Wednesday 25 November 2015
ILLUSTRATIONS BY EMMETT MULLIGAN
Answers from the Author
Where are you from?
I'm from Whitehall in Dublin.
What age did you start getting into art? What drew you towards it?
I started drawing at a very young age, literally 4 or 5 years old right through to my last year in school/first year in college. I think I've always just enjoyed being in my own head and playing with pens & paper really. I was never into sports or anything else and I think art & reading comics are what I used to pass the time while my friends kicked a ball around. As for what drew me towards it - pure escapism. I'll never forget the first time I seen 2000AD & Marvel comics. Blew my fragile little mind! After college (Graphic Design & Printmaking) I lost my way for a loooooong time & foolishly joined the corporate office world. Literally didn't pick up a pen for close to 10 years. Then one night I discovered The Red Album by Baroness & John Dyer Baizleys artwork & it kind of lit a fire under my ass. I quit my job, moved to Canada for 2 years & made art my primary focus. Best decision I ever made!
Your material consists of a lot of skulls mixed with nature. Why do you use these a lot and what do they represent to you?
Well the skull thing has been with me since I seen a class mates skate deck when I was around 11 years old. It was some awful cheesy looking thing with a vulture ripping an eyeball out of a skull or something but I thought it was the most badass fuckin' thing I'd ever clapped eyes on. I've been drawing them ever since. That said, these days I don't draw them because they're 'badass'. I just think skulls are a very powerful, striking image & if done right will almost always catch your attention. And they're fun to draw. The nature thing is just down to my obsession with life cycles. How things live, die & are reborn from decay. I don't see it as a scary thing, just a part of nature. I figure if I'm going to draw skulls, why not have them teeming with life to kind of represent this. That way each piece tells it's own little story.
You do logos and album designs. Anything else?
Primarily I do merch/album design and the occasional logo but I'll try my hand at anything really. I love working on t-shirt designs because it means I'm not confined to a square shape as with album covers etc. I do private commission pieces too & screen printing is something else I want to get back into when I have time to commit to it. I've also been experimenting with gel medium image transfer recently & will hopefully have some fun projects relating to that up & running this summer.
What bands are you listening to at the moment?
Currently loving all the recent stuff from Torche, Floor, Nachtmystium & Mutoid Man. Loving the new Teethmarks album, Survival - savage hardcore band from Toronto. Also Jersey Shores by Akimbo is fucking immense. Amazing album! Since Pepper rejoined Corrosion of Conformity I've been listening to Deliverance a lot - my favourite album in the world! I always have some Irish stuff on the go (Putrefaction, 20 Bulls Each, My Name is Satan) and your own ep, Subprdinate - To See Their Demise is on my playlist too. Looking forward to the new Headless Kross album (Volumes) when it hits in April. Fantastic band for drawing to.
From your experience, what tips can you give people trying to go down the same route?
Work your hole off, don't sell yourself short & know the value of your work. I know a lot of illustrators do work for free/cheap when starting out & it can be mutually beneficial for band & artist but there's nothing wrong with being aware & knowing when to 'level up'. Especially if you intend making a living from art. I still get requests for work in exchange for 'exposure' from time to time but I started turning it down long ago. Realistically, if I'm going to put 20/30/40 hours plus into a piece then I just can't justify doing it for nothing. I find most of the time it's possible to work within a bands budget. The band just needs to actually have a budget to work within!
A letter arrives, addressed to you. Inside is 3000 with no note attached. What do you do?
Probably get buried in tattoos! Or build a massive sarcophagus for myself made entirely out of lego...
Thanks for the interview! Any last words?
I just want to get drunk & headbang!
Click here for more pictures or to contact Emmett.