Dan Mumford is a freelance illustrator/designer/screenprinter working out of Studio100 in central London. Having graduated from Brighton University in 2007, Dan Mumford has become one of the more prominent names in the alternative music and design scene. He has worked with many bands and clients including Gallows, Bring me the Horizon, Drop Dead, Nike, Adidas, Digital Arts and Rossignol.
Dan created the beautiful ‘Noir’. for us. We were lucky enough to sit down with him and ask a few questions about his piece for Skull & Heart and his time in the industry.
Q: Hi Dan, how are you?
A: I am very well at the moment, keeping busy with many projects.
Q: Tell us more! what are you working on?
A: I am currently working on a few personal projects, as well as many projects with numerous bands and brands. I’m also working on things with my new band called Landis, we are getting ready to put some new music out there soon. Then theres the dead sea mob, who i have been doing quite a few live shows with the last few months, we should have quite a few more coming up this year as well!
Q: So how did you get into illustration at first?
A: Well, it happened quite naturally, i always enjoyed art and when i was at school it was the only thing that really interested me, so it made sense to follow through to university, and then the freelance lifestyle followed swiftly after i left!
Q: You’re quite well known in the metal/hardcore scene with a lot of bands coveting your intricate work for their album artwork and posters, how important is it for you to be a part of that?
A: Its very important, its what i grew up with, so its really nice to be doing something that is quite an integral part of the music industry. Essentially i can be responsible for all aspects of a bands branding, which is quite an undertaking sometimes. But i love that, and its always something im going to want to be involved in. I played in a lot of bands growing up, and i let that fall by the wayside for art, so its nice that it led back to the music scene eventually, it shaped who i am and what i do, and im playing music again now anyway, so it all worked out in the end!
Q: Does this limit the way people view your work? do you feel you are pigeonholed at all?
A: Most definitely, its quite hard sometimes to get people to take my work seriously. I think some see it as quite a childish genre of work, which i find really strange. But i like to show people that i can do more than the gorey metal tees, i think it surprises people, hopefully with time people will just accept me as an artist and not a ‘metal’ artist.
Q: Talk us through a typical creation then, how do you go about your work?
A: I generally start with a quick sketch, digital or pencil and line and then take that into photoshop and work up a slightly more elaborate colour sketch to give me a good idea of what its going to look like if i work it up properly. If im happy with the idea (and the client if there is one) then ill get moving on it and either work on it in photoshop or start drawing with pens on a large scale. For most pieces that need to be reproduced digitally or for tees etc I work on them in photoshop as it makes things a lot easier and quicker! For personal pieces i like to do it in pen, its a lot more natural and i enjoy it more.
Q: What are your Inspiration? Artists / designers / illustrators? I know you’re an avid film watcher, do you think this influences the way you draw?
A: Completely, i think the main things that influence me are things with a narrative, films, comics and books, they are my main inspiration. Films like Aliens and Blade runner are burned in my mind, and i think im always striving to create things that are up there with their visual majesty.
Q: Tell us about the piece you did for Skull & Heart.
A: Well i knew that i wanted to create something quite beautiful and yet slightly dark, so i went for a full on dia de los muertos girl but with a huge Alfons Mucha inspired frame as well. I essentially just took the brief as an oppurtunity to go all out and create a really detailed image!
Q: We know you and Will are good friends, i already asked him, but could we ever see a collaborative comic of some sort?
A: Maybe one day! I know me and Will both have a huge mutual love of comics and all things sci-fi and nerdy, I could see it happening one day!
Q: Can you tell us about any future projects?
A: Right now i am trying to focus on some personal projects that should hopefully see fruition very soon! But mainly i hope to have lots of prints on sale, thats my main aim for 2012!