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Guest Artist – Drew Millward

Illustrator, Drew Millward, started his creative career studying fine art at University. After graduating (and realising fine art wasn’t for him), he switched paths, began putting on gigs and running a record label with friends - where Drew’s talent came into its own through the creation of posters and other promotional materials. (Scroll for more).
Guest Artist – Drew Millward

by Matthew Taylor

3 years ago

Fast forward 17-or-so years, and Drew’s distinctive, remarkable designs can now be found on everything from screen prints to embroidery, knitwear and even tattoos. 

Read on to discover how selling his work still blows Drew's mind, what his dream collaboration would be and enjoy his pearls of wisdom for lockdown survival.

"When someone offered me about £35 to design a poster, I quit my job... The fact that I can make and sell work and be hired by people, still, after all the years, blows my mind. I try to create things I believe in and hope that people come along with me, but I’ve had to learn to say "no" to briefs and projects that I don't feel like I can bring things to. 

I absolutely love seeing my work in new applications... My dream collaboration would be to design a children's play park. I like to make things and I kind of feel like making work with an end purpose is the best part of my job. It's like William Morris said "have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful." (scroll down for more). 

Work wise, 2020 has been an odd year... All poster work has vanished, but it's been replaced by other things. I'm lucky that I've always had a very varied client base and I'm not wholly reliant on one stream of income. I rarely, if ever, do any fairs or face-to-face selling and I'm lucky to have the webshop. I can imagine it's been a lot harder for other people, but I'm very thankful the pandemic has not had a massive impact on my day-to-day work. In fact, it’s given me a little more breathing room, which has allowed me to do some personal and charity projects - and allowed me to start making music again. 

When designing my limited-edition notebook for Ootrey... I wanted to make something that was bold and eye-catching, that utilised the front and back of the design. The symmetrical image means it works as a cover, but reveals more when the book is fully open. It’s perfect for anyone, particularly if they like robots. 

My tips for getting through these difficult times... Live small. Be happy with what you have. Hug your friends when you can and tell them you love them."

Instagram: @drewmillward 

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