Based on the Sunshine Coast Australia creating original ocean art and installations from torn fabric, wood, metal, natural materials and screen printing. Now exhibiting some works for sale or custom design at Ocean Art Gallery at Moffat Beach.
Damien has been creating ocean art for over 30 years. Born and growing up on the Gold Coast Australia in the rise of surfing industry and culture - doing artwork, design and screen printing surfboard decals for the surfing industry since 1979.
Now based on the Sunshine Coast since 2003 – have opened a Ocean Art Gallery at Moffat Beach exhibiting some of his works for sale or available to custom design to your decor.
Damien Lange was born on the Gold Coast Australia in 1963, he mainly exceled at school in art and it wasn’t strange to see him spent many hours at a time drawing at the dining table from an very young age.
The love of the ocean and surfing possessed him - driving him to ride a pushbike with surfboard under arm for 45 minutes to D-Bah before dawn.
While surfing in the clear aqua waters of Kirra, Snapper Rocks and D-Bah on the Tweed Coast he quickly experienced in the early mornings the vast ocean life swimming with dolphins, whales, rays, octopus and random schools of fish being chased by larger fish.
He recalls “The fish being so scared by what was chasing them that they were leaping out of the water and landing on me as I lay waiting for the next wave or as I came up after duck-diving through a wave – then I smelt like fish” covered in fish glitter (scales).
“It was common place between waves that I would experience pods of dolphins and their babies coming so close checking me out - while I was checking them out – seeing their eyes under water – amazing - I felt some kind of unspoken connection”
Also the moving masses of pilchards – so thick yet all schooling together and how they moved, stayed together, synchronised turning instantly, this totally fascinated me.”
These experiences would come back to inspire some of his current works today.
Damien left home at the age of fifteen in the midst of the birthing/booming commercial surfing industry on the Gold Coast.
With the surfing culture in his blood, was discovered by a major industry screen printer who recognised his talent and was needing someone also to train as a Screen Printer.
Damien was then trained in all mediums Screen printed - the processes from art, design, preparation, film/colour separations and production – majoring in design, concept ideas and then printing surfboard decals, stickers and t-shirts. - The business focused in the surf industry and work grew by word of mouth.
After many years experience under his belt in the industry, he decided to set up his own business in a shed in Kirra at a “stressful $50 a week” offering art, design and offset printing and screen printing to the surfing, churches and night club industries on the Coast - ”I remember clearly pushing boundaries with printing, I had a one colour offset press which I started doing blends of colours on 1 colour brochures/flyers - no one else was doing or could be bothered doing”.
It was at this time where Damien met his wife Tania, who was also a graphic artist. It wasn't long until they merged and together they offered the industry a unique service of designing clothing, catalogues, brochures, leaflets and artwork for printing. Like an agency.
Through word of mouth, repeat work and no advertising, business grew quick into one of the largest textile screen printing businesses on the Gold Coast.
To put this into perspective - these days were experimental, fresh, young and exciting days in graphics, textile, surfing and printing industry – and so we in the industry were experimenting with new inks and textiles and detailed artworks qualities. ”We were dealing with some of the largest surf labels at that time like in their beginnings like Billabong, Mt Woodgee, Hot stuff, Tavarua, Town & Country to name a few.”
“These were experimental days, Everything was NEW AND FRESH, and you just worked on things until you figured it out how to do it or not and then JUST DO IT WELL. This is where I first did my first dolphin watercolour piece of 2 dolphins in 1986 for my wife Tania's birthday - being pregant with our first born. I instantly fell in love with painting as a different medium than graphics, airbrushing, and screenprinting that I have done before, but the other side of that I started to understand the frustration of not being able to achieve the colours that are in your head so therefore you have to experiment until you are happy.”
“This is where I first understood what statements you hear from common among other artists like:
“Colour is my day-long obsession, joy and torment.” (CLAUDE MONET)
Art is never finished, only abandoned” (LEONARDO DA VINCI)”
“What no one tells you is that creative people are their worst enemies and critics as well as the lack of rest and all the wrestling you have until a piece of art is finished. You can not rest until it is finished – and you know when it is finished when it happens. That all I can say.”
