Khosnaran Khurelbaatar (a.k.a Heesco) is an internationally renowned artist who’s best known for his larger-than-life murals. The Mongolia-born artist initially found his footing in the art world with his street art in Australia, but a willingness to experiment with different mediums and techniques has proven that the label of “street artist” simply doesn’t do him justice. “It shouldn’t matter what medium or tools I am using,” he says. “I want to be able to use anything at my disposal to create the images I want to create.”
Khosnaran Khurelbaatar（a.k.a Heesco）是一位国际知名的艺术家，以其令人印象深刻的巨型壁画闻名。这位出生于蒙古的艺术家最初在澳大利亚以街头艺术找到了立足点，但他不断地实验和尝试各种技术和媒介，证明了单单“街头艺术家”这个称号并不能满足他。“无论使用哪一种媒介或工具都无关紧要。”他说，“我希望能够使用任何我可以使用的东西，来创造我想要创造的图像。”
Heesco’s dreams of becoming an artist were already abrew in his teenage years. But opportunities were limited for a young, aspiring creative in Mongolia. Discouraged, he set aside his artistic ambitions and moved to Australia to pursue a degree in business management, a pragmatic decision that was meant to placate his parents. But once in Australia, he had a change of heart, enrolling at the Sydney College of the Arts instead.
成为艺术家的梦想在 Heesco 青少年时就已经成形。然而在蒙古，年轻有抱负的艺术家能获得的机会有限。他感到相当气馁，于是放下了自己的艺术野心，搬到澳大利亚攻读商业管理学位，这是一个用于安抚父母的务实决定。但是一到澳大利亚他就改变了主意，转而就读悉尼大学艺术学院。
After completing his degree in 2005, he moved to Melbourne. And it was there where he discovered a thriving and welcoming street art scene. He followed in the footsteps of established local street artists, and like them, the city became his canvas. “I moved there without knowing anyone and with little idea of what to do with my life and career,” he recalls. “But in a short period of time, I met many amazing artists who took me under their wings and showed me the ropes. I haven’t looked back since.”
2005 年完成学位后他搬到墨尔本，这里拥有一个欣欣向荣的街头艺术场景。Heesco 追随许多当地成功街头艺术家的脚步，并和他们一样将整座城市变成了自己的画布。“我在没有任何工作和未来规划的情况下搬到了墨尔本。”他回忆起，“但是在很短的时间内，我遇到了许多优秀的艺术家。他们把我纳入麾下并为我指出方向。从那之后我再也没有回头。”
As Heesco developed his style, his colorful, expressive murals began garnering attention from the fine art world. As of today, he’s held numerous successful exhibitions across Australia and his murals can be found around the globe.
But his path to becoming a full-time artist wasn’t without hurdles. In Heesco’s early years as a working artist, he struggled to strike a balance between commissioned projects and personal works. Due to financial realities, he wasn’t able to invest all of his time solely on personal projects, but committing too much time on commercial works felt like a betrayal to his own artistic vision.
This outlook would change with time—rather than seeing commissioned work as compromises to his own creative vision, he saw them as opportunities to step out of his comfort zone. This was a eureka moment that encouraged him to take on subject matters he’d never painted before. “After seeing it as a challenge, I gave it my best shot,” he recalls of one particular project that he was initially reluctant to take on. “I learned how to paint buildings, trams, horses, and small portraits—all from just one job. In other words, I basically got paid to experiment and learn new skills.” With this new perspective, Heesco began to understand there were no constraints with what he could or couldn’t do in art. Even on personal works, he started challenging himself to take on subject matters that he previously considered to be too difficult or uncharacteristic of his personal style.
但在 Heesco 成为一位全职艺术家的道路上并非毫无阻碍。在刚开始从事艺术时，他努力地在商业项目和个人作品之间取得平衡。由于经济考量，他无法将所有时间都投入个人作品，但是一旦为商业项目贡献太多时间，他感觉像是背弃了自己的艺术眼光。
Heesco’s perspective of art continued to evolve after becoming a father: he started to see the value of art as a tool in educating the next generation. From an armor-clad Mongol warrior riding a skateboard to a smartphone-wielding girl in a Mongolian dress, his work started blending traditional Mongolian culture with contemporary pop culture, a way of reminding young Mongolians to not lose touch with their cultural roots. This neo-traditional style has now become one the most defining characteristic of his works.
Aside from just developing his own art, he’s also become a mentor to aspiring artists, teaching lessons that extend beyond just technical skills. He believes it’s far more important to encourage young creatives to stay perseverant and self-motivated, as these are what will ultimately contribute to their long-term success. “Art is the same as sports—you have to keep training to stay in shape,” he urges. “It doesn’t matter that you have a natural talent to run fast; if you don’t train and keep in shape, how can you stay good at it?”