Benny: Hey mate, firstly… your job description and a brief overview of your career and how you got to be where you’re at?
Callum: My job is pretty much whatever gets thrown at me and whatever I throw at myself. A mix of "could you do this?" and "what do I really want to do?" and a whole lot of just having a crack at whatever takes my fancy.
I came up through design and art in the punk/hardcore music scene, paralell to my life in the Melbourne street art scene all from end of ‘02 when I was finishing high school. That led to doing lots of design for bands, flyers, tees, logos, and of course playing, and touring in bands. Then on the street art side being a part of the art collective Everfresh from 05 as the youngest of the group and really learning a lot from everyone, collaborating and finding my own voice too.
Flash forward 15 + years and I'm still doing a lot of design for music related projects but really thankful that people mostly come to me for "my style" whatever that is, I’m still not 100% on it myself, and then my art had evolved into a lot of physical "making" using timber and hard rubbish and playing a lot with nostalgia and pop culture stuff.

BC: Tell us a bit about your inspiration behind your set... CP: Basically, I love my studio, and it is my way of hoarding memories, I have lots of bits and bobs that I find along the way.  A lot of things that I have held onto from since I was a little kid all the way through ‘til now. Things that I cherished, like my first video camera, signs, skate stuff, music, whatever. Alongside that stuff I have always kept physical drawings from design projects, whether they are loose or in sketchbooks, but they all sit in draws packed away. I thought, what if those drawers of drawings were to explode out and I flick back through 15+ years of drawings and they rain down over all of the trinkets and tools that fill my space with functionality and inspiration. So I loaded all kinds of stuff into my van and we moved it into the photo studio to shoot!

BC: What was your process creating this set and did your initial idea translate through to the finished set? Did you have any other ideas that you wanted to build?
CP: I knew that I couldn't plan it too much, it would look forced, so we brought everything in and we just started piling stuff up, and tried to just keep stacking it til it looked full and natural. I knew we had enough stuff, it was just about it being all spread and feeling natural (what is natural for a huge pile of random stuff though).
With the sketches, we purposefully didn't look at what they were placed, it all went up as it was in the big stack, I didn't want to curate it, it's all part of my process. Some are fully finished drawings, some are random text that I wrote and scanned, some are textures I have made for different things, there is lots to see in there. I'm so happy with how overloaded the frame is.

BC: You’ve got what looks to be an infinite amount of pieces you’ve collected or made over time… what’s your favourite piece you made and what’s your favourite you’ve acquired?
CP: It's funny, for all the things I've made, once they are done and finished, the shine wears off them a little bit. It's definitely all about the making process for me, that's the part I love. They are all great to have, but it's about always moving forward and striving to improve on my skills and ideas. As for items I've collected, the Steve Urkel doll was from the 94 Melbourne show, I didn't even get to go. Our neighbours went and I somehow knew it was available in some showbag and that was my one request. It was in my room forever as a kid and eventually just found its way into all my studios. It's just such a ridiculous item, I love it.

BC: Is there a relationship between what you create and what you collect? CP: I think that's undeniable, I like to make things that can fit in seamlessly in my studio and not look out of place alongside 80s, 90s and 00 relics. I think surrounding myself with the aesthetic of these things rubs off on my style for sure. 

BC: How long have you been collecting these items?
CP: It's passive collecting, I haven't ever bought things to fill a gap, things just find their way to me. I've bought old things to use for projects, like an old VHS video camera and then when it's done it just becomes part of the furniture. But really, I have stuff from as young as 5 or 6 I reckon and lots of hard rubbish finds too. If you can see past all the busted ikea stuff, there are still gold nuggets out there.

BC: What is it that draws you to this style of work?
CP: Getting to make props and sets for videos, or for my own art works. It's exciting to me because it's all about the challenge to make something that looks like it has a story, a history and a purpose. I love writing that story in my head as I'm designing something and watching it come together. Where would the wear and tear marks be, what would the usage have done to this item, how would it age. I have so much respect for the amazing scenics out there who do this stuff, I feel very lucky that I am often dictating the story of things I build in the name of art.

BC: How does your personal taste translate to sets you build for your commercial work?
CP: I can do what's needed for a strict brief, but I like to think that when given the freedom to explore and play around, I can really add some of my personal style into things and when the right job calls for that authentic feel, it's so fun and rewarding.

BC: Anything else to add?
CP: Thanks for the opportunity, love your work. So much respect to all the set builders, scenics, prop makers, production designers, chippys, lights, gaffers and all the crew that make things happen!