Dudes have been getting unjustly pigeonholed with character-defining
labels since forever: You into sport? You’re the high school footballer still trying to live his glory days. You got long hair? You’re a leaf-eating hippy. Got a moustache? You’re here to clean the pool, right? Sure, there are a couple of people who fit these stock character stereotypes but there are a bunch of multi-talented men who refuse to follow convention and have more layers than a Commes des Garcon runway show.
Bespoke brew purveyor James Squire is dedicated to breaking down these stereotypes with Rogue Tales, a series of short films that showcase some of Australia’s most roguishly charming men who defy pigeonholing. Take Jesse Olsen, for example. This multi-talented charlatan creates delicately intricate illustrations that would look right at home on fine china, except Jesse favours subject matter that errs on the side of fucked up – crashing cars, hockey fights and house fires. His nights are taken up by his in-demand work as both a boutique window dresser and tattoo artist – that is, when he’s not engaging in his other other favourite pastime: donning the boxing gloves and working up a sweat.

We know Jesse isn’t the only man out there with hidden talents. Taking
inspiration from James Squire’s Rogue Tales, Pedestrian stepped out into
the streets in search of dudes who are more than just what meets the eye.
Armed with our own vagabond photographer and ex-surfboard shaper and
Ted O’Donnell, we ventured out of our office ready
to capture these men in their natural habitats. Continuing on with our manhunt for
undercover Clark Kent types, we quickly realised we didn’t have to look
far – turns out men with roguish charm and a diverse – and unexpected –
range of talents are easy to come by. Take a look at the men we met in
our own backyard.
Meet Jimmy Niggles. We spotted the founder of Beard Season and
ThisIsBeard.com wandering the streets of Surry Hills looking for a
decent bite to eat. Describing himself as a “creative”, Jimmy started
growing his beard three years ago after tragically losing his mate Wes
Bonnie to melanoma at the tender age of 26. Everyone that asks about his
impressive beard, he tells Wes’s story and urges them to get a skin
check. In non-beard related news, Jimmy has the sweet ability to be able
to open a beer bottle with anything (even other beer bottles!) and
dreams of one day owning a pirate ship. He’s always had this idea that
no one would get distracted on a ship and shit would get done – even if
Polly was constantly asking for a cracker. Not distracting at all…

Meet Dave Ross. We spotted the ex-surfer dude serving coffee at Mary Street Café and grabbed him for a quick chat, much like his boss Eli did a few months back. Dave was strolling past the café just after it opened, Eli invited him and BAM later that day he had a job and a bedroom upstairs. Nothing like being in the right place at the right time! A man of many talents, Dave taught himself to play the didgeridoo as a kid after seeing someone do it on TV and thinking, “I can do that.” Next minute (and much to his mother’s dismay), he was pulling apart the vacuum cleaner and giving it a go. In much the same way, Dave taught himself to surf, juggle and play the drums.

Meet Ben Ellis. We spotted this landscape gardener in Surry Hills on
his way back from protesting at the Sheraton Hotel Mining Conference. A
man with his own vegie patch who struggles when it comes to growing
cucumbers (they just take up way too much space), Ben is also quite the
dumpster diver, going on the hunt for
ever-so-slightly-damaged-but-still-completely-fine-and-edible food at
least once a week. Combining these spoils with his own produce, Ben
doesn’t have to spend a dollar on food – except when it comes to the odd
piece of takeout. A fan of humans and life in general, Ben’s also
really into bush poetry and wants to bring Henry Lawson back (from the
dead? We’re not sure…).

Meet Dave Cheney. We spotted him out grabbing his morning coffee in
Surry Hills wearing a rather sweet boat-print shirt. Working for a
fundraising company right now, this bearded dude used to spend 80% of
his time on the slopes, teaching peeps to snowboard. The other 20% of
the time, you’d find him standing in a bar in the wee hours of the
morning after all his friends have given up. Becoming a snowboard
instructor back in ’05, Dave did five years of back to back winters
across New Zealand, the UK and the USA. Not seeing a summer for quite a
while, Dave is really quite liking the summery feel right now! That said
though, wintery times do give him those nostalgia feels every now and
again.  Oh and if you’re interested about the beard, he’d never shave it
off – even for a million dollars.

These brilliant shots were taken by Ted O’Donnell.