We were intrigued to come across Mud’s site recently, drawn in by the thematic sweeps of illustration – lips, handbags, portraits and strange blotted fashion designs which show a heady combination of technical verve, an eye for experimentation and an instinctive emotional pull. Further investigation revealed the person behind it is a well-known practising creative who has set up the blog as a diverting side project. They agreed to be interviewed as long as their anonymity was preserved…
Tell us about how this side project came into being? What are you hoping to explore by doing it?
It is somehow a result of a big appetite for creating and working, but my daytime work has its limitations. I usually do a lot of graphic design and various work done on the computer, and computers have limitations. The free flow of thoughts gets distilled.
That’s not a bad thing, but I need something else as well. I have always done this type of thing parallel to regular work – I have got an apartment full of illustrations. It was time to bring some system to it. I started last year doing sets of illustrations – I started painting and it just looked like a mess. Really bad. So the alter ego became Mud.
Why do you want to keep it anonymous? Do you enjoy the freedom that brings with it?
As my regular work is more or less made with a certain visual signature I don’t want to confuse people by adding these pieces to that body of work. And if I do that, the free flow of ideas and techniques might just be swallowed up by daily routines.
The pieces I am making can sometimes be done in one minute, freehand. But the result is sometimes ten times more satisfying then the work I for example spend one week on.
How do you select the themes you are illustrating around on the site?
Normally I pick a theme I want to explore. Not always intentionally, but I usually work with pop culture and make it not too pretty. I only plan what to illustrate, not how.
The result is important, but the drive is the process itself. It is the main reason to do this. I have been missing it for a long time.
How might we see Mud develop over time?
I have no idea. Maybe more complex work? Perhaps more edible for the viewer? It is done in my spare time, so my private life dictates how the future direction will be. Dark in the winter time, colourful in the summer…
- Nicolas Garner explores the clash of digital and organic in his hyperreal imagery
- Dennis Church’s 12-year project sees him capture the visual noise of America’s streets
- Hudson Christie’s illustration trickery uses depth to create textured, flat pieces
- A rare interview with enigmatic and cherished photographer, Nguan
- Karen Asher photographs the people and happenings of Winnipeg, Canada
- Nieves founder Benjamin Sommerhalder shares his passion for books and zines
- Parker Day's lurid colours and grotesque characters elevate identity and fantasy (NSFW)
- Paper reveals Break the Internet take two, with Nicki Minaj shot by Ellen von Unwerth
- Bea de Giacomo photographs the wonders of pregnancy
- Matthieu Lavanchy recreates food emojis "irl" for The Gourmand's tenth issue
- Introducing Broccoli, the publication “normalising cannabis use, especially for women”
- One Step Ahead: we meet Paula Scher, the trailblazing Pentagram Partner