Inside the mind of Joe Mortell

September 27, 2017

Joe Mortell is a British designer and animator from London. He uses his 3D work to experiment with surreal, yet dreamlike landscapes that differ from the real world.




H+: A lot of your work involves specific atmospheres or times of day. Is there a certain atmosphere or time of the day that is most meaningful to you? If so, why?

JM: As a lot of other creatives, the evening and night is the best time of day for me to create new stuff. I seem to be able to relax more and be able to not be as controlling with work that I produce during the day. In terms of visuals, i’m a fan of using refraction, reflections and liquid. Which all just seem to go a better with night themes for me.



H+: What is the first thing you would want someone to feel when they walked into a room filled with your work?

JM: I like using 3D to create scenes and materials that are difficult to replicate in the real world. So if someone was seeing a room full of this, I’d like them to feel that what they’re seeing is unexpected and a bit bizarre.



H+: Your work seems to live in the mixture of opposites; darkness and light, nature and digital. What are two contrasting things in your life that have inspired some of the work you do?

JM: The music and nightlife in London has always been something I have been part of since I moved here in 2009. There are some great venues and spaces, that when mixed with nice music go a long way for inspiration. On the opposite side of this, I go for long runs and swims in the daytime so I get to see the more natural side of London too.



H+: What are three words you would use to describe your style?

JM: Surreal, dystopian and deserted.



H+ What’s a distinct memory you have of creating art at a young age, and how has it influenced you?

JM: When I was 5 I won a competition to have my drawing of a goalkeeper printed on a t-shirt. I remember being so happy with it! From then on, I had more faith in my ability to create stuff.



H+: If your art had a soundtrack, what songs/bands would be on it?

JM: I’d say three that spring to mind are Flying Lotus, Floating Points and Mount Kimbie. Music that’s laid back but has a surreal side to it. However, I am a big funk/disco fan too so maybe that will creep it’s way in to my work at some point!



View more of Joe Mortell's work on his H+ page.


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