Why experience runs deeper - Mulga designs AdNews June cover

Pippa Chambers
By Pippa Chambers | 1 June 2019

To reflect this issue’s feature that looks at experiential marketing, for the front cover we wanted to zone in on what sits at the very heart of it – experience.

We stepped out on our normal agency-style cover and reached out to Sydney-based artist, freelance illustrator and poet Joel Moore, who is the Mulga brand.

Moore paints murals, increasingly for brands such as Samsung, Coca Cola, Toyota, Red Bull, Carlton, MTV, Adidas, Microsoft, Slurpee and more.

“It’s a growing trend. I’m doing a campaign with a brand at the moment and one of the reasons they chose to work with me is because they saw previous campaigns I had done with other brands,” Moore says.

Known for his unique style of intricate line work and bright colours, Mulga’s art brings to life a world where tropical bearded men run rampant, lions smoke tobacco pipes, tigers wear diamond sunglasses and gorillas rule the world like some kind of funky planet of the apes.

Needless to say, he creates quite the ‘experience’ – and that’s exactly what we wanted for this issue.

AdNews editorial consultant Pippa Chambers spoke with Mulga to find out more about the process of creating the cover.

What were your initial thoughts on the experiential marketing brief at hand?
Initially I thought it would be great to do, but I wasn’t really sure how or what I would create for it. So I said yes and figured I would think of the idea later.

What went through your mind and what were the next steps?
I had an initial idea to somehow use the art I had done for other brands and make a kind of collage-type design. The more I thought about it, the more I realised that idea wouldn’t work because a lot of the art I do for advertising campaigns is more just my art and not so much stuff that is readily identifiable as artwork for a brand. I couldn’t see how it would look any good so I had to think of something new.

How did you know you’d landed on the best concept?
I had a hint it was a good concept because I could visualise it looking great and I was excited to bring it to life. With my initial idea, there was zero excitement and I couldn’t picture it working. Because the issue is about experiential marketing and that encompasses artists working with brands, I thought a self portrait showing the excitement of creation and a glimpse into my artistic world could be fun to do. Using bright colours and an in-your-face design that would really grab the viewer’s attention was my plan.

What were the biggest hurdles to making this a reality? Any challenges?
For me the hardest part of any project is coming up with the idea. So once the idea came to me it was pretty smooth sailing.

Tell us about the actual creation techniques. How did it come together?
I initially sketched out the layout and concept in an A5 sketch book with HB pencil. Once that was done, I then drew the main character on an A3 piece of paper, again with HB pencil, and lots of erasing and redrawing until it looked right. I then coloured and finished it with Posca paint markers (I’ll eventually frame and sell this original artwork). I drew the rainbow signs coming out of the beard and the yellow lightning and stars etc separately. I then scanned all these elements and arranged it all in Photoshop. The background elements like the clouds, leaves, flamingos, unicorn and sky were existing artworks that I have used before but I retain the copyright, so I used them for this design to save myself a bit of time.

Biggest challenge with the whole process?
Drawing the main character was the hardest part. Getting all the proportions right and the hands right was a bit tricky as I’m not traditionally a skilled drawer. I actually took a few selfies so I could get the arm and hand positions right.

Best bit about the process?
Looking at the finished art and being happy with it is the best part of every job for me. I’m happy with this one!

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