STREET ART: Bayleaf Cafe owner Dan Readman and artist James McMillan look over the freshly painted wall mural.
STREET ART: Bayleaf Cafe owner Dan Readman and artist James McMillan look over the freshly painted wall mural. MEGAN KINNINMENT

Hours of work creating mural doomed - but that's okay

BYRON Bay artist James McMillan knows his latest masterpiece will be destroyed in a few months time - and he's fine with that.

The new mural on the 4x4m outside wall of the Bayleaf Cafe in Marvel St took James and his son Colby more than 20 hours of painstaking work to create over the weekend, but as part of an ever-changing street art program by cafe owner Dan Readman, this painting will be replaced when the next local artist gets to have their turn at the wall.

"My wife and I took over the cafe three months ago and this is our way of being community-minded," Mr Readman said.

"We'll have 90% local artists on here and a few big names passing through," Mr Readman said.

"James painted over the work of the previous artist, Makatron, and in three to six months we'll have a new artist paint the wall.

"It adds a surprise element to the cafe - people start to look forward to what they are going to see on the wall next."

The Mural on wall of the Bayleaf cafe.
The Mural on wall of the Bayleaf cafe. Contributed

Mr McMillan's artwork was created with his 17-year-old son Colby as part of the stART me up youth arts program that James - a professional artist and manager of Mojo Surf School - started three years ago to coincide with the Byron Bay Surf Festival.

"I started stArt me up so I can channel both my love for surfing and art to motivate kids," he said

"Being out in nature and making art are both creative outlets and a huge part of our lifestyle."

And he is fine with the reality that street art is transient.

"I like the idea the art gets to live for a while and then you know it's going to come down, so you don't get too attached to it," Mr McMillan said.

StART me up gives emerging artists aged 4-18 the chance to join in the activities of the surf festival on October 26. Kids who want to join can visit www.byronbaysurffestival.com.au.


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