Occupation: Lazy Graphic Designer
Ends you rep: London/England
ILG: Tell me about the name, where did Mute come from?
Mute: Well basically when I was a yout, I used to be quiet init, you can say that I was shy even, like say if you’re with your bredrins & you’re all hype, I just used to say nuttin…Just PURE silence, course there was smiles & all sorts, but just silence, I’m much louder now lol, I’m the complete opposite really, but the name just stuck to me through the primary school days.
ILG: Many people are quite surprised at how quickly you have got recognition, how long have you being designing for?
Mute: I can’t actually be precise, I was on & off, it weren’t that serious back then, so I’d say around 2-3 years, I only took it serious last year though.
ILG: So are you a full time designer now or are you in education or employment?
Mute: Lol, nah, I’ll never be a full time designer, I wouldn’t like to be to be honest. I’m actually doing nothing right now, which isn’t very good…Money wise, I’m just like any other typical guy looking for a job right now.
ILG: You designed the cover for possibly the biggest release of 2010 Crazy Times 2 how did that come about?
Mute: One day being on GrimeForum, I saw that Titch was releasing his mixtape, whilst looking through the comments on the forum, I saw that not many people liked the design, it was horrible in my opinion, so I got in contact with Lockdown, it took ages though lol & I thank Mr. Slash & Flash G for that! To my surprise no other designers even hollered at Lockdown. Me being fussy, I pre-made the artwork, just for MY sake, but then I emailed him like a concept of the CD (What it would look like pressed up) & he was feeling it. There has been slight changes from the original due to Titch not wanting that pic lol, but it’s cool, he rang me up to say ‘thank you’ & other stuff. I’ll too be designing his next two mixtapes.
ILG: Next two mixtapes? Can you elaborate more on this do they have a release date yet or anything?
Mute: When Titch rang me up saying ‘thank you’ & etc he also mentioned that he was releasing 2 other mixtapes, I can’t actually remember their names but, he is working on them & also asked me to design them ones too, I’ll find out for whoever wants to know lol.
ILG: Since that release have you seen an increase on requests from artists for you to design their covers and other projects?
Mute: Not that I know of, it’s pretty much been the same to be honest.
ILG: Has that surprised you, was you expecting to be in higher demand and asked to do more high profile work on the back of Crazy Times 2?
Mute: Most people don’t really care who made the artwork the majority of the time, they only care about the content of the CD & what’s on it. When Titch released that CD, there weren’t much promoting going on, I have no clue why…But when I do design for someone ‘known’ people always ask me for free stuff & that’s a no no. Time is money.
ILG: What software do you design and how long does a cover take to make?
Mute: I use Photoshop CS5 & it really depends on how complex the design is, if it’s something simple, then I’d say around 30mins to an hour, but if it’s a mad ting, then it could take like 6 hours+. You can’t just rush them, you do have to take your time, it’s all about quality & not quantity.
ILG: All the work that I have seen from you has been for Grime projects, what do you think about the professionalism from Grime artists in regards to their releases and other ventures?
Mute: If they were passionate about music, they’d take their time to push out their work for many people to hear it & will market it for their benefits & the love of music, most artists are like that, but then again you do get them people who just do it for the money. So I can’t really say who’s professional or not.
ILG: In a average week how many requests do you get from people asking for you to design there next CD/Mixtape?
Mute: I only get like 2-3 a week, only because I’m kinda moving away from designing & moving to motion graphics, but I’ll still be doing this, all you gotta do is holler at me.
ILG: For those unaware what is motion graphics and what kinda stuff can we expect to see you making?
Mute: You know all the effects SB.TV & Toxic TV have done, I’m basically gonna be doing that sort of thing & no, I’m not gonna go to do a ‘TV’ sorta ting, I’m just working on mini films & music videos for myself & my bredrins mainly…So you won’t be seeing much graphic design going on from me.
ILG: Have you ever designed a cover and believed it was a masterpiece and then being told its not good enough or it is not the kind of thing I want?
Mute: Of course, I get this all the time. It really bugs me when a client wants something, but they don’t know what & then they say to me ‘Do what you think looks best’ I do this, design for however long it takes, finish it, email them. When they I get an email, they’re like ‘I don’t like it, I want this, I want that’ I’m like ‘For f*ck sake’ like, why couldn’t they tell me that they wanted that in the first place, it would of saved me a lot of time, but at the end of the day, they’re the ones paying you & you gotta do what they ask.
ILG: What is the process when you design a cover do you have creative freedom or are you sent templates or does it vary from client to client?
Mute: It’s just freedom really, most clients give me a template of what they want, then I create it with stocks, images, text & manipulate them to get the final cover.
ILG: Out of all the covers you have made what is your personal favourite?
Mute: Hmmm… Well I think that ‘Skilzie – Myself’ is a nice cover, it looks more like an album cover, than an actual mixtape. Yh, that’s my favourite lol
ILG: What Album/Mix Cd do you think has the worst artwork?
Mute: Out of all the CDs out there? I can’t say…But in Grime, I’d say Devilmans Mixtape – San Andreas, it’s terrible, it’s just simple copy & paste.
ILG: I understand you are also designing clothes now, how did that come about?
Mute: This was just really a personal thing in the beginning, I made a couple ones offs just so I could rock my own clothes for once, instead of wearing all these other known brands. Imagine seeing something you created & seeing other people wear it. It’s just a good look. I will be collaborating with other brands & people very soon, keep your eyes peeled.
ILG: When will the T-Shirts be available and where will people be able to buy them from?
Mute: They are available right now, but we only have the ‘I’m colour co-ordinated’ ones right now, medium & large available, free sticker, mixtape & free postage with every order. I will be stocking a limited amount of new clothes that are coming soon, including a J. Dilla t-shirt. (All money will go the J. Dilla foundation in Detroit).
ILG: What are your future plans and what are your aims for 2011 and the remainder of 2010?
Mute: Future plans…Hmm, well right now I’m working with one of my bredins, and some of you may know him as ‘Craiigg’ (featured on P. Moneys & Blacks CDs).We’re just creating music videos, mainly to help his music career much more. As for 2010, will this be the end for my designing side of things? Well not fully, but let’s just say I won’t be around as much as I am right now.
ILG: Who do you get advice from if you are unsure on a piece of work you have done is there love between Designers or are you fierce rivals?
Mute: All the designers I know myself are all new to this, so they can’t really help me on anything, but my bredrins do help me out a lot, especially Flash G lol, seeing as we both have a f*cked up sleeping pattern, but yh.
ILG: What other designers do you think are currently doing a good job?
Mute: Personally I’d say people like David Kelly, Skrilla, Kid8 are the one’s who are on it right now, I like DKs style & Skrillas & Kid8s work is just a madness, I’d soon be with them if I keep at it.
ILG: Any last words and shouts that you want to make?
Mute: I’d like to thank everyone who has been involved with my projects & everyone else who has supported me. I’d like to big up people like Flash G, Avalanch, Jay Kast, Untitled, Omar Days & the rest of the mandem & also big up yourself!
You can contact Mute on:
You can purchase your T-Shirts here on: http://www.MuteClothingLDN.bigcartel.com