Drew Millward was born in 1981 in Coventry; he grew up in Bolton, studied and lived in Leeds for many years and now lives in a quarry in the Aire Valley, with his wife and no pets. He has been drawing pictures since around 2004. Drew likes to draw ‘the old fashioned way’, using pencils, pens and a love of the craft of illustration. Although he has recently started to incorporate more purely digital elements into his work. While his subject matter can vary dramatically, he hopes that the attention to detail and the love of drawing, beer and cheeseburgers is apparent throughout his work.
We sat down with Drew and asked him a few questions about his time in the industry and his heartwarming piece for Skull & Heart ‘Amis Pour Toujours‘.
Q: Hi Drew, how are you?
A: I am well. I’ve had too much coffee.
Q: Firstly, we’d just like to thank you for creating such a beautiful piece for us, we’re big fans of all your work here at S&H so we’re very excited to get this print out there!
A: Aw, thanks for asking me to be part of it.
Q: So, how did you get into illustration at first? What led you down this path?
A: Posters. Myself and some friends used to put on gigs in Leeds. We needed to advertise those gigs, so I made posters. They were terrible, but people saw something in them that they enjoyed. That lead on to more work, and now, the better part of 10 years later, I do this for a living.
Q: Talk us through a typical Millward creation then, how do you go about your work?
A: Procrastination, procrastination, procrastination, usually followed by a spell of self doubt and a few days of total creative failure. Eventually the deadline gets so close that something needs to be pulled out of the bag, and it invariable is.
Q: you’re known for your intricate and quite psychadelic style, where did this evolve from? and where do you see it going in the future?
A: I have no idea. I guess that over time it’s something I have fallen into. The truth is, I’m not very good at drawing, in the traditional sense, so I’ve always played to my strengths. I think it’s more escapism, than psychedelia. I’ve always had a bit of an issue with that tag of ‘Psychedelia’, due to it’s un-severable links with drug culture. I’ve never been into drugs, mainly because there is a fair chance they will have spent a period of time in someone’s anus. I like to create characters, places and implied narratives, and I’m not sure that is something that the psych movement ever really did. I suppose there are elements that link the two, but it’s an aesthetic nod, more than anything else.
Q: What are your Inspirations, what do you often look to when feeling a little drained of ideas?
A: I am drawn to, and inspired by a massive amount of things. Inspiration really can come from anywhere, but nine times out of ten, it can be found at the end of a good nights sleep, at the bottom of a coffee mug.
Q: Tell us about the piece you did for Skull & Heart.
A: It was probably the most difficult piece I have ever made. The pressure of working within a series populated by such incredible talent, and only having 2 colours to use (black and yellow?!! I would never use black and yellow!) was crippling. In the end I just ran with it. I’m happy with the outcome.
Q: Can you tell us about any future projects in the works?
A: Toys, posters, prints, clothes, paintings…. the usual.
Q: Skulls or Hearts?