nsd mag

A Chat With Sean Hughes – The Guy Behind The NSD Tour Artwork

That artwork though

If you aren’t familiar with Sean Hughes – He’s a 29 year old, living in Melbourne, Australia. Who’s qualifications include a Certificate 4 In Design and a Diploma Of Illustration. Working as a waiter and bartender in a busy Melbourne restaurant for a bit of extra cash, it’s impressive to know he then STILL finds the time to come up with such incredible imagery for the Never Say Die! Tours and yet year upon year he delivers!


How did you first get in touch with the Never Say Die! Tour and with creating the first design? 
I was contacted by Marco from Avocado Bookings who saw my work on my website.


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Your designs are very unique with a very individual style so you can instantly tell its yours – Where do you draw your influences from? 
In high school my sister bought “In Love And Death” by The Used. I was amazed by the music but also the twisted illustrations by Alex Pardee throughout the CD booklet. then later that year, “The Chronicles Of Life And Death” by Good Charlotte was released with illustrations in the booklet from their guitarist, Billy Martin. I loved how they were these complete packages of music and art. My interests really stemmed from there.
Nowadays, I keep a folder on my desktop with a collection of pictures that inspire me. The contents range from graphic design, sculptures, photography, skateboard art, band artwork, apparel lookbooks, animals, skulls, neon lights etc.. but also music videos, lyrics, films. a bit of everything.


And how did you come up with this year’s design?
Marco and I bounce a few ideas around early on over email. I’ll sketch a few main subjects up and we sort of collaborate with ideas on how the poster will look. I was influenced by Being As An Ocean’s art direction and Northlane’s dark, neon, feel. I created the raven first, and Marco suggested a dark alpine setting with trees and large mountains in the background.


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How long did it take you to create it overall?
21 days of work for this year.


Did you create the design drawing it by hand or does your creation process always include the computer, photoshop etc.?
I rarely use a sketchbook these days. I do all my work digitally using my Wacom Intuous Pro. Ill sketch some ideas up in Photoshop, then bring it into Illustrator where I do all my linework, coloring and shading.



Which is your favourite Never Say Die! design of all time and why?
I loved working on the 2016 design. It has this really still, post apocalyptic feel and a bit more of a metal vibe. The project ran really smooth that year so there was time to add all sorts of intricate details.


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Do you like listening to the artists that you have to include in the tour posters?
Northlane play an amazing live show so I try to see them whenever I can. A friend encouraged me to check out Being As An Ocean at a festival earlier this year, and I was blown away. I’m still telling everybody about this band. I still get chills. I also discovered Alazka through receiving the lineup and had them playing on repeat through a lot of the process. Its kind of weird that both these bands featured on the 2015 lineup where i didn’t give them any attention, haha. Maybe I was just listening too obsessively to Amity back then? Casey are amazing too. This years lineup is incredible.


Have you been to any of the Never Say Die! tours over the years?
I have never been, unfortunately. I keep the idea in the back of my head to travel around Europe and link it in. Maybe next year!