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Mute Sheffield Artist

Mute - Sheffield Artist

mute sheffield artistStarting in September we are very pleased to be showcasing Mute Sheffield Artist in our regular feature on fellow local creatives. We came across him when he followed us on Twitter (the power of Social Media), we had a look at his site and was very impressed by the power and focus of his work. The themes running through some of his pieces of work show a love of films and the 80’s.

Have a read through Mute’s responses to our questions – he may just inspire you to be creative, if you cant see your self creating wonderful art, why not buy some from Mute?

1. Who or what inspired you to do what you do?
Mute: The enjoyment of completing a piece of work and the sense of accomplishment has always been a driving force. More specifically, seeing art around Sheffield really let me know that pursuing art was a viable option. I read a piece in The Star about Pete McKee and how he used to work at Tesco’s, inspiring stuff at the time as I was working in an office.

2. Were you self taught or formally educated and who has influenced your work the most?
Mute: Apart from art and graphics in college I’m pretty much self-taught. The wealth of artists online is such a huge influence – the fact that it’s all so international now, you get some really interesting perspectives and so many of them are more than happy to share their techniques. Drew Struzan has been a big influence from an early age as his movie posters defined 80’s cinema.

3. How did your current style develop and how do you see it developing in the future?
Mute: I’ve always drawn portraits so my style really developed from there. Almost all of my work starts with a human face at the heart of the concept. As I learn new techniques and skills I’m finding I can add more elements. In the future the portrait may share the space with different elements I’ve never attempted before…it’s all pretty exciting!

4. What influence has living in Sheffield had on your creativity and how you approach your work?
Mute: Sheffield has been a huge influence! The opportunity to display work is a great incentive for any artist just starting out, there’s a great local spirit here that is very positive. Once you start to meet people working as artists in the city you find everyone is so encouraging and helpful!

mute exhibition


5. What is your favourite thing about Sheffield?
Mute: The shared sense that we own the city.

6. What piece of your own work gives you the most satisfaction and why?
Mute: It’s always the piece I’m currently working on. I tend to see the flaws in past work pretty quickly once it’s done so a new piece is loaded with potential and a chance to push my skills a little further.

7. If you could lay claim to one piece of creative work in any area what would it be and why?
Mute: Any of Drew Struzan’s iconic movie posters. I love how they capture the magic of cinema and the great ones really become a part of what people think of when they recall a particular movie. Back to the Future, Blade Runner, Indiana Jones, the list goes on!

8. Does music have any influence on your work and what is the most played song on your iPod?
Mute: Music is certainly a big part of my working practice but I’m not too sure it comes through in the work itself. I tend to like a pretty wide range of music so maybe the fact that I work in a wide range of styles is somehow linked. I actually listen to podcasts while painting, something about keeping my brain active helps me paint for long periods of time. Most played song would probably be something by KISS.

9. When a client approaches you for a commission, how do you approach the work?
Mute: I’m always excited about new work as I enjoy researching the project before I put pencil to paper. While researching, I’ll try to find some little elements that interest me and that tends to make the whole process really enjoyable. I often try to add in a small technical element that I feel I’m a little weaker on or never tried before as a challenge for myself.

10. What advice would you give a fellow aspiring artist who was wanting to break through to the next level?
Mute: I personally value technical skill so it’s the age old advice of practice. If you want to draw something well, draw it 100 times…you’ll get better! Everyone understands how much effort is needed to master a musical instrument, the hours practicing, learning scales and fundamentals – art is just the same. Oh and pencil and paper is a pretty cheap resource so never be afraid to try something completely out of your comfort zone!

a lad insane by mute

they're here by muteal capone by mute


Want to find out a little more about Mute? Here are links to the Mute site and Social Media links – enjoy!


Mute Sheffield Artist




mute twitter



mute facebook



mute instagram





Previous Sheffield Creatives:

Jack Athey

Jonathan Wilkinson


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