The early years 1967-79

Phillip James Howe was born in Banyule, Melbourne Australia in 1967.

The youngest of four children and only boy grew up in an encouraging artistic family environment. As a very young artist Phillip would draw nearly every day and won numerous drawing competitions and highly commended awards.

Included in those early achievements was a children’s book written and illustrated by Phillip at the age of 11 where he was short listed
(competing against adults) in the Webbers Award 1979 and later approached by Thomas Nelson Australia who took his illustrated book to America and Europe.

As a child Phillip had a natural flare for creativity and cartooning
and had several works published in Melbourne's leading newspapers.

Phillip attended Banyule Primary School where his mother was also the local arts teacher. His early obsession with drawing was witnessed throughout his school days. Phillip was frequently asked to draw and design covers for the school; his class projects would always contained huge visual content with little or no written words. His grade six teacher would regularly confiscate his drawings in class especially the rude ones and later proudly mentioned that she had safely kept these works as she felt "Phillip would be a famous artist one day"

Growing up in an area rich in Australian artistic heritage Phillip
also spent much of his childhood amongst the inspirational landscape
made famous by Australia’s Heidelberg School of impressionists’ artists including Arthur Streeton, Charles Conder, Frederick McCubin, Tom Roberts, Walter Withers and Clara Southern.

Childhood visits to the local artist colonies of Montsalvat and Heide home to leading Australian modernism artist’s Albert Tucker, Sidney Nolan and Joy Hester further fuelled his creative talents.

Some of Phillip's childhood characters Beak Nose Baldred and Ephantus from his illustrative book called
© 'The Weird Land of Wobblywoo'

Teens & early career

1980 - 86

As a teenager Phillip continued to pursue his love of the arts and
after focusing on Art and Graphics at HSC/VCE year 12 went on to complete with distinction a T12 Art course in 1986 (majors Painting, Life/Drawing, Print-Making, 3D Sculpture) under his mentor Ron Reynolds a well-respected artist in the Eltham area of Melbourne.

1982-87 First Job

At 15, Phillip's first part-time job was working in Melbourne's famous Myer department store in Visual Display drawing on his creative talents to produce amongst other work large painted backdrops and window displays.


As a uni-student Phillip worked as a casual barman in the public bar of the Old England Hotel established in 1848; the same historical watering hole where the famous Heidelberg School of Artists would frequent no doubt to discuss their dreams, hopes and art over a ale or two back in the 1880's.

It was as a barman through observation that Phillip became really interested in people the characters, the stories, the expressive faces of the regulars that frequented the public bars of Australia. On the quiet nights Phillip would often sketch some of these local characters on the back of coasters.

1991 AWARD School

Phillip was selected as one of Australia’s top creative minds to attend the Reader’s Digest AWARD School course.

1992 RMIT - Bachelor of Arts (BA)

Phillip went on to successfully complete a Bachelor of Arts in Visual Communication (majors visual communication, illustration (life-drawing), graphic design, photography) at RMIT Melbourne, having exhibited his final years works at 101 Collins where he was approached by several top creative agencies.

1992 Art Director

Phillip freelanced both part-time during his studies and later full time in 1992 as an Art Director for an array of top Melbourne creative agencies including world-wide agency Grey Advertising.

1993 Admark

Creative Director of boutique design agency in South Melbourne.

1994-1996 McCann Erickson

Art Director at world-renowned creative agency McCann Erickson, Melbourne.

1996-2003+ MAD WORLD

In 1996 Phillip was driven to became Creative Director of his own successful company called MAD WORLD.
His creative designs have won several industry awards including the major national AGFA - GEVAERT AWARD for most creative use of photography in printing presented at the Palladium Crown Casino Melbourne in 2001.
His creativity flare for design, illustration and photography has lead to winning many other creative industry awards including gold, silver and bronze in The National Awards in 2001, 2002 and 2003.

Evolution of an Artist

Phillip is indeed in good company with his combination of both commercial and fine arts background. Many acclaimed Australian and International artists initially explored their visual talents through the creative advertising and graphic design industry. Toulouse-Lautrec was considered to be the first to create the graphic design poster promoting Moulin Rouge, Albert Tucker worked in several Advertising / Design agencies, Brett Whitely work for Lintas Advertising Agency Sydney
and pop artist Andy Warhol had a very successful career as a commercial artist before exploding into the fine arts world; to name
a significant few.

