UPPER PASS BEER CO.

I'm super excited to be able to share the product of many months in the making. Last year, I helped develop the logo identity for Upper Pass Beer Co. And now, I'm very grateful to be given the opportunity to help develop their beer packaging.

Big thanks to Andy, Chris, & Ivan for working this through with me. They are awesome dudes who make some top notch beer tucked away in the green hills of Tunbridge, Vermont. For more on Upper Pass Beer Co. check them out here.

Have a great weekend everyone. Cheers!

Upper Pass Beer Co. Beer label design. © 2016

Upper Pass Beer Co. Beer label design. © 2016

Album art for Great Smoky Mountain Association

I've had a string of amazing projects lately. This one came to me from the Great Smoky Mountain Association. They asked if I'd be interested in creating cover art for a new bluegrass album featuring newly covered tracks of classic Appalachian music. I'm a huge bluegrass fan so this one was absolutely a project that merged interests. Big thanks to Lisa Horstman @ GSMA for letting me be a part of this!

The album has been getting some great reviews. Rolling Stone did a write-up of Dolly Parton's cover of Little Rosewood Casket which debuts on the album.

Have a look ---> here.
Have a listen ---> here.

Album Artwork © Michael Mullan . 2016 . www.mullanillustration.com

Album Artwork © Michael Mullan . 2016 . www.mullanillustration.com

Country Living - USA Roadtrip Map

I'm very excited to share a recent project for Country Living Magazine and GoRVing. The USA Roadtrip Map was featured on the cover of Country Living their July/August issue. It shows the many fun cultural + geographical landmarks across the states. Big thanks to Erynn Hassinger! @countrylivingmag, #countrylivingmag

Prints + canvas are available in my shop.

Have a happy 4th everyone!

Artwork © 2016 . Michael Mullan . www.mullanillustration.com

Artwork © 2016 . Michael Mullan . www.mullanillustration.com

LOOKBOOK

I'm excited to announce my portfolio LOOKBOOK is available to view & download. Inside is a selection of my favorite projects as well as some insight into my inspiration & thought process. Printed copies are available upon request.
 

All Artwork Copyright © Michael Mullan. 2016. All Rights Reserved.

All Artwork Copyright © Michael Mullan. 2016. All Rights Reserved.

New work for WNC Magazine

Here's a peek at a spot editorial for WNC Magazine. The article is a narrative of a woman's adventure moving across country from California to North Carolina. Love seeing the printed piece :)

© Michael Mullan.  www.mullanillustration.com

© Michael Mullan.  www.mullanillustration.com

2016 EOS Group Calendar

Earlier this year, I was contacted by The Ad Store in Hamburg, Germany to collaborate on a 2016 company wall calendar for EOS Group. The calendar features 12 artists, each illustrating a different aspiration. My contribution is an abstract take on open-mindedness, thinking outside the box, & welcoming challenges. I'm so happy to have been a part of this!

Vermont Fall

Vermont is a pretty awesome place to be in the fall. The colors are intense... maybe not this intense in real life but you get the idea :) Enjoy it while it lasts!

Vermont Fall © Michael Mullan

Vermont Fall © Michael Mullan

Everyone Loves New York

Last year, a few of my Paris illustrations were selected to be included in the book Everyone Loves Paris. This year, I’ve been lucky enough to be featured the follow up Everyone Loves New York. A big thanks to Leslie Jonath at TeNeues Publishing for asking me to be a part of this.

Michael Mullan

Michael Mullan


The books is filled with great art that perfectly captures the life of the city. It's not too word heavy and lets the art shine (which is exactly how I like it). Many of the contributors are big influences of mine so it's a big honor to be included. Here are some of my favorite spreads.

Clare Caulfield

Clare Caulfield

Christopher Corr & Dominique Corbasson

Christopher Corr & Dominique Corbasson

Julia Rothman

Julia Rothman

Jenni Sparks

Jenni Sparks


New Work for New Era Magazine

Happy to share a new spread for New Era Magazine. The concept illustrates the power of music and how it can have a negative impact on your mood & overall outlook.

