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Rayder Illustration for DRS X AWF

Posted by Arm Bar Annie on



Rayder Illustration - J.Rayder

What is your backstory? How did you get into illustration? 

Hailing from the hills of Tasmania, there is a very small but passionate heavy metal community. Whilst surrounding myself with classic metal tunes and local musicians, the progression to heavy metal illustration was a natural one for someone who has always loved to draw. I began scrawling out dirty make shift posters and album covers for bands around the local scene, many years later deciding to move to Melbourne to pursue illustration studies and learn more about my art form. I’ve been inspired by the careers of heavy metal artists such as Dan Seagrave, Ed Repka and Mark Riddick and couldn’t imagine doing anything else with life.

Tell us about your business “Rayder Illustration” where did it come from and where is it going? 

Rayder is my freelance illustration business, currently based in Melbourne. I started Rayder Illustration to offer a local service for heavy metal musicians and aficionados to commission or purchase, artwork for tees, posters, album covers, logo design or merchandise, even the odd tattoo design. The business also serves to connect the metal community globally, often receiving commissions internationally. With Rayder, I aim to work with as many sick bands and metalheads as possible, ripping out some aggressive designs, whilst listening to awesome music. Eventually Rayder will have its own products available for purchase, which I’m really excited about.

We absolutely LOVE hearing about women who run their own businesses (and the world!) 
Could you tell us a bit about why you started Rayder Illustrationand the biggest challenges /rewards of being your own boss!

I remember watching Fritz Lang’s 1927 science fiction film Metropolis many years ago and recognising the importance of being an individual, and honest to your drive and vision. Although running a business can be challenging, it has always seemed like the obvious choice for me. For years I struggled to fit in with the nine to five human production-line grind, but never felt fulfilled. It’s only been in recent years that I decided to freelance (with the encouragement of some very supportive people in my life). I strongly believe that every person has a special and unique skill, which if they recognise amongst the noise, they can achieve great things by pursuing.

What is your favourite medium to work with when creating art and why?

In today’s technologically driven society, there is a large movement of designers working solely in the digital sphere. In this environment, I believe it’s becoming more important to continue traditional art methods, because of this; I predominantly work with traditional mediums such as oil paint and ink. I particularly like working with ink as it has immediacy to it. I dig detail and ink caters to both fine gauge work and, paint like effects, both which have a gritty feel perfect for tees and heavy metal designs.

We would love to hear about your creative process, from inspiration, ideas generation, down to your final polished work.

I think creative processes are very personal to each artist, and for me personally it differs with each project I undertake. I find that I am most creative at night; I can often be found lying awake piecing together an illustration puzzle in my head. I am detail driven and love re-watching movies and reading books over to pick out all the obscured facts.

What has been your favourite artwork that you have ever created and why? 

What a tough question! I don’t think at this point in time, my favourite piece of artwork has been created yet. When working on a piece of art, I find I develop a love/hate relationship with it and it often feels like the art is developing itself. I don’t know that any creative is ever happy with their work entirely, thus continual growth and the pursuit of knowledge, becomes a lifelong obsession.

What do you do to "get in the zone"? 
Where is your happy place? 

When creating heavy metal inspired artwork, the conundrum is that the ideas and grit aren’t often fuelled by a happy place. Most of my work is dystopian and exploring the world and searching for the truth of things, drives me. Only by recognising today’s issues, making sacrifices and challenging the status quo, can things ever truly change for the better. In saying that, I am most happy surrounded by metal music and mountains.

Do you collaborate a lot in the clothing industry? If so who have you worked with? 

Predominantly I provide a freelance illustration service for local and international heavy metal bands. Amongst the myriad of art provided for bands, apparel designs are a regular request. Designing tees, patches or hoodies are some of my favourite commissions to work on. I love hearing about all sorts of design adventures and if the opportunity arises to collaborate in the clothing industry, I’d definitely be down with it.

When DRS X AWF approached you to collaborate on our tee/ logo designs, 
Why did you want to collaborate with us?

How cool is it, when you see somebody chasing their dream? Very cool, and when DRS X AWF approached me to design a new logo and tee for them, I thought exactly that, I couldn’t resist joining them on their journey.

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