Amelia’s Magazine | Astonishing occult illustrations and richly patterned surface designs: an interview with Llew Mejia

Supr Natr zine cover

Supr Natr zine cover.

Minneapolis based illustrator and textile designer Llew Mejia creates richly wondrous images, full of exotic furled leaves and wide eyed beasts. Ever since discovering his daily posts on instagram I’ve been captivated and was lucky enough to lay my hands on a limited edition copy of his recent Supr Natr zine, chock full of occult based wonder. Highly patterned, often brightly coloured, and yet with the old fashioned feel of wood block or lino prints, Llew Mejia has a truly unique style. Time to find out more about this talented Stateside artist…

Llew Mejia - Crocs

Crocs Textile pattern for Promotional Material for a Florida Musician

Firstly, where does your rather unusual name come from? Do I detect some Welsh heritage in there, as well as some Mexican parentage?!
Ha, yeah so Llewellyn is definitely very Welsh. Which is weird because I’m not sure how Welsh my family is… Apparently my father’s side were gypsy horse thieves and my mothers side are Spanish Mexican, so both European in some way.

Llew Mejia - love

LOVE, Valentines Day Illustration

Where did you learn your trade, and what was the best thing you learnt at art school?
I learned at art school specifically MCAD. I feel like I learned more post graduation. But I would say be nice to people and work hard and figure out what you love to do and go full throttle.

Llew Mejia - jaguars-at-night

Jaguar Nights, textile design for button up for Secret Store London.

How did you become a textile designer for Target?
Hmm, I made a project for my senior thesis that was a couple lines of apparel and accessories. I think that and someone got my foot through the door which seems the way people usually get their careers started.

What materials do you most enjoy working with?
I love sable #2 brushes and I also use a lot of brush pens for line work. I also enjoy just black ink and any brush really just to mess around. Gouache is great for flat color and what have you.

Llew Mejia, psychoactive-plants

Psychoactive Plants, SUPR NATR Zine

What inspired the illustrations in your SUPR NATR magazine and what has the response been like?
I think everything that has been covered in the first Supr Natr were ideas I’ve had for a long time and just never went through with. It’s a culmination of a couple things I really love and it sold well I had to cut it off because I feel like that’s something that should be done to keep value in something limited.

Llew Mejia - hex sign

Llew Mejia, hex sign.

Where are the best hunting grounds for old occult books?
I’ve found some in antique stores, it really depends whether you’re looking for a grimoire or an overall encyclopedia on occult subjects, but I would say the internet and ebay host a large amount of them. Sorry, I don’t have a cool story about how I met an old man and he took me down an alley and the bricks fell apart and I was a wizard… nothing as cool.

Llew Mejia - cats

Witches’ Familiars, SUPR NATR Zine.

When do you produce your best work, and are there any necessary requirements to get the creative juices going?
Hmm, I would say between 8am-2pm and then between 7-11 pm? And yes, coffee is a must, and I used to like smoking a cigarette, but no more.

Llew Mejia - okapi

Okapi Painting for Joyce Preschool Gala

Can you tell us more about your work for the Joyce Preschool Gala?
Yeah, I was just asked to participate in a scholarship donation for Hispanic kids who were going to school for art. I needed the help when I was going to school and I didn’t get any so I thought why not help out.

Llew Mejia - moon

Llew Mejia, moon.

I hear you love taking long walks on the beach, where is the best beach near your home?
Sadly there are no beaches near my home… it is way way way too cold and there are no oceans either. But I love Barcelona and Cairns and Ixtapa has pretty great beaches as well.

Llew Mejia, witch riding a goat

Llew Mejia, witch riding a goat.

What is the most unusual type of candy that a visiting Brit should check out if they came your way?
I don’t know about unusual. I think mexican candy is more unusual and you can find that here. It usually has chile covering a flavored hard candy. My personal favorite is the elote Popsicles. They are like a hard candy flavored like strawberry and then covered in chile and they look like a corn on the cob.

Llew Mejia Hermes

Journey to Hades, Ancient civilizations postcard for Belly Kids

How did you get involved in the Belly Kids project?
They are a small company and just reached out and asked me. They make cool stuff and work with great people so it was an easy project to get involved in.

Llew Mejia - undergrowth-pattern

Undergrowth, Design Your Wall Aztek Wallpaper.

Where can we buy your wallpaper designs?
Astek inc. carries a variety of my wallpapers and that’s about it.

Llew Mejia - Jailbreak

Jailbreak page 2, from a collaborative zine about a Jailbreak with illustrator John Malta

Can you tell us anymore about your upcoming collaborations with other illustrators?
Yeah! I just finished an illustration with Wrap magazine from the UK and they are awesome to work with and always have a bunch of talented folks in the issues. I’ve ale done a zine with John Malta who is awesome; it’s about an escaped convict where his character is my friend who I will meet up with at the end. It will be good. More to come!

Llew Mejia prickly pear design (from instagram)

Llew Mejia, prickly pear design (from instagram).

I believe you are also working with folk artists in Mexico, how did you found them and what is the process of collaboration?
Haha, it’s very slow moving and I hope to get the ball rolling on this, but yeah I’m speaking to a guy in Oaxaca, Mexico at the moment and I would collaborate with them on the carving of wooden animal figurines then they would send them to me and I would paint each by hand. Could just be a dream but hopefully it ends up working out completely!

See more of Llew Mejia‘s work on his website here, follow him on tumblr here and on instagram here. You can buy assorted products here.

Categories ,Astek inc., ,Belly Kids, ,Grimoire, ,illustrations, ,interview, ,John Malta, ,Llew Mejia, ,Llewellyn, ,MCAD, ,Minneapolis, ,Oaxaca Mexico, ,Secret Store London, ,Supr Natr, ,Surface designer, ,Target, ,textiles, ,Wrap Magazine

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