Conversation with Mike Lawrence

Mike Lawrence Illustration

“Speared” 2012

Finish the sentence. Today I woke up and:

Made some tea/coffee, did my hand stretches and warmup for
around 10 minutes, then started drawing. I’ll take a break and
hang out with my wife for a bit before she heads out to work.
Then drawing resumes.

Where are you living and working right now?

Currently I am living in the US, specifically Atlanta, Georgia.
I work from a home studio as of right now.

Mike Lawrence Illustration

“Beastial I”

You work heavily with pen & ink, can you tell where this
passion came from?

I think it came from a variety of sources, but primarily from
my mother. She is a printmaker and as a child I spent a lot of
time in her shared studio. So I got exposed to a large amount
of different techniques and had a lot of opportunities to
experiment myself. I remember doing etchings as a kid and being
amazed when we printed them. I think all of this exposure to
traditional art forms gave me a real appreciation for physical,
tangible hand made art. One of the artists in this shared
studio kind of took me under his wing, so to speak. He is an
incredible draftsman, and when I saw what he could create with
only a pencil, it immediately drove me to do the same.

What is your workspace like?

Overall, I would say it’s neat. As I am generally a neat
person. It takes up one corner and the adjoining wall. It’s
comprised of my drafting table, some shelves to the right
containing books, my records and record player, speakers,
skulls and a bunch of other shit. I face two windows as I hate
facing a wall, and behind me is my exposure unit and shelving
for screen prints. I need to hang up more artwork the walls are
kinda bland.

Mike Lawrence Illustration

“Beastial II”

Anything else you’d like everyone to know about?

I’m South African. I’m colour blind.

Three people who’ve influenced you as an artist and the person
you are today, and why?

Three particular artists immediately come to mind, and I don’t
think you’ll be surprised. Virgil Finlay, Aubrey Beardsley, and
Franklin Booth are all in a class of their own. And I say “are”
because even though all are deceased, personally I think their
artwork will always reign supreme over any other of the same
genre. Not only is the artwork incredible, their output was of
similar calibre. There are many other artists I follow and
admire, but when it comes down to it I always resort to the
dead guys.

Mike Lawrence Illustration

“Serene Mutilation”

Favorite medium to work with?

India Ink and dip pen, and if not that then Microns.

Currently listening to?

Ulcerate – Vermis

Earlier Today:

Autopsy – The Headless Ritual
The Shrine – Primitive Blast
Gorguts – Colored Sands
Carcass – Surgical Steel
Exhumed – Necrocracy
Gets Worse – Negative
Gridlink – Amber Gray
Vader – Litany

I mainly listen to music while drawing, so I listen to a lot
throughout a week.

Mike Lawrence Illustration

“Night Scythe”

A quote that has stuck with you?

Can’t really think of one right now, so I guess none have stuck!

Can you tell us what you have going on right now?

I have a couple of projects under way right now, I am doing the artwork for South African sludge/doom band Corax’ upcoming LP.
Also I am lucky enough to have been asked to do the artwork for the upcoming Mortals LP. Besides that, trying to get some t-shirt printing under way.

You can view more of Mike’s work at http://mikelawrenceillustration.com/