Cliff Mills believes that he is descended from Viking nobility, and that this accounts for his size, strength and thick crop of facial hair. Yet this illustrator, heavily influenced by comic books and Pop Art, finds himself in the very un-Nordic setting of Phoenix Arizona where he lives with his family.
As a creative, his early heroes were Frank Miller, Seth McFarlane, and Sergio Toppi and he now shares some of that enthusiasm for comics with his boys. Growing up in the 80s and 90s, his favourite music derives from the emo era. When he’s not drawing or spending time with his wife and kids, he likes to use his size and strength to lift heavy things.
Cliff has a degree in Visual Communication from Brigham Young University in Idaho. During university he played guitar in a band and was asked by record labels and promoters to create artwork for t-shirts and gig posters. His career in illustration was launched.
All Cliff’s illustrations are drawn with pen and ink – for him nothing can replace the feeling of a nib scraping the paper. The images are then scanned and coloured in Photoshop.
Because he’s heavily influenced by comic art and Pop Art, his style is driven by strong line work. Yet his images are used in all kinds of un-comic-like contexts including travel, finance, publishing and editorial. Some of his work is also influenced by his home state of Arizona, with its low horizon and big sky.