© Michael Mullan  .  2015

© Michael Mullan  .  2015

WORD OF THE WEEK - The Blog of Illustrated Type

WORD OF THE WEEK is my new blog that pays tribute to artists who are crazy about illustrated type. Each week, the word changes and new artist's work will be featured to reflect the word. The execution is totally up to the artist. It can be literal or conceptual, as long as it incorporates illustrated letter forms. Open to photography and all media. Check it out if you want to submit!

Word of the Week #1: HELLO
Prepare for Week #2: TAX, MONEY, or $ (dollar sign)

© Michael Mullan . 2015

© Michael Mullan . 2015

© Michael Mullan . 2015

© Michael Mullan . 2015

NEW WORK

Wiser words were never spoken :) This is a new art collection of prints & patterns available for licensed product. Check out the full collection here. Happy Friday everybody!

Original Artwork © Michael Mullan . 2015

Original Artwork © Michael Mullan . 2015

NEW BEER PACKAGING

To be clear, WONDERMENT is not a legit beer company. Home-brewing is a hobby of mine (it's a right of passage in Vermont) so designing beer packaging felt very natural. I entered this beer into a statewide Homebrew Competition. I thought a snazzy label would help my chances... but the beer is actually delicious :)

For more beer packaging, check out UPPER PASS BEER COMPANY based out of Tunbridge, Vermont (they do exist).

Cheers!

Artwork © Michael Mullan . 2015

Artwork © Michael Mullan . 2015

STAYING POSITIVE, PRODUCTIVE, & CREATIVE

Throughout my development, the goal was always to find a balance between making art that sold & art that felt true to me. In searching, I fell for many creative pitfalls. I've found these 6 reminders to be most helpful in staying positive, productive & creative.

Original Artwork © Michael Mullan . 2015

Original Artwork © Michael Mullan . 2015

1. Art is never perfect. While working as a staff artist that became very clear. Even the veteran painter's art needed digital correction. It's nothing personal. The publishing & licensing market has broad needs (subject, styles) that are very predictable. To be sold, however, the art needs to fit a specific need for a specific customer. It comes down to having the right 'look' at the right time. It's best not to fuss too much over details. Call it done and move on to the next project.

2. Comparing yourself to others is bad. Following trends and looking at art is a good thing, but when you start to doubt your own abilities, it becomes very unhealthy. Living in an office overflowing with trend reports & other artist's work, it was very difficult to break the habit of comparing myself to others. At a certain point, you need to stop, absorb the inspiration, and trust your instincts.

3. Do what comes naturally and makes you happy. In my first few years as a staff artist, I was flailing. I tried everything to make my work marketable, including adopting techniques and styles that felt foreign to me. I was trying everything to fit a mold. As a result, my art ended up looking like something someone else had created and I end up hating myself just a little bit (see Mo Mullan). I find it's best not to live by the trends or worry too much about how it will sell. Instead, focus on your strengths, draw what you love, and aim to stay true to your vision. Once I started trusting my artistic instincts, people began reacting more positively, and art making became less painstaking. Trust your instincts.

Original Artwork © Michael Mullan . 2015

Original Artwork © Michael Mullan . 2015

4. Pinterest is amazing/awful. It's convenient & easy, and is my go-to source for inspiration. It reveals trends, but also features so much derivative art, it's depressing. Everything has been done, it seems. Part of selling your work in this market means hitting trend subjects, sometimes twice, but try to do it your own way. It sucks for the artists being copied but it sucks even more when you get called out for it. Make sure to broaden your scope of inspiration.

5. If you do anything consistently, even if it's shitty, people will take you seriously. Basquiat, James Franco, both perfect examples. My alternate portfolio, Oliver Towne, is full of rough sketches inspired by outsider & children's art. This work does not blend with my main portfolio, but I love the spontaneity these drawings hold. Individually, the drawings are weak, but presented as group, they hold weight despite their crudity. When building a portfolio, consistency, the volume of work, and presentation is key.

6. Breaks are important. When you work for a company who's main source of revenue is new art, the staff artist has excellent job security. The downside is that your work is never done. It's a good problem to have, but it's important to remember in this situation, you're only as busy as you want to be.