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Under Cover Artist: Maxrock of Totally Brewed

29 June 22 words: Maxrock
illustrations: Maxrock

Creating edgy artwork for the Nottingham-based brewery Totally Brewed, Maxrock has always felt a pull toward the scary and dystopian. That’s why he seemed the perfect fit for our fear edition. Combining his love for beer with our theme, we couldn’t be happier with the outcome…

Tell us a bit about yourself…
I'm a freelance artist/illustrator who designs all the artwork for Nottingham-based brewery Totally Brewed. I’ve always been obsessed with creating images and, somewhere along the way, my interests veered toward the strange and unusual. I'm a big fan of stories so naturally I tend to digest a lot of comics, especially manga, graphic novels, books, film, animation and music. 

What was the inspiration behind the cover? 
As this month's issue coincides with Notts Craft Beer Week, it was first suggested I do something to tie in with this. When I was told the theme was fear I thought I’d misheard and it was beer, so I tried to combine the two.

Keeping a few human elements to the hop-plant monsters rather than them being completely alien seemed to make it more unsettling. Originally, the diver was going to be in a wetsuit, but after spending a long time getting the pose and anatomy looking okay I didn’t want to draw over this, and I thought they’d appear more vulnerable without it.

How does it compare with some other projects you’ve worked on?
Less detail. I have slowly moved away from massive amounts of fine line work and tried to focus more on colour and composition. Apart from the first ideas and sketches I created, the whole thing was drawn entirely in Photoshop. 

What was the biggest challenge that you faced in creating the piece?
Time. And getting the face right, though I'm still not completely happy with it.

Tell us about some projects you’ve worked on in the past…
Large-scale outdoor images for Sherwood Art Week, as well as organising and taking part in various indoor and outdoor drawing events in front of the public.

What have you got planned for the future?
For about a year now I’ve been creating a short animated film complete with my own score. Dystopian, nightmarish stuff. Hopefully it will see the light of day next year, or I might start releasing it an episode/chapter at a time. My respect for animators has grown a lot since I began attempting this!

Is there anything else you’d like to tell the LeftLion readers?
When not drawing monsters I get commissioned to draw dogs. 

@maxrock_art
facebook.com/maxrockart

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