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Q&A with Mitch Blunt

Conceptual Illustrator from Frankfurt, Germany

I was born in Hastings, England and have been drawing for as long as I can remember. I used to sell dinosaur drawings to kids in school for tuck shop money and now I’m married and I sell my drawings for rent and red wine. I’m currently based in Frankfurt, Germany and can’t speak German.

What inspired you to become an illustrator?

­I originally studied graphic design but after four years I decided that I wasn’t really interested in pursuing it as a career (probably a mistake!). After this, I started making personal paintings and ink drawings and posting them online. Somewhere along the way I decided to apply to Kingston University’s Illustration course and luckily I got accepted. The summer before the final year I got hired by the New York Times to do some work. This gave me a huge confidence boost and the hunger to pursue illustration as a career. I graduated in 2009, hit the ground running and have been doing it ever since.

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What design tools do you use?

Recently I have been using a number of tools but everything starts out in list form with a pencil and lots of paper. I then use a combination of Photoshop, Illustrator, brush and ink, some collage, a Wacom tablet and hope to actually make and compliment the idea in the best way I can.

What is your ideal work environment?

I don’t really have an ‘ideal’ work environment as I’ve worked in a lot of different spaces. Anywhere with a wifi connection and space to make a bit of mess will work for me but lately I’ve been enjoying working at a standing desk.

Where does your design inspiration come from?

I’m a bit of a sponge when it comes to inspiration so I try not to look at any current illustration anymore if I can help it. I’m mostly inspired by politically motivated work, good journalism and travel. HBO’s documentary series ‘Witness’ blew me away, David Gentleman, Colors Magazine’s Protest Issue, Saul Bass, Alan Fletcher, Ivan Chermayeff, George Carlin, Bill Hicks and Paul Thomas Anderson to name a few.

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© Mitch Blunt

Who is the person you admire most?

To be honest, I respect anyone who has cultivated a lifelong career out of creating things. I don’t really have to enjoy the art myself, but the admiration is still there.