The experiences of Phillip's rich artistic upbringing and creative graphic design, illustration and photographic work has greatly contributed to his ability as an artist to create strong compositions, rich colours and diverse use of mediums as witnessed in his works today.

A surrealist painting by Phillip called 'Drought Breaker', oil on board, 1986
An early landscape, painted on site from one of Phillip's many camping trips along the mighty Murray River, 1985
One of Phillip's earliest landscape oil paintings
1980, age 13
30 x 40 cm
oil on canvas board

Life today as an artist 2003+

In 2003 Phillip made a conscious decision to re-focus his energy and true passion of painting. He combined this with his love of subjects such as outback Australia and its wildlife, nudes and in particularly portraits. His portrait work includes a huge body of work capturing Australia's most prestigious rock'n'roll musicians; as well as having entered the Archibald and Moran Portrait Prize since 2005 the same year Phillip completed the Intensive Drawing course held at Department of Fine Arts Monash University Melbourne. Phillip's talent for the arts is also reinforced by his rich art history, including a BA at RMIT.

Since 2003, Phillip has embarked on several solo exhibitions including two major exhibition Phillip Howe 08, May 2008 at Gallery 69 Smith Street featuring 55 works and at the historic Montsalvat Gallery in February 2007. An exhibition called Natural Wonders comprising of 45 major expressionists nudes in oil, charcoal, pastel, ink and mixed medium.

Artist Profile 2005 - 2008


Selected artist to build a gate-way sculpture for the Banyule City Council region. Sculpture is to be made from mild-steel and is approx.
10 m x 2.6 m high.

2009 The Hidden Faces of Archibald Exhibition

Archibald Portrait of Narjaf Mazari,
titled ‘The RugMaker of MAZAR-E-SHARIF’ 1.2m x 1.5m, oil on canvas
SMART artZ Gallery, South Melbourne, June - July 2009

April 2009 The Bendigo Art Show 2009 – Resident Artist

Selected as the resident artist exhibiting over 22 works and including demonstrating at the event on a three-metre oil painting. The Art Show comprised of over 600 artists works selected from across Australia with thousands of people attending the event over Bendigo’s peak time of Easter. The Art Show now in it’s 41st year was reported to the best ever in both attendances and sales.

Bendigo Town Hall, Easter 9-13 April 2009.

Media: Featured artist on WIN TV Greater Bendigo, ABC radio, Bendigo Weekly Community Newspaper and Bendigo Advertiser

March/April 09 Bushfire Appeal 2009 – Black Saturday Victoria 2009

Black Saturday (7/2/09) was one of Australia and Victoria’s darkest days with a series of extreme bushfires across the state claiming as high as 210 lives and destroying thousands of peoples’ homes. Phillip spent a lot of his childhood holidaying at his Grandparents place in Flowerdale and still frequents, camps and paints in the shire of Murrindindi one of the areas greatly affected by the fires. With a strong connection and as an artist and like many Australians felt compelled to assist. Phillip donated two artworks to be auctioned to help raise money for the Bush Fire Appeal 09.

Art for Life: Bushfire Appeal Art Auction 2009

Friday 27 March 2009 Melbourne Town Hall, 90-120 Swanston Street Melbourne. Auction Work - Wild Dog Orange acrylic on canvas 61 x 61cm

Auctioned at the Melbourne Town Hall The Art Auction Event raised over $18,000 with 100% of the funds raised going directly to the survivors of the 2009 Victorian Bushfires.

Rotary International – Greater Bendigo Bushfire Appeal 2009

Donated work - The Last Waterhole II, acrylic on canvas 122 x 122cm (work selected and exhibited as a finalist in Fleurieu Biennale Water Prize 08)

Rotary International Greater Bendigo major fundraiser opening night Bendigo Town Hall April 9, 2009 for the Bushfire Appeal Victoria 2009 proceeds going directly to the survivors in the Greater Bendigo region.

