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Behind the December 2021 Cover of Rolling Stone Australia

Artist Dylan Mooney explains how he created the December 2021 cover of Rolling Stone Australia, which celebrates the 200 Greatest Australian Albums of All Time.

Image of the Rolling Stone Australia 200 Greatest Australian Albums of All Time edition

Dylan Mooney for Rolling Stone Australia; Phil Nitchie*, Cybele Malinowski*, Nabil Elderkin*

Artist and illustrator Dylan Mooney has opened up on how he created the December 2021 cover of Rolling Stone Australia, which celebrates the 200 Greatest Australian Albums of All Time.

Officially released, the double-length issue features a special edition cover, illustrated by proud Yuwi, Torres Strait and South Sea Islander artist Dylan Mooney, and underlines the ‘homegrown’ nature of all the amazing albums discussed throughout the issue.

To celebrate the release of the latest issue, Mooney has spoken to Rolling Stone Australia about his artistic history, and both the inspiration, execution, and meaning of his powerful cover.

Cover of the upcoming Rolling Stone Australia issue

Cover illustration by Dylan Mooney.

With the December 2021 cover of Rolling Stone Australia serving as a masterful piece of Australiana that captures the ‘homegrown’ nature of its contents, it’s creator explains that it’s the next step in a lifelong love of art.

“I started in high school and really loved art and my mum put me into art lessons outside of school where I was taught portraiture,” Mooney recalls of his origins as an an illustrator/visual artist “So that’s where my love for portraits come from.

“I then enrolled into University at the Queensland College of Art – studying a Bachelor of Contemporary Australian Indigenous Art. It was from there that I was able to take my art further and really think about themes/concepts that I want to focus on. Which led me to more opportunities in the art industries and working with other mob and now I am represented by N.Smith Gallery based on Gadigal Land in Sydney.”

Armed with a unique style which usually incorporates a comic style with queer culture and ancient Indigenous storytelling, Mooney is undeniably an artist who ensures that he brings something fresh to the table with every work that he creates. Though successful in his attempts, such a goal is not without its challenges.

“The most challenging for me is thinking of new ideas and new ways of how to represent my work, and how I want to convey the messages from what I do,” he explains. “What brings me the most joy from my work is getting to tell these stories of my people, my culture and community.

“Also being able to give back to my community is a big thing for me, and now that I am full-time Artist doing something that I love doing, [that’s] beautiful as well.”

With a unique style and an impressive work ethic, it’s hardly any surprise that Mooney found himself in the sights of Rolling Stone Australia, who sought out his talents for their 2021 special edition issue.

“I was approached by Poppy [Reid, Managing Editor] and Katie [Taylor, Creative Director and Designer] to create the cover for this issue of Rolling Stone, and it was very exciting to get this opportunity,” Mooney explains. “[I] can’t thank them both enough for giving me the time to create this work.

“I took this on because it was a great opportunity and always reading Rolling Stone magazines as well growing up and my love for music and being able to do work that celebrates 200 of Australia’s artists is a big thing,” he adds. “But I also took this job in hopes that this opportunity for me also opens up the door for more Indigenous artists to also get the chance to design Rolling Stone’s cover.”

The cover itself is a powerful representation of not just the beautiful flora of Australia, but also of the stunning homegrown talent that comes from Australia. As Mooney explains, he hopes that through his use of these plants on the cover, that the artists and the stories of where they come from live are acknowledged and understood.

“The plants featured on the cover are Bottle Brush, Wattle, Banksia, Waratah, Eucalyptus and spotted sun orchid,” he explains. “These plants are some of my favourite plants, I have also started my own garden in my backyard and these are some of the plants that I have and Banksia also holds cultural meanings to me and my mob from Mackay, QLD.

“I hope readers get a sense of the talent that is represented in this issue of Rolling Stone and acknowledging where these artists come from,” Mooney adds. “Coming from all over Australia and growing as musicians to seeing how far they have come and looking at where they are now.”

If you’re eager to get your hands on the latest issue of Rolling Stone Australia and to see the rest of the list in print, then now is the time to sign up for a subscription. Serving as a must-have addition to any self-respecting music fan’s collection, a cherished gift, or even some timely self-isolation reading, folks can subscribe to the quarterly magazine now.

Whether you’re just a fan of music, you’re a supporter of the local music scene, or you enjoy the thrill of print and long form journalism, then Rolling Stone Australia is exactly what you need. Click on the link below for more information regarding our subscription service.