IT'S an unconventional artwork, painstakingly penned over thousands of hours by an unconventional artist.

Shayne Hawkes' breath-taking environment- inspired psychedelic masterpiece was a labour of love that represents his obsession with mushrooms and man's impact on the planet.

"Toxic Wasted" is an all-ballpoint pen artwork that took Mr Hawkes a total of 3250 hours to complete - which added up to two years when you take out the time he spends earning his bread as a forklift driver.

It is the Ipswich artist's eighth ball-point pen work, and one that he hopes will trigger his transition from part-time to full-time professional biro genius.

"I was always trying to establish myself as an artist, but I could never obtain that clarity I was looking for, to get my message across - using a paint brush I couldn't get it neat enough," the 31-year-old said.

"I just ended up going with pens because I couldn't find anything neater.

Ball-point pen artist Shayne Hawks. Photo Inga Williams / The Queensland Times
Ball-point pen artist Shayne Hawks. Photo Inga Williams / The Queensland Times Inga Williams

"Toxic Wasted is a picture that I could see in my head two years ago. I knew exactly how it would turn out.

"I loved the idea of the magic or evil mushroom, so I just started doing a lot of research on mushrooms. I just started drawing mushrooms, adding layer upon layer. The animals are the missing piece of the puzzle."

Although yet to be officially valued, the artist's estimated value of the work is $20,000, but he will be producing $250 prints for sale.

The full work and prints will be on show at today's Southern Cross Tattoo Show at the Queensport Hotel, Hemmant.


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