Last month, we welcomed Death and Milk into the Mighty Jaxx roster with the release of Warm Thoughts. We had the opportunity to have a short interview with the artist, join us as we learn more about him and his art!
What got you interested in art?
My old flatmate Hannah, who I lived with a few years back, is an incredible artist and would always be drawing and painting in our living room.
I used to enjoy watching her process and I think one day I showed an interest in having a go myself, so her and her husband bought me a sketch pad and some drawing materials for Christmas that year. Once I got started I couldn’t stop!
Who inspired your art while you were growing up?
I have a background in music and only started drawing in recent years so the people that inspired me as a young person were musicians rather than illustrators!
I’ve always been a grunge fan and so looked up to people like Kurt Cobain and Billy Corgan for their guitar playing and songwriting abilities. Back then I was really into shows like Dragon Ball Z and now I would say Akira Toriyama is one of my bigger influences, so I guess the influence could have been there from way back then.
What sort of mediums do you enjoy working on?
When I started out I would work with pencil and fine liner on literally any scrap of paper I could find. Digital art was always on my radar but at that time I couldn’t commit to spending the money on a tablet, plus my art was very minimal and was easily executed with the tools that I had.
It was only once I started progressing my style that I moved over to digital, as I wanted the option of having layers that I could manipulate if needed. Digital is also much less destructive than traditional methods, for example if you make a big mistake in digital you can simply undo rather than have to scrap the piece or try to fix it.
I’d also began making t-shirts at this time and found that it was much easier to draw straight to digital and have a printable file ready to go, rather than scan in a hand drawn image and spend time cleaning it up.
How would you describe your art style?
I personally think that my work sits somewhere between western comics and anime.
I make comics here and there and I would say they have a lot more in common with anime than manga, as they are usually full colour and cel shaded as opposed to black and white with screentone shading. I’ve always been a big fan of western comics, manga and anime so try and combine elements of all three!
Where do you hope for your artistic journey to move on to next?
I would really like to get into the world of comics, although I am quickly discovering how difficult it is to write/draw a comic whilst keeping up with day to day life things. It can be all-consuming! My first step will be to complete a mini-comic and see where that takes me. I would really love to collaborate with a comics writer on a project also!
Tell us a little about Warm Thoughts, what inspired its creation?
I don’t remember there being a particular moment that sparked inspiration for the drawing, I just remember having the words ‘warm thoughts’ in my head for a long while but not being able to land on a decent concept. I think when you consider the concept I went with it was kind of obvious! I love the idea of a person’s positive thoughts/outlook being a source of warmth and comfort for others.
Let us know...
My fianceé is a vegan chef so I’d have to say the peanut/sesame ramen dish she makes!
I always say something different each time I am asked this but the anime adaptation of Perfect Blue has always been a favourite of mine.
It’s about perception and how the public sometimes get heavily invested in a celebrity they think they know, when often it is just a facade created to sell records or movies. In this case a Japanese pop star wants to quit singing to become an actress and her public persona as a pop star takes on a life of it’s own.
Satoshi Kon, the director, is well known for creating films that deal with the human condition and themes such as delusion and paranoia are prevalent in his work. It’s well worth checking out!
Favourite music album?
Nevermind by Nirvana is an all time favourite!
I always put it on when I am washing dishes after dinner. I always loved that the singing and guitar playing were never conventionally perfect but the song writing was always impeccable. As someone who is a very average guitar player that was something I always strive for.
The piece you're most proud of?
This is a tough one. I drew a piece in late 2018 that showed a girl working in a flower shop as the grim reaper looks on in the background. It was one of the first times I’d attempted a proper background and I still like the way it looks now!