Matt & Chet - Gabriel Coffee Warehouse / by Eryn Withawhy

*Originally posted on November 21, 2013 from the November issue of Mirage - Now updated to include video January 6, 2014 Something that I really admire about the Sydney creatives I have met and worked withthis year is the ease with whichthey welcome new and emerging talent, collaborate enthusiastically and seek to encourage and support their peers. In an industry where there is often a lot of competition and rivalry, I gravitate towards other like-minded groups who see the value in skill-sharing -strengthening the core of the profession, building greater expertise and supporting networks of contacts to be drawn upon creatively. It was through Steel City Collective’s involvement with The Festivalists that I was introduced to Chester Garcia and Matthew Branagan, the co-founders of Work-Shop. A creative space where short courses are delivered by local authorities on a variety of interests ranging from healthy living, spoken word and rap to illustration and street art, Work-Shop is an inclusive organisation fostering growth of the local creative community. With back and forth mutual social media crushing, it was inevitable that we’d make the treck to Sydney town to paint with the guys. So when Matt and Chet sent an invitation our way to throw some paint on the walls of the huge Gabriel Coffee Warehouse with some of Sydney’s finest, we were not about to decline.If you haven’t picked up the latest copy of Mirage or had it delivered to your door, then you are yet to see some of the amazing displays of skill we encountered at the event. Boxes and boxes of MTN 94’s and a few blank walls were transformed over a day of comraderie, good food, better coffee and a whole lot of fun. I hit the boys up for a chat about the day and to give them a chance to explain what they’re up to down there.


Eryn With a Why: Hey guys!

Chet Garcia: Hey Withawhy!

Hope you're well and enjoying the sun.

Eryn With a Why: Thanks, Chet!

First off, tell us about Work-shop!! Give us the elevator pitch!

Chet Garcia: Work-Shop offers a fun and quirky range of creative short courses in arts, crafts and life skills. We encourage people to get back in touch with their inner artist and experience the joy of making things with their hands, hearts and minds.

Eryn With a Why: Thanks for having us at the Work-shop x Gabriel Coffee paint day, we had a blast! How did the collaboration with Gabriel Coffee come about?

Chet Garcia: Sam, the owner of Gabriel coffee, is a contact of Matt's from Preshafruit.

Matt Branagan: Sam is a friend who loves street art and we came up with a day to provide some walls to paint and get some artists paid! And have a fun collaboration day in the process.

Eryn With a Why: There were some top names involved! Sid Tapia, Morbid, Nico, Mr French and SMC3 to name a few! How did you get them on board?

Chet Garcia: Lots of the inner city street artists have been involved with Work-Shop since our launch. Ears and SMC3 did murals for the shop and Sid Tapia teaches the street art course here. We have a big wall out the back where we hang out and paint whenever we get the chance. We have a big community of street artists that regularly come along and it's great to see the older guys share knowledge with the up and comers.

Eryn With a Why: So what made you ask us Novocastrians along?

Chet Garcia: We've been following SCC through social media and love what you're doing up there. We share similar values. I recently painted a warehouse with Keo in Marrickville and Matt has been in contact with you. We thought it would be a great opportunity to collaborate creatively and get to know each other. We had an awesome time so thanks for coming down!

Eryn With a Why: It was a great event! What's next for Work-shop.

Chet Garcia: We have so many rad ideas for the future of Work-Shop. We're looking at adding a maker's space as part of our offering. We'll be investing in tools and machines that people can hire on an hourly basis. We've also got our hearts set on opening another Work-Shop in Melbourne.

To see more from the groups and individuals involved in the event, clicky clicky: