Mint TV: MEGAMUNDEN – A Bomb Mural.
MEGAMUNDEN is an illustrator, designer and all round creative mind who resides in Brighton. His work features complex and well constructed colour combinations paired with all manor of crazy and intriguing creatures and characters. Which when viewed together makes for some incredibly interesting work. Having created work for a list of impressive past clients such as AnyForty, Becks Beer, Nike, Latitude and Levis, MEGAMUNDEN also hand paints and designs large murals for various projects including shop fronts, burger restaurants, bars and clubs. We took a trip down to MEGAMUNDEN’s home town of Brighton to film him and his team at work whilst painting a tailor made mural for The Bomb hairdressers.
What’s up MEGAMUNDEN, how are you today? Busy I’m sure! What’s been going on since we last spoke?
Hey Mint Mag, yeah I’m good thanks. Busy as always. I imagine the biggest things that have happened since we last spoke was me starting work as a Senior Designer at ilovedust and my website going live. Both of which have brought great experiences. With ilovedust I’ve been lucky enough to go on some great trips carrying out overseas projects, one of which was a group trip to Monaco to do a live mural painting for RedBull during the build up to the Grand Prix. Another meant me going over to The States for nearly a month to work on a long term college basketball related project. So yeah, very lucky in that department; ilovedust are getting some amazing work in and I’m really enjoying all of it.
My website going live has really given the amount of freelance work I get offered a boost. I’m beginning to be put forward for some larger scale projects and I was lucky enough to get a job from Nike Snowboarding, which I’ll be showing on my site later in the year. I’ve also just completed a really nice job for Howies clothing, a new T-shirt design that will come out when they drop their next range of T’s at some point this year.
We’re giving the Mint readers an insight into the work that goes into a MEGAMUNDEN mural by premiering the film we shot with you over a weekend in Brighton, can you tell us a bit about the mural in question and give us an idea of the work that goes into creating a mural like this. How does it begin and move on towards the final product?
I guess every mural is different, but there are some similar processes that I use for each. It often depends on the style of the design and who I’m working for. If a client is quite open to me doing my thing then I may not plan things as tightly and freestyle a little more on the wall. Whereas if it’s a project that involves showing a design that needs approval and then me translating that design exactly to the surface I will use a tight grid and any other means necessary to get it as accurate as possible (as with this piece back in my McFaul Studio days).
With the mural in question for ‘The Bomb’ hairdressers in Brighton’s North Laine, although the client was really open to me being loose with the design, the nature of the surface I was working on and the unusual canvass proportions (a shop front) meant that I planned the piece very accurately. The pavement outside was also on a gradual slope which meant working off the ladders wasn’t easy, it was a tough one. So with all those factors in mind the process went a little like so:
- I initially took a front elevation snapshot of the Shop on my iPhone.
- I went home and popped the shot on my computer and then traced a loose template out of the dimensions of the shop front.
- With this loose template in place I began designing the piece which was to be a mixture of abstract shapes with a loose space theme (space themes were something I was playing with at the time).
- A really important element of the design is of course the name of the shop, ‘The Bomb’. So with the typography I wanted it to take over the whole top panel above the door and make a real statement so it stood out amongst the crowded North Laines. Pete, the owner of the Hairdressers, is a huge comic book fan – this is really evident inside the hairdressers – so I based the type on a comic style mixed with my abstract shape style that I’d used years before at Carhartt store London.
- Once the design was drawn I digitally coloured the piece in photoshop and opted for a bold black, white and blue palette. Pete had mentioned that something black and white would be a good option and he was cool with using the blue pop colour.
- I added the face and tongue coming down the stairs in the door area a little later and Pete loved it, this was inspired by Jim Phillips’ ‘Screaming Hand’ piece which I love.
- The design was quickly approved, Pete was great to work with and after that I used a simple grid (which is what I often use when trying to replicate a piece accurately), which is laid over the top of the design, I then print this out on A3 sheets and have these to hand when painting live.
- With the grid drawn over the top of the design and print outs loaded along with my pens and paints, I gathered a small team of volunteers, namely my brother Joshua Munden, Jack Mitchell, a long time friend and work colleague from both the McFaul Studio era and now at ilovedust, Jake Tilbury of Parliament of Feathers, Will Scobie, a fellow illustrator friend, Samuel Cunningham, and lastly Michelle Ingham and we set to work over the course of a few weekends.
- The first thing to do is draw up the same grid as I’ve placed over the design digitally. This is all measured and calculated and I have to scale it up when drawing live.
- Once drawn I pencil up the design looking at my print outs carefully and free handing what I see in each section of the grid into the relevant grid section on the wall.
- Once the design is drawn up I then apply the fill colours, in this case just the blue.
- After that I move onto the black line work and fills.
- Lastly some metallic silver stars and highlights were added and to seal the design I used a gloss spray varnish, especially on the stairs as this area would get a lot of foot fall.
It was a lot of fun painting up this piece, tricky at times as the road got a lot of both car and pedestrian traffic, balancing off the tall ladder painting the typography wasn’t always easy but all the people there helped make it possible! Good times.
What’s coming up next for MEGAMUNDEN?
Lots of things I hope. To name a few, I’m currently in talks with Laurence King Publishing about doing a tattoo related book with them. That would come out in 2013. I’m about to do a collaborative project with Shan Jiang for Volvo, which means taking a few trips out to Zurich. This one is a mural project and involves painting on a full sized car. I’ll be making a decent sized update of projects to my site later in the year which will include my Nike Snowboarding project and Howies design previously mentioned, along with a few others. Continuing to push my ideas and efforts into ilovedust projects and most of all working with all the talented folks there – it’s so nice to be able to push one another’s ideas as everyone I work with has different preferences and design backgrounds. It’s nice to have that balance in my working life of doing personal projects and collaborative ones. I look forward to it all.