Work Them's first Digital Lyrical guests are esteemed local creative minds Dr. Me. With a foot in the worlds of both art and music, and then another two between them to presumably do whatever the fuck they like, Dr. Me are responsible for some of the most distinctive and unique posters and artwork in Manchester over the past few years. As well as work for the likes of Dutch Uncles and Holy Other, they have also designed the poster (pictured below) for our upcoming party with Fort Romeau at Soup Kitchen on March 15th. We were as pleased as we'd anticipated, ie. very, and happy to interview them for the blog (pictured further below)
How long has Dr. Me existed in it’s current form?
On the first day of university we were paired together to do a 'get to know each other' kind of project due to our names being next to each other on the register, that was in 2008 maybe? We properly formed DR.ME when we returned from working together for illustrator Mike Perry in 2011 though.
What’s the current studio setup?
We sit across from each other, separated by a pair of red boxing gloves that hang between us and our good pal Steve Hockett (http://www.wonder-room.eu) who sits across the studio.
Talk to us about your recent exhibition at Piccadilly Place, curating local talent. Are you now Godfathers of the scene? – here’s your unique chance to make that arrogant assertion!
The exhibition at Piccadilly Place was with our bro SAVWO it was the culmination of 2 weeks of workshops with students from University of Salford, it was serious fun screen printing, drawing and generally making a mess and then welcoming over 300 guests in over the weekend to see the temporary gallery space. Godfathers of the scene? No, we're just getting started.
You've mainly done work with other artists and musicians thus far. Do you intend to work in a more commercial arena, or is is your focus more-so on an independent ethos?
We're happy to work with anyone that is brave enough to work with us as long as we keep a healthy balance between keeping the wolf from the door and doing things that excite us.
In regards to this, do you often debate art and commerce? Or is it just important to consider what’s sincere and interesting? Is this a really trad question?
There's nothing wrong with making money for what you do, people seem obsessed with drawing lines and saying "well if you work for XXXX then you're a sell out", the only point when you "sell out" is when you find yourself crossing your own line of comfort and starting to feel those pangs of guilt in your stomach.
You’ve recently worked with both Holy Other, Dutch Uncles and D/R/U/G/S amongst others. What is the collaborative process when working with an artist, and what are the key factors in ensuring a sort of trust between the two of you?
Communication, the better you understand each other the and the more trust there is the better the end product is. If there is no trust and bad communication then you end up with something that neither party is proud of.
Is there a different creative process involved in creating a poster and some album artwork? What do you principally draw upon?
Normally just the time frame but in principle the process is kind of similar, you are trying to create something representative that captures the essence of whatever it is that is being presented, whether that's something really simple to something highly complex. Due to both of these processes normally feeding back to the promotion of an artist we always find listening to the artist over and over again paints things like colours and imagery really well in your mind before you start working.
You’re quite closely associated with the Manchester music scene of late, and you’ve a background in DJing and such. Straddling both art and music, how do you feel about the state of ‘alternative culture’ at the moment?
It's great, especially in Manchester so many great bands and artists coming through over the past five years inspiring people to stay in the city.
What do you listen to in the studio at the moment?
We've been working on the new Haxan Cloak record design so that's been on quite heavy rotation, other than that it totally varies, right now we're listening to Deerhunter but aside from that we got sent a bunch of records from Warp as we did some work for them so we've been trying to motor through them, Gonjasufi's record is a stand out.
You're currently exhibiting a lantern as part of Soup Kitchen's ongoing Lantern exhibition? Is it true that the bottom of yours is full of fun size bags of Maltesers?
Who told you?
What is the future for Dr. Me?
Keep on scaring the life out of each other and never reach for the boxing gloves.
Thanks to Dr. Me. For further details, archives and comissions, check out their website.