Let's face it, it happen sometimes that I decide to interview artists I just discovered 10 minutes ago on gigposters.com and never heard about before. But today I am particulary happy and proud to habe Drew Millward on the site, not only because its art is definitly superb, but also because I am a great fan of what he is doing since a long long time ago. I was quite afraid of his answer when I asked for an interview, as I was imagining him very busy, but you will see by yourself he took all the requiered time to answer the interview...
Over the past few weeks it's been nothing but Bon Iver, and that doesn't looks to be altering any time soon. But depending on mood, it can be anything from Mayhem to The Weakerthans.
Can you tell us more about yourself, who are you, where are you from, what do you do?
I'm Drew. I'm originally from Bolton (near Manchester), and I now live in Leeds, where I have been for the past 11 years. I draw pictures, using pencils, pens and the occasional digital intervention.
When did you start drawing?
I suppose, like most people, I did draw, to a greater of lesser extent, from Childhood. But in terms of taking it seriously, I started in about 2004/2005.
Bit of both. I studied art throughout high school, college and university, as it was the only subject I ever really showed any promise in. I studied Fine Art up to degree level, but mainly avoided drawing, as I was told I wasn't very good.
Today are you living from your art, or do you do something else for a living ?
No, I am a full time commercial artist.
Are you collaborating with magazines/fanzines, regularly?
Not really. I work for a very wide range of clients, and they come in all shapes and sizes. Anything from commissioned paintings to album covers, and everything in between.
I'm very conscious of the 'graphic art' scene being quite cannibalistic. You see an awful lot of plagiarism occurring, and it comes from the readily available access to a lot of images on the internet. As best I can, I try to avoid looking too much at current trends and work, so as not to be too heavily influenced. I tend to find inspiration in a lot of historical art (Russian & Japanese art plays a big part in what I do), children's illustrators, wood cuts and engravings and historical (1950's to Victorian) documents and commercial design. All through a peculiar filter of lowbrow art, 80's skate graphics and punk rock. I think a lot of people don't look beyond their immediate contemporaries, and it creates a bit of a stagnant body of work.
What are the principal steps in your work ?
Sketching, inking, scanning, colouring. There is usually a printing stage after that, depending on the project. I do work a lot in the screen printed medium, and there is the step of separating the files to be print ready.
A little of both. Generally I try to limit myself. If i couldn't do it my hand, i try not to do it on the computer. It just makes the process easier and less messy.
How long does it take you to do a poster?
Anywhere from a day to a week. Dependent on the levels of detail and procrastination.
You have a very distinctive style, are you doing only what you feel like or if tomorrow somebody asks you an oil painting with horses running out of water with a sunset backdrop, is it a problem or are you up for it ?
I'm in a very fortunate position, that most of the people who approach me for work, know my style and like what i do. I'm usually left to my own devices. That said, a challenge is sometimes quite nice. I'd like to think that whatever i do would have my 'style' in it somewhere, regardless of the subject matter.
For which band would you love to work?
Tom Waits, Shellac, Converge, Mastodon, The Afghan Whigs.
Do you choose the artists yourself?
Not really. I'm generally contacted by management or artists directly.
What is the most difficult part in designing a poster ?
Staring at a blank sheet of paper, filled with self doubt.
It's difficult to say. I have friends who also work within a similar realm, but I think we all approach things from a very different perspective.
A bit of self-promotion, take advantage of it, it's free, where can we see your work , on the web or in real life?
The best praise you received lately?
I'm not too sure. Any praise is appreciated, to be honest. It's a pretty lonely existence as an illustrator/artist, and face to face feedback is few and far between, so ant positive feedback is a bit of a boost.
A house, a comfy chair and a quite life.