Process: Matthew MULE McKinley's band merch

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I started designing for multi-talented Matthew Mule McKinley when I was experimenting with overlaying textures and type in Photoshop, and my results made me instantly think of him. Knowing he was coming out with an EP soon, I sent him a cover mock up. The gritty textures fit well with his deep dirty vocals and re-imaginings of old blues songs. From there I designed the rest of the "Alone on the Orange Floor" EP packaging, and solidified a new working relationship. Since then I have designed his full length "Blood in the Still", a logo for his band, Run Molly Run, and packaging for his Bluegrass project, Got Jamn String Band. He's about to go on tour with the band Filthy Still, so we wanted to make sure to get some merch out, to help fund him on the road.

For his new merch we decided to deviate a little from the aesthetic that we been working with and make something that would translate well to a t shirt. Both Matt and I have been getting into weirdo art more as of late and I've been practicing my pen skills. Drawing in this style allows me to get a little looser and break from the realism I tend to fall into. Much of the features in this style tend to be exaggerated, highlighting the bizarre and gross. If you're not familiar with weirdo art, think R.Crumb, Ed "Big Daddy" Roth, or a contemporary, Sean Aaberg, known for Pork Magazine.

The first attempt I made at drawing the mule was too straightforward and realistic, I needed to let loose! Matthew and I went back and forth quite a bit sending sketches and feedback. In the end the mule ends up looking pretty crazed and full of energy, like much of Matthew mule McKinley's music. The mule shirts were silk screened through a third party, along with Run Molly Run t-shirts I designed awhile back. I think they came out great, and really fits the musician's style and aesthetic.

The final design

The final design

Matthew mule McKinley wearing his own shirt I'm sure he's thinking, "That's me y'all"

Matthew mule McKinley wearing his own shirt I'm sure he's thinking, "That's me y'all"

If you would like to purchase either, send $20 via Paypal to mattmckinley@me.com. Make sure to include your size and shipping address. OR even better see Matthew mule McKinley play with Filthy Still and purchase one at the show!