Murdoch Stafford (Australia)

Murdoch Stafford (Australia)

Koalas, Kangaroos, Surf or Aborigens, yes I think you already see where we're going today ;) But no chance at all to find any of those australian clichés in Murdoch's work. Frenchly speaking, it's a shame to live in such a sunny country and draw so dark things :) But this is "frenchly" (or swedishly) speaking, because, when it's come to talk about art and nothing more, australian or not, Murdoch knows definitly what it is all about !

Hello, of course as every Crewk interview, first question: what are we listening to when we come to visit you?

Hey there! Today, Judas Priest, Motorhead, Infernoh, Thin Lizzy (always), Totalitar and Tampere SS. Today has been a drawing day, too many bands to mention.

Can you tell us more about yourself, who are you, where are you from, what do you do?

I'm 25, I live in Brisbane. I play bass, dig records, books and movies heaps. Brisbane is pretty small so it's hard to be interesting in a city like this.

When did you start drawing?

As a kid I loved copying comic books and photos. So i guess I've always been doing it to keep myself from being bored but only started to become more interested about five years ago.

Did you follow any course or did you improve by drawing in the margins of your schoolbooks?

For over a year I was doing a visual arts course. The only reason I started the course was because I was under the impression they would teach me the technical side of things. It turned out to be full of nonsense (painting with leaves, abstract rubbish etc) So definitely self taught. Would I be better if I had formal training? probably but I wouldn't enjoy it.

Today are you living from your art, or do you do something else for a living ?

Haha, definitely not making a living from it. I work at a library doing pretty menial work but it pays the bills, unlike my most of my art jobs. I like it that way. I don't like having to take on project just because I need the money. I like the control. Money complicates things that should be simple and fun. Saying that, money is great!

Are you collaborating with magazines/fanzines, regularly?

No not currently.

Where does your influence come from? Is there any artists/graphists you particularly like, what are your influences?

My influences come from everywhere. Other artists, movies and books. I always find myself being influenced by someone, there are too many amazing people out there not to be. To narrow it down just seems unfair . . . . so, Virgil Finlay, Frank Frazetta, Yossie, Harry Clarke, Takato Yamamoto, Tom, Pushead, Mikel, Sugi, Katsuhiro Otomo, Ryan Ottley, French, Andrei Bouzikov and so many more.

What are the principal steps in your work ?

After the idea or brief I start with thumbnails and try to sketch the layout. I take lots of reference photos, pull out heaps of books and go from there. I ink my pencils onto a new piece of paper with a lightbox.

Do you do everything by hand or on computer?

Everything by hand. I loathe computers. It's a necessary evil that can't be avoided but I do what I can.

How long does it take you to do a poster?

I've never timed one. Sometimes the idea, sketch and pencils can all come together very quickly other times it can take forever to get it all down on the page. The inking process always takes a long time.

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 ?

Haha probably not. I can't paint to save myself. I'm happy to explore ideas but for the greater good it's best for everyone if I stick to using pens.

For which band have you already worked for?

Teargas, Isterismo, Leprosy, Nuclear Death Terror, Fy Fan, Dick Nasty and others.

For which band would you love to work?

Past and Present? Long list either way. Goblin, Forward, Kromosom, Infernoh, Nemesis, Crow, Lapinpolthajat, Age, Blowback, Destino Final, Nightmare, State Poison. The dream list could go on forever. If you happen to be in any of the bands, feel free to e-mail me, I won't mind.

Do you choose the artists yourself?

Usually not, I just draw up posters for friends that are putting on shows for bands coming through town.

What is the most difficult part in designing a poster ?

Executing an idea well. It all works in my head but trying to fit all the details on the page and still make it striking can be quite hard. Something I should work harder at.

Do you think you are part of a "Graphic Scene", if so who else ?

I dunno, I just try to do what I like and do it well. I'm sure I could easily be lumped into lots of scenes if someone wanted to.

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?

My blog is probably the best place since I actually update it.

Or my website

The best praise you received lately?

Hard to say. I think anytime someone is willing to have me draw for something for their band is pretty high praise. It's easy to forget how cool that is! The radder the band the better the compliment!

What can we wish you for the future?

More art for friends and great bands!!!

Thanks for answering my questions and see you soon on the website !!

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