope, I just take it as it comes.
Any major projects you want to hype?
Nope, hopefully one day more people will hit me up to do collab pieces, would love to do more stuff like that.
- J Bux – Instagram