As you should probably already know, Ryan “Big Willy” Williams is the mad-dog graphic designer behind this here super duper zine. He goes above and beyond every single month to keep the design fresh and engaging whilst also creating a style that is unique to the mirage. He also spends way too many hours listening to the managing director’s 2cents on every design, creating valuable graphical content for our physical and digital zine needs. When big willy isn’t creating graphical genius for the zine or killing it as a freelance designer, he is also developing quite the following as a solo acoustic singer/songwriter and has been known to play in some of the coolest of cool bands in Newcastle.
So Ryan, what inspires you when it is time to lay it all out every month and put content in its rightful space in the Newcastle Mirage?
I really do it for the love. Not only for design but the stories being told. Newcastle is a great place. Not shit like Sydney at all. A lot of it comes from the people around me too. Hanging around like-minded types keeps me hungry.
Is that different to the inspiration that helps you in other freelance work?
Nah, I think it’s all the same. I feel like this magazine is like my freelance stuff on steroids since I can do what I like each and every month.
What are you working of outside of the Mirage graphically at the moment?
I’ve been asked to work with the dudes from By Design to create artwork for their new album Reanimator, which I’m stoked to be a part of. Earlier in the year I branded a new bar on Beaumont St, The Blind Monk, which was cool too. Apart from that, tour posters and more tour posters for local bands.
When you aren’t attached to the screen you like to play music, yes? How would you describe your sound?
Yeah, I’m recording / playing in two bands right now and both sound totally different. In one we’re going for The Doors and the other The Mars Volta. I play trumpet too so we’re adding some features in there to (hopefully) help us stand out.
Who is your biggest influence/s musically and creatively?
Hmmm, right now I’m just going through this thing with The Band. Levon Helm is really good at what he does. But at the same time Miles Davis. I don’t know. That’s a hard question.
What’s your five-year plan?
Hopefully the Mirage will continue. I’d love for the magazine to be big enough to not need staples.
What is next for Big Willy Williams?
Right after this interview I’ll go and make coffee I think, then finish putting this magazine together.