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Finding inspiration

Andrew Steel is an Auckland-based artist who creates unique, site-specific artworks from a small studio he shares with his partner. He describes his style as naive and fun; “I like my work to be relatable to everyone and always aim to tell stories through it.”

Instead of going to art school Andrew honed his talent on the street, drawing inspiration from his inner city environment. “I started out skateboarding which taught me how to have fun with objects and public spaces. That led me into street art and I started creating works around the city with my friends.”

Andrew sees it as an ‘unusual form of community service’ and believes that art can define a city and its people. “Street art taught me the value of having interesting public areas, where people feel like they can contribute and be a part of them. We had a lot of fun and received a lot of positive feedback.”

Oliver Simon.jpgFrom here, Andrew moved indoors and took up the new challenge of creating work tailored to the people living in the spaces. Lately, he’s been exploring ceramics, tiles, concrete engraving, and photography. “I’m experimenting and focusing on creativity a lot at the moment which has been really fulfilling,” says Andrew. “My work’s come full circle – I started out very simple, tried to complicate it over time, but have now refined it back to the basics. Simple things, done well.”

queenstown-web.jpgTo help him get to his clients’ homes and offices, Andrew drives a new Suzuki Jimny. He says its styling was definitely one of his deciding factors. “My clients are discerning so I wanted something unique as well as chic and tasteful. I love Jimny’s minimalism – it radiates a kind-of boxy, modern simplicity. My partner borrows it from time to time, she looks great in it, always smiling. It’s cool for us to have something to share that’s fun to get around in.”


Initially the artist fell in love with the Jimny through social media. He sought advice from friends, including one who had an older model for boating and hunting. After doing loads of research Andrew went for a test drive then put in a pre-order with Amy Fabling at Suzuki Wairarapa. Andrew says he went with Jungle Green as it looked classy and he hadn’t seen many cars that colour. The Jimny was supposed to land later this year, however Amy called with good news, a shipment had landed earlier than expected.

Andys-Jimny.jpgAndrew says the Jimny always turns heads. “I get asked about it a lot and I’ve found a tight Suzuki community that are super-passionate about the brand. I met two sisters living down the road from me who have an old Samurai in amazing condition – and they’ve also ordered a new Jimny.”

Of course aesthetics weren’t the only reason Andrew chose the 4x4. “I love the outdoors so wanted something that was practical for urban driving with an economical engine, but with capabilities to get me off-road. Jimny is compact so it’s easy to find parks and navigate the city. The interior has everything you need – chargers for devices and phone compatibility for music and maps. I keep the back seats flat down so the boot space is maximised for storage and moving stuff around.”

Come summer Andrew plans to take his Jimny down to the Deep South to do some off-roading in the mountains. “We all need to get excited about life to find inspiration, to explore more and to create good work; whatever it is we do with our lives. Having something in your life that stands out and turns heads, that feels good to drive and allows you to get to anywhere you need is crucial. We have an amazing country with interesting communities to explore and Jimny helps me connect with it.”

You can find Andrew here:


■ info@andrewjsteel.com