The young graphic designer Mute.psd took the time to answer some questions about his creative process and a note to his younger self. You may be familiar with his adaptations of popular album covers such as common " be " , tyler the creator " call me if you get lost" and kendrick lamar "damn". Mute.psd has entered the world of design and album art for artist projects such as Che Ecru and Joony.
Where are you from? How did your environment lead you in the world of design?
I’m from all over haha, born in Georgia, grew up overseas, and I live in New York now. But as far as getting into the world of design it really all started because of the internet which I think is beautiful. I think the first instance of me ever getting a glimpse into the world of design was through spending hours on places like Tumblr and Pinterest funny enough. But I’ve always been surrounded by music and support from my friends & family so that definitely helped as well.
The internet has shown you a lot of love this year. How has that been?
Ridiculous (in the best way). After so long of this just being a thing I shared with my friends, and now having an audience full of creative people and people who love music is something I’m still in awe about. And on top of that having so many of my favorite artists show support this early on is unbelievable. All the love has definitely made me more hungry to give back.
Why the name mute.psd?
The mute part is a running joke that my brother & my friends from high school made up because I was really quiet haha; the PSD part because I started off doing photoshop collages and edits before I got into all the 3D stuff.
What music do you listen to while you create your designs?
It varies all the time because I’m always trying to listen to & discover more music. But usually if I’m making a piece around an album anniversary I’ll just listen to that album or the artist’s discography on repeat. Other times I’m jumping from Apple Music to Spotify to Soundcloud & Youtube making playlists and looking for new stuff. Recently I’ve been bumping the new Tyler, Hiatus Kaiyote, and a bunch of random old school soul & funk.
What was your favorite piece that you have designed this year?
I feel like every new piece I make becomes my new favorite really. But being a part of the Squeakpivot and MfnMelo project–‘En Route’– is definitely already one of the highlights of my year, just because I’ve been a fan of their music and their crew for the longest so it’s like all full circle now.
What do you want to convey to the audience with your designs? What do your caricatures mean to you?
There’s definitely levels. First its really my self-expression, whether its something I’m feeling personally or just something I like or want to say something about. Then its about the love of music, everything I make art about stems from or is connected to music in some way. And then its about Black representation. Especially with the more political or social art I’ve made. I love seeing more black voices and stories and perspectives being told in the world of art and I just want to be a piece in continuing to push that forward.
How do you plan on evolving in your craft and not getting too comfortable?
I’m always learning and trying to venture beyond the surface level. I think if you’re always looking for learning opportunities and trying to make deeper connections or concepts the evolution will naturally flourish.
What is something you are still trying to understand/come to terms with as an artist?
I recently became a full-time artist (aside from school) so there’s a lot of adjustment with that in terms of stuff like time management and maintaining balance. But I think the biggest thing I’m coming to terms with is that my dream is possible. Like on a certain level I’m already living it out, but I’m still working out that last bit of doubt and fear.
Any fun personal projects you can let us know about?
I’ve been working on ways to make my art more tangible for people. Been diving into photography more too. And music. I don’t wanna say too much though haha, but I’m imagining a lot of cool stuff coming up.
What advice would you give to a young designer that looks at your work and is inspired by you ?
EMBRACE THE PROCESS. I really can’t stress that enough. Everything is so fast-paced in this age and it seems like we see so many quick rises to fame or virality that people are almost scared of process and things taking time. Wherever you are in your journey embrace it fully because haste and comparison can kill.
Last but certainly not least, what does the phrase foolish ambition mean to you?
Every ambition can seem foolish until the moment it doesn’t and everything starts to come into fruition. Only takes one moment for that change to happen. To every idea theres a million no’s, a million questions you can ask to get yourself out of it. I think all of the great artists and creatives have had a foolish ambition that they made their reality.