From freelance illustrations to pop culture art to some of the most in-demand gig posters, with London’s Dan Mumford
I was always hoping to move into something creative after my early years at school. It was going to be art or literature, but I went with art in the end, I wasn’t a great writer! I studied illustration at university for three years and following that I have been a freelance illustrator for the past 12 years or so.
My Artistic Process:
In general, I tend to come up with a rough idea before even putting down the first line. I think through what a good concept could be and then work up a rough sketch in photoshop. I do everything from sketch to final digitally now as well, no analog drawing really. My process really depends on the project, each one is different really.
The time a project takes as well can also come down to the client, sometimes there can a lot of back and forth and that can hold things up. The drawing process itself though for a final piece tends to be three-five days, sometimes more, but I try and keep a project to one week at the most!
My Unique Style:
My style comes from a love of comics really. I wanted to create work that had bold lines with nice colours, and to be honest it kind of just came naturally from that. There was never any point where i was specifically going for a certain style, I let it develop quite naturally over the years. And it still develops to this day of course, I have lots elements to my work which I would like to evolve. Overall though I think my use of colour is probably what draws a lot of people to my work, I try and put nice colouring and beautiful lighting into all my pieces.
Mixing Art and Music:
I actually started out creating tee designs and cd covers for bands. This came from being a part of the alternative music scene myself, playing in bands and going to local shows in London. So, when smaller bands needed artwork, I did a few pieces here and there, and slowly that evolved into me doing quite a lot of music-based artwork. I stopped doing mainly music artwork a few years ago and have focused on pop culture artwork since then. However, the past few years I have had the pleasure of once again doing more music-based artwork through gig posters for lots of great bands. So, it’s been quite a cyclical process, and I’m glad I can do a few posters each year for various bands.
Creating Tour Posters:
It’s actually quite a freeing process most of the time to create a tour poster. Sometimes the bands have something in mind or might want to include an element or two that they are using for that tour cycle. But normally they are really open to various ideas, sometimes there’s a few suggestions here and there, but it can be a great way come up with something fun and unusual. I think that’s why some of the most exciting and interesting artwork comes out of tour posters these days, it’s always great seeing what all the different artists come up with for each date of a bands tour.
I have had the honour of creating artwork for hundreds of bands, movies and many other projects, too many to mention really. Most of the time I think clients come to me after seeing my work elsewhere on other projects, and I try and maintain quite a strong social media presence too sharing all the work I do. I think it’s a mixture of those elements that help get my artwork out there to potential clients.
All photos courtesy of Dan Mumford.