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Magnus McDonald - Aotearoa Artist
Magnus McDonald

Magnus McDonald - aotearoa artist

From the moment he could walk, Jack Magnus McDonald, who prefers to be known as Magnus, created and built things. He was four years old when his parents took him on the Interislander ferry and he was so infatuated by the vessel that he spent the following two weeks at kindergarten reconstructing it out of Weetbix boxes. It ended up so big that his parents had to tow it home on the tandem trailer behind the farm truck.

Although Magnus never had any formal training, he has been surrounded by a strong network of creative minds while growing up, offering support, inspiration and guidance. As a naturally observant person, most of his skills have come from watching and learning. While the desire to create has always been present along with his fascination – bordering on obsession – with objects, it wasn’t until he won a local art competition that he decided to take art seriously. “My winning piece was a contemporary, multi-media composition on corrugated iron which represented the now-ruined Christchurch Cathedral. The prize money was mind-blowing for 16-year-old me and, on top of that, I sold the painting to the local law firm. I was hooked.” Magnus’ father, Mark McDonald, is an established artist who became well known in the 80s for his vibrant, moody prints of Mount Taranaki. Magnus enjoys his fathers mentoring, and the talent is strong in the bloodline. When it comes to canvases, Magnus doesn’t really prefer a specific brand, opting to get his canvases custom stretched using professional archival quality materials. He enters the ‘zone’ when he is painting, so listening to podcasts is impossible as he needs his attention for the paintings. So he plays hip-hop and New Zealand reggae and, as he stands at his easel, he uses the freedom to ‘bust out a few moves’. To new artists, Magnus says: “You can be the best artist in the word but if no one lays an eye on your work then what is the point? Marketing is a key skill in the life of any artist. I am not talking about trashy flyers or posters in the local café. What I am talking about is telling a captivating story which resonates with a specific audience and builds your profile as an artist. Balance your time between the easel and the people.” Solid advice there. Magnus has artwork in the UK, Australia and New Zealand.

See Magnus' work here: Magnus McDonald.

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