RJB Artist Series: Shane Cotton

At RJB Design, we’re proud to cater to customers from all walks of life. From business to show business, art and all in-between, we love helping men and women dress for the occasions where they want to show up looking and feeling their best.

Today, we’re excited to chat with artist Shane Cotton, about their creative process, inspiration, and experience fashioning a unique wardrobe with RJB Design.

For those who don’t know you what do you do?

Kia ora koutou. I am Shane Cotton, an artist, painter. I have been making artworks since the mid 80’s. My work follows several themes with an interest in identity, personal narrative and Maori/NZ history.

What led you to becoming a painter?

I have always had an interest in art, from a very early age. My interest in painting was piqued during my time at art school 1985-1988.

Where do you draw inspiration from?

I draw inspiration from many places, but mostly from the process of painting itself. The act of making inspires me.

Who do you look up to in the art community?

I greatly admire those in the art community who have spent a lifetime committing to their practice. The likes of Ralph Hotere, Shona Rapira Davies, Emily Karaka, Cliff Whiting, Para Matchitt, Sandy Adsett, Robyn Kahukiwa… so many to name here!  

What does your creative process look like?

I prefer to work on a series of works and have a number in play at various stages of completion. When things are going well, I will often begin a second, third and fourth work to further explore the image. There are usually 10-20 works in play at any time in the studio.  

What type of painting are you interested in doing currently?

My main interest at present is very much informed by image and colour. The exploration of colour can drastically affect the image, composition, and the vibe of the work.  When the painting operates in this way it allows for so much playfulness and discovery.

What do you do when you’re not painting?

Motorcycle riding, travelling, fishing, gaming and reading.

You’ve mentioned being a fan of reading and music - any noteworthy favourites?

My music tastes vary a lot, Bob Marley, Tool, Rolling Stones, John Lennon, Nick Drake, Joni Mitchell, David Bowie,…

Books.  Love a good Sci-fi read, recently because of the Dune film I refreshed my knowledge of Frank Herbert's Dune, and want to read more of the series. Iain Banks', “Matter”; he’s one of my favourite Sci-fi writers.  Anything that is about places behind this world piques my interest. Outside of this genre, I like writers like Eliot Weinberger, Judith Binney and Hone Tuwhare.

Can you tell us about your recent bespoke suiting with RJB Design, What did you have made and for what purpose?

My bespoke suit with RJB Design was very exciting, I thoroughly enjoyed the whole measure suiting process. I wanted a 3 piece tailor-made suit with classic lines. 

I didn’t go too far outside of the norm in terms of colour; a black suit, but with a popping "red” inlay lining, and a beautifully embroidered Tiki on the inside of the jacket and a bird on the lower back of the waistcoat.  Awesome! Looking forward to the second suit, which I hope will reflect more of the pattern and colour found in my recent paintings! We’ll see!

Tell us about your collaboration with RJB Design bucket hat - how did this come about? What does it represent?

The bucket hat collab with RJB Design was an opportunity to include an embroidered image on the brim of the hat.  We chose a beautiful fabric in black, great for the winter months or those cooler days at the beach! I chose to include a Manaia as the image, which I had developed while making the Britomart works. 

The Manaia form is a wondrous creature. Often found visually in the context of tiki, as a guardian and sentinel.  They are known for their shapeshifting and potent abilities to travel between celestial and terrestrial realms.  

A Word from Ronald

It’s always a privilege to create custom pieces for anyone and helping Shane Cotton find a piece that truly spoke to him, that he’d be proud to wear, is what this process is all about. If you’re looking to discover something unique to you, we’d love to help.

As one of the premium menswear Auckland stores, we stock a wide range of mens shirts, premium suits & casual menswear, wedding suits for men and are proud to have one of the most extensive ranges of mens suits NZ wide. Whether you’re looking for tailored suits, wedding attire for your wedding day or casual wear, we’ve got you covered.

With the weather heating up, it’s also a great time to start thinking about those summer essentials.

For a casual look, you can’t go wrong with shorts and a sporty polo. Look no further than the Ivy Green Bowie Classic Polo by Dstrezzed, pairing effortlessly with their Camel cotton short by Dstrezzed, to have you looking suave at the beach, bach or bar.


Ivy Green Bowie Classic Polo by Dstrezzed

For that smart-casual office look as we wind down for the year, why not add some colour to your collection? The Treviso Khaki by Fil Noir is an impressive, button-up long sleeve option that pairs well with any blazer.

Treviso Khaki by Fil Noir

Or a pared-back look with some chinos, like the Roma Soft Cotton Chino by Meyer.  


Roma Soft Cotton Black Chino by Meyer


Pop in to see us and we’ll help you discover a ready to wear collection tailored just for you.

The RJB Design Team
November 09, 2021