Fleurieu Biennale 2008

Finalist The Fleurieu Prize,
titled ‘The Last Waterhole II 1.2m x 1.2m, acrylic on canvas
Exhibited - McLaren Vale, South Australia, October 2008

The Darebin Art Show 2008 - Group Exhibition

Bundoora Homestead Art Centre, 1-31st August 2008

The MakeShift Gallery - Resident Artist

Selected as a Resident Artist
Brunswick, Melbourne 2008

The Hidden Faces of Archibald Exhibition 2008

Archibald Portrait of Shane Jacobson, titled ‘Kenny Who’
1.2m x 1.8m, oil on canvas
The Park Hyatt Melbourne

PHILLIP HOWE 08 - Smith St Gallery - Solo Exhibition

A solo exhibition in Gallery 1 & 2 of a collection 55 vibrantly painted
and drawn recent works by Phillip Howe of Australian landscapes
and nudes; with a unique perspective by the artist when the two
subjects collaborate.
Gallery 69 Smith Street, Fitzroy - Melbourne, 7-25 May 2008

2008 ELTHAM ARTS COUNCIL Leader Arts Award Winner

Phillip was honoured in the Eltham Arts Council Leader Arts Award 2008 for his contribution in the arts and painting. Other artists also honoured in 2008 included Albert Tucker and Clifton Pugh.

2006-8+ The Journey

A current body of expressionist portrait painting works painted from life to be exhibited Nationally featuring Australia’s iconic rock’n’roll musicians such as James Reyne, Brian Cadd, Wilbur Wilde, Russell Morris, Joe Camilleri, Renee Gayer, Diesel, Ross Wilson, Daryl Braithwaite, John Paul Young, Glen Shorrock, Daryl Braithwaite, Mark Seymour, Jon English, Doug Parkinson to name a significant few.

RED BOX 07 - Solo Exhibition

Solo exhibition of 31 expressionist nudes from life including oil, charcoal, pastel, ink and mixed media.
Reb Box Winery, Kangaroo Grounds, Melbourne Oct 2007

2007 International Postage Stamp Series

A commissioned series of four oil painting portraits of Shane Warne are to published as postage stamps by the West Indian Government and launched in Grenada with a proposed exhibition / viewing of the works to be held in some of the world's most prominent cricket nations including West Indies, Australia and England.

The Hidden Faces of Archibald Exhibition 2007

Archibald Portrait of Brian Cadd ‘Atlanta Burning’
1.2m x 1.2m, oil on canvas
Crown Towers Melbourne

Natural Wonders - Solo Exhibition, Montsalvat

A solo exhibition of 45 major works in oil, charcoal, pastel, ink and mixed media of expressionistic portrait nudes
Montsalvat, Melbourne Feb 1st - 28th 2007

2006-7 Beach Cricket Exhibition Ashes Series

Commissioned work by Cricket Australia which includes 550 limited edition art print series for national and international cricket dignitaries.
Oil Painting 4m x 1.2 metres exhibited MCG Melbourne & SCG Sydney during The Ashes Series 2006-7

2006-7 SW Foundation - The Natural ‘Shane Warne’

A portrait of Shane Warne auctioned at the Crown Palladium Melbourne Boxing Day Breakfast for the Shane Warne Foundation
(raising over $10,000 for the charity)

The Hidden Faces of Archibald Exhibition 2006

Archibald Portrait of Wilbur Wilde ‘wildeside’
2m x 2.75m oil on canvas
Crown Towers Melbourne

Wondrous Women I - Solo Exhibition

An exhibition of oil paintings, charcoal and pastel drawing nudes. Gallery Art Australia, Melbourne 2005

The Hidden Faces of Archibald Exhibition 2005

Archibald Portrait of Rex Hunt ‘REX’
2m x 2.75m oil on canvas
Crown Towers Melbourne

2005 MCG Redevelopment Artworks Program

Selected to submit proposed Artworks for permanent display in the new Ponsford and Olympic stands at the MCG, Melbourne

2005 Monash University

Completed Intensive Drawing course held at Department of Fine Arts

Phillip designed the AFL St Kilda Football club team jumper first worn in 1996.

Jumping from recent wooden spooners to Night Premiers in 1996; the following year St Kilda adopted the jumper as their home strip becoming Day Grand Finalist in 1997.

Phillip pictured below in the MAD WORLD studio, 1996
Sensual Lines,
ink on canvas
45 x 120 cm
Reflective View - self portrait, acrylic on canvas 150 x 120cm submitted in The Doug Moran Portrait Prize 2008