We recently had at to chat with Drew Millward, who is best know for his amazing poster designs. His colorways attention to detail and overall talent really put in a class of his own. And now on with the interview!
So could you start by giving us a small bio, age, education, favorite
I’m Drew Millward. I’m 28. I live in Leeds. I was birthed in Coventry, and grew up in Bolton. I studied at through school, and university, since it was the only thing I showed any glimmer of talent at. I love noodles.
You do a ton of poster designs, how did you get into that niche?
While I was at university, myself and some friends put on gigs in Leeds. Out of that the necessity for posters came. Since I did art, some of the responsibility fell to me. In fairness I hadn’t actually drawn anything for years, so that was something that I just started doing around that time. From that I ended up picking up some poster work for other promoters and bands, and it basically picked up from there. It was around 2004/5 I started putting some of the stuff I did up on gigposters.com, after which things started to take off. I eventually ended up being in the fortunate position of being able to give up my ‘proper’ job and start drawing full time. This brings us about up to speed. I still do a lot of poster work, but my client base is pretty wide ranging now, which is nice.
I must say the artwork that you put together for your poster day is extremely detailed and intricate, how long does it usually take you to complete a design?
It really depends. Sometimes I can wrap things up in a day or so, other times it can take a week or more. I try to keep a few things on the go at once, that way I can jump between different projects to keep myself interested. I have a pretty short attention span.
Are you an artist that prefers a lot of direction from a client or someone that likes to just put the pencil to the paper and do what you feel?
Definitely just putting pencil to paper, and seeing where it takes me. Due to a lot of the work I do being for bands, the major task in hand is to illustrate their music/image/ideas through the work I make. If I can come close to that, then it means I’m doing my job properly. I suppose I’m in a fortunate position to mainly work for clients that I can on some level understand. That makes things a lot easier, and allows me to create work that both I, and the client, are happy with.
Have you won any awards or been recognized for any accomplishments with your work?
Other than the enormous sense of well being and the worm glow inside, not really. I make art because it’s what I love doing. I can’t think of anything I would rather do, so that fact that I can make a living from it is pretty much reward enough. Although some sort of trophy to show my mum would be nice.
Have you had a favorite client to work for or with?
Each project is different, and rewarding in its own way. I’ve been lucky in as much as I haven’t had any nightmare clients. Most people hire me having seen what I do, so I’m usually just left to my own devices. This suits me fine.
If you didn’t become an artist what do you feel that you would be doing?
I would probably still be working in an office, being incredibly miserable. I’d like to think, that in some parallel universe, I could have been a teacher, or a Nobel Prize winning scientist, but as stated earlier, I was pretty shitty at everything else.
Can you describe a bit of your creative process? Any moods you need to
set, do you plan on the computer or just start sketching?
Inspiration comes from anywhere, so when the mood takes me I tend to just go with it. I always start out with paper and pencils. I have learned over time to not over think things too much. Something that seems like a great idea can slowly go bad if you sleep on it too much, so I tend to just run with ideas that arrive.
Have you ever hit a dry spell for ideas and what have you done to overcome that?
All the time. I try to keep a few things going at once, that way I can always move to something else if inspiration is in short supply. If I’m drawing, I like to have a painting to go to, if I’m painting I like to have something scanned and at the computer stage. It allows you to take a break from things while still working.
Where do you find inspiration for your art?
Pretty much anywhere. Books, comics, films, myths and legends, songs. It’s certainly not something I could pinpoint at all.
What are three things you couldn’t live without having?
Pencils, paper and pens. The 3 ‘P’s.
What can we look forward to from you this year?
There are a lot of things in the works at the moment. Stuff I can’t talk about, stuff I can, but would rather have it be a surprise. There will be more posters and prints that will be available through www.postersandtoys.com, some new clothing stuff from Hide and Seek apparel, some new stuff for the Alamo cinema and Mondo Tees… the list goes on. There are a few other personal projects that I hope to have the time to put into action too, should I find the time. But, in short, same ole’, same ole’.