KEV MUNDAY an exclusive interview
// for BOYS WHO DRAW
Our second exclusive interview this month is with the wildly creative genius that is KEV MUNDAY. Barely had Mr Miller left the hot-seat, when we should be graced by the marker pen wielding don of the UK. Known for his unique, toothy monster characters, that enjoyable sense of colour and not forgetting his sheer, incredible output of quality artwork, we were very excited to nab Kev for a bit of a chat about how it all happens. And he even whipped out the infamous pen and did us a nifty drawing too...
1) How did it all begin?
I started drawing and painting with my friends when I was a teenager. We would paint walls and put stickers and stencils up. I did my first work on canvas when I was 18.
2) Do you have a favourite character that you like to come back to/redraw?
I like drawing new characters, but this guy was one of the first that I started doing (see above image). His name is gumball and he's appeared on hundreds of stickers and paste ups over the years.
3) What are your influences, artistically or otherwise?
Energy, colour, DIY ethic, punk, traveling, skate culture, old wood cuts, aboriginal art, unity, countryside, collaboration, bold, crowds, riots, upbeat, flow, graffiti, nature.
Artistically: Keith Haring, Basquiat, Andy Howell, David Choe, Jeff Soto, Roger Hargreaves, Jon Burgerman, David Shrigley etc etc. I love creating work with kids, they have better ideas that adults.
4) What's been your favourite event/exhibition which you've been part of?
Event wise I like creating big collaboration pieces with loads of other artists, this piece (see above image) we (me, DBO, Faunagraphic, Rocket01, Famous When Dead, Deus, 2 Pence, SU1) painted for Let Them Create Gallery in Stoke On Trent was great fun. My favourite exhibition is probably the Urban Art Sale at Selfridges just because of the huge number of people who saw it.
5) Is there anything that you've not done yet, with your artwork, that you would love to do?
I would love to make some animations. I've started playing around in flash, hopefully one day I'll make a whole series of short movies.
6) How do you know when a piece is complete?
When it looks like it does in my head, or when I run out of space
7) How do you motivate yourself?
I don't find it hard to motivate myself, I really enjoy what I do so it's pretty easy.
8) Tell us a bit about 'Under The Hat' and 'Visual Tourettes'? What were some of the challenges that you had when setting up these projects?
Under The Hat is my clothing brand. I started it when I was 17, I had 2 designs printed on 10 t-shirts each and sold them to my mates and on Internet forums. The stuff is now for sale in stores across the UK and Europe and I've got a guy who distributes it for me in Scandinavia. the biggest challenge with selling t-shirts is that pretty much everyone creative is doing it.
Visual Tourettes I describe as 'an open mic night for the art world'. I started organising nights in 2007, the basic set up is that we take over a venue for a night and the walls of the place are open to anyone who wants to display and sell their artwork. We have live painting from loads of different artists with the focus being on collaboration. The nights have taken place in 14 cities across the UK.
I organise other projects for Visual Tourettes too, a couple that are currently running are the sketchbook and board art shows.
The sketchbook is a travelling collaboration between 50 artists from across the world. The book is sent to artists one at a time, who are asked to start half a piece on a page, plus finish half a piece by an artist on the previous page and then send it on to the next artist on the list.
(see picture for page from the book by China Mike and Mr Jago)
The board art show is being run in conjunction with FBBB. It's a collection of custom hand painted skate decks/ snowboards from 20 artists. The boards are travelling around with the FBBB crew to all the snowdomes across the UK and we've got a final exhibition of them all at the Reebok Lounge in Shoreditch later in the year.
9) Have you a snappy piece of advice for budding artist types?
Spend a long time developing your own style and use it to tell your own story.
10) What's your favourite biscuit?
I'm going with the humble bourbon.