Anyway, as the graphic industry kept evolving with new technology so did Damien’s hunger for learning new techniques and mediums as they surfaced to stay on top of the industry.
The purchase of their first computer back in 1990 was $15,000 – which you can buy now for about $150 - was the start of hundreds of hours learning computer generated graphics which is now the norm. This was the start of manipulating images, scanning, colours, film separations to get different results - instead of drawing or photographing or experimenting in the darkroom to create the exact look as this took real skill.
During this time Damien would produce ocean artwork of watercolour and pastels and sell his works and exhibit works in the Tweed and Currumbin galleries.
“I loved this side of art but lacked time to do it due to work and being a young active family – so I always knew I would get back into it over time”
Back in 1996 the internet had starting to come to life for business and revolutionised people and businesses globally. Unfortunately, the only people doing web design back then were geeks – “(no offence dudes)”, so after hundreds of hours later in the wee hours of the morning before everyone woke up and a 4.30am surfing session allowed him to retain a graphic approach and edge to websites instead of conforming to the normal static design themes of that day.
Damien found His edge in this market!
Both Damien & Tania took pride in the services they were able to offer their clients. Word of mouth was the best way to promote themselves. Today their business is focused on the good old fashion quality, service and price motto. “If you say a job will be done at a certain time the YOUR WORD IS YOU BOND - its your problem if it isn't so you have to change adjust things to keep your word!- IT'S REALLY NOT ROCKET SCIENCE!!! “
Through the 15 years that 'CityGraph.x' operated, they went from working out of a garage to purchasing a large factory in Burleigh Heads adding a 8 colour automatic screen printing machine and staff.
A change of direction with their business in 2003 due to Damien having a "burnout" with 4 hours sleep a night for 13 years eventually led them to re-evaluate things and to relocate to Moffat Beach on the Sunshine Coast, It was a perfect timing thing - not only for a better lifestyle personally but mainly because of the age of their 3 children. The moved proved one of the best things they did.
“When we saw Moffat Beach for the first time we knew Moffat Beach will be our new home - The surfacing turles were the final full stop of our decision.“
They decided to move business and for his studio and Damien had an idea to create an art piece from of a school of fish that came out of the wall – layering 170/200 hand cut fish from old fence pailings. – “I was very happy with the final piece and felt THIS IS ME!!”.
One thing led to another (as time unfolds) and it wasn't long before customers coming into my office referred my work for this piece that soon I started making and selling these basic models to places around Australia.
This has now stirred the artistic pot inside again – and with all 3 of our kids now grown up – I have the spark and time back to experiment more into wood, steel sculptures, torn fabrics, layers and bending woods, sand ETC. As you can see on his website. www.dlange.com.au
“I really enjoy painting and installations and it is great to expand and ride this creative wave as it unfolds. ”
“I had an great exhibition of 4 pieces of my wood school of fish installations at the beautiful Hollowway Gallery at Moffat Beach on 7th May 2016 with all 4 peices sold. Both Annie and Barrie - who own the gallery are beautiful helpful people. If you are in the area please visit their gallery.
Today, both Damien and Tania have set up the Moffat Beach Ocean Art Gallery in Moffat Beach exhibiting some of Damien recent works for sale. He also runs “Sunshine Coast Business Cards” where offers graphic art, printing and website services.
"I describe my work as layered textures with different and unusual mediums, designed to come to life with colour and shadows when under directional lights because of these unique textures... a lot like real life - it changes every moment, light and location."
Some of the images on this site are sold and some are for sale. Please come and visit our Ocean Art Gallery at Moffat Beach.
Everything has its beauty, but not everyone sees it. Andy Warhol
Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life. Pablo Picasso
Painting is just another way of keeping a diary. Pablo Picasso
Colour is my day-long obsession, joy and torment. Claude Monet
Art is never finished, only abandoned. Leonardo Da Vinci
Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up. Pablo Picasso
No great artist ever sees things as they really are. If he did, he would cease to be an artist. Oscar Wilde