What motivated you to become a part of the gig poster community?
Like a lot of poster artists, I’m a musician myself, so I got my start by making flyers for my own band as well as friends’ bands. I spent 15+ years as a touring musician. I have a lot of first-hand experience on the road and most of my original clients were friends I made during that time. I studied graphic design in college and was always freelancing on the side as a designer, but my focus was on touring and performing for a long time.
It wasn’t until 2016-2017 that I finally got into making gig posters. My first official screen-printed poster job was for The New Mastersounds at the Brooklyn Bowl in Brooklyn, NY (which was printed on French Nightshift Blue). The posters sold out at the shows and then my artist copies sold out on my website, and I’ve been hooked ever since.
How does music play a big part in your creative life?
I can’t really overstate the impact of music on my life. Music has been a constant for me since childhood. I started playing guitar when I was 11 years old, and it has helped shape everything that has happened in my life since. Most of my major life decisions have revolved around music in one way or another. I’m married to a musician. She and I met at a music venue in Denver while performing with different bands.
I’ve worked in lots of different areas of the music industry over my career... as a performer and graphic artist of course. I assisted in launching a record label where I worked as creative director, recording engineer, producer and session musician. I was involved in design and building our recording studio for the label which was centered around my analog tape machine (long live the Tascam 388!). I also helped found and produce a boutique music festival in the Midwest that existed for 17 years.
So, I have a wide range of experiences related to music that have helped shape who I am as an artist now. I haven’t felt called back to the performance side of things in the “post-pandemic” world, but I’m still firmly planted with both feet in the music industry all the time. I’m focused on graphic art and printing making now and about 95% of the work I do is music related.
Is there a particular artist or style that has significantly shaped your current work?
That is a tough question to answer because I’m super inspired by so many friends and acquaintances all the time. But as it relates to my own work, I’ve always been influenced by great conceptual poster artists like Dan Stiles or Jason Munn. I often tend to think of storytelling in terms of symbolism because my background is from the graphic design end of the creative spectrum. So clean, conceptual art really inspires me. To me, a piece is most successful when I feel like the concept and execution both land with equal importance.
Now that I’m heavily focused on screen printing myself, I find I’m very inspired by the quality of other peoples’ print work as well. Somebody like Dan Black is obviously one of the greatest illustrators in the game, but he’s also an INCREDIBLE printer. I love talking shop and comparing processes with everybody that also prints. I always learn something! Everyone has their own tricks and ways of doing things, but the end result is the same and I love that side of it.
What is your favorite project created on French Paper?
I think this would have to be my recent set of three posters for Arctic Monkeys at The Kia Forum here in Los Angeles. I originally pitched them the idea of purple and black ink on Construction Fuse Green cardstock as a modified nod to the history of the venue as the former home of the LA Lakers. They loved the idea and decided they wanted a different colorway for each night of the run. The second night of the run was on Pop-Tone Blu Raspberry and night three was on Kraft-Tone Paper Bag The entire set was a huge undertaking for me to print by hand, but I’m so happy with how it turned out!
Printed on: Kraft-Tone Paper Bag 100 lb. Cover
Printed on: Pop-Tone Blu Raspberry 100 lb. Cover
Printed on: Construction Fuse Green 100 lb. Cover
I also really enjoy designing for darker colors of French Paper and then focusing on lighting and color to make the artwork stand out against the background. The John Williams poster from 2022 is definitely a career highlight!Printed on: Construction Blacktop #100 Cover
Your color palette is consistently vibrant and captivating. What inspires you to bring these colors to life?
I take inspiration from all sorts of places. A really big one in my day-to-day life was relocating to Los Angeles a couple years ago. It’s such a vibrant and colorful place to exist. The city seems to vibrate with creative energy at every turn and I find that very inspiring. There are people making very high-level art in all sorts of different mediums... visual art, printmaking, music, film, television, theater... I love it all and I try to funnel all that creative energy into my work as best I can.
Printed on: Construction Blacktop #100 Cover
I collect vinyl records as well as vintage matchbooks (which I think is an incredible form of