08/02/2010

Dan Mumford


In my opinion, one of the best current illustrators around in the music business.
I've followed Dan's work since the first Gallows release and remember purchasi
ng 'In the belly of a shark' to simply own the artwork itself.

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It seems like your work is constantly becoming more powerful and more colourful as you progress, yet always keeping the same style which helped you get recognized.
How important is it for you that your work has the same feel? Do you ever create something and feel like it just isn't you?


My style has just progressed quite naturally, i didnt intend for it to be like it is or anything, so its not been forced or anything. I just went with what felt right and drew how i wanted to. I have worked on things before and not been completely comfortable with them or felt that the work wasnt quite right for me, but then certain pieces i just dont put in my portfolio, its a learning curve.



Do you have a favourite piece that you created? Or somethi
ng that your most proud of achieving?

Not really, i feel proud that i have managed to sustain a freelance career for the past two years working mainly in the music industry. The biggest project i worked on was obviously the Gallows re-release of orchestra of wolves, that was a pretty crazy job, and it was a huge undertaking, im definitely proud of that Triptych of releases.


Your work hit the mainstream when Gallows gained more popularity in the UK music scene.
Do you think choosing your clients carefully got you to where you are now or could it also be down to a bit of luck?


Its a bit of both, theres definitely some Luck in there, and to be honest to begin with i wasnt able to be picky about clients, now i have a bit more choice obviously which is nice.


At the Gay For Johnny Depp gig in London, I saw someone wearing my shirt from the tour merch. It's such a nice feeling to see other people appreciate what you've made,
I often see your shirts and can instantly recognize them, can you remember seeing your work for the first time in public? Did you feel as ecstatic as I did?


Yeah the first time i saw one of my tees on a merch stand was great, the bigger thrill was walking into my local HMV and picking up one of my first CDs, that was pretty amazing, especially the Gallows stuff as it was everywhere. So yeah, it always feels good to see my work out there.



Although you're an established illustrator, did you ever any doubts that things may not work out so well and illustration could never be a full time job, or was it a pretty smooth ride to the top?


I wouldnt say it was smooth necessarily, i certainly never thought i would be able to sustain a career like this, when i think about what i actually do for a living it does blow my mind a little bit. I have a had a few bumps along the way, a few times when i thought i might not be able to pay the bills etc, but i think im getting a hang of this freelance lark now.


Can you remember the first piece of work you did for a client?


Not precisely, but i do remember one of the first was for a band called break the sky, and a tee shirt for I Killed The Prom Queen. Those were definitely in the first few jobs.


I guess self analysis is the best way for growth so are you self critical? do you ever look back at something and wish you'd done it totally different?

Yeah, definitely! Pretty much every job i do i wish i could do differently, but then i dont think any good artist should ever be completely happy with their work, you always have to think about what you could do better, but at the same time you cant be too self defeatist about it either.


Anything you're really excited about that you're working on now?

Yep, new S&R stuff is coming along nicely, really want to try and see where we can take that, and also got a new little self project in the works which should see the light of day within the next three months, should be fun!

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all illustrations © Dan Mumford

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