Pete Howard (SOLE
Westport, South Island
Working under the alias ‘Sole’ Pete Howard was originally born in Westport. It wasn’t really until high school that Pete discovered his creative side through picking up photography, something that was in his blood through his grandparents who had been professional photographers and with his parents owning a photography store. His passion for photography grew and by 7th form he had changed his career path and picked up painting and design as additional subjects.
After spending a year in Punakaiki where he continued to paint, Pete moved up to Wellington in 2000 and began a diploma in Art and Creativity at The Learning Connexion. While there, Pete focused heavily on painting and exploring design, beginning to create posters for various protests and activist groups. Having become heavily involved in activism, Pete left the Learning Connexion after a year to focus on animal rights, social and environment issues. It was through this involvement and organising benefit/awareness raising concerts and events that Pete became involved in producing posters for various music gigs. Pete eventually became disillusioned with trying to fight against the various injustices in the world and came to the realisation that change had to come from creating the things that we wished to see. While waiting for a friend to finish producing a stencil, Pete decided to have a go utilising a design he had developed for an upcoming gig. From this moment on, Pete was hooked, the alias ‘Sole’ was born and he quickly became intrigued with developing the medium of stencil art, becoming obsessed with multiple layers and intricate designs. This obsession became all consuming, and while his never-ending quest to develop the medium made his days as a street artist short lived, it had opened up opportunities in graphic design and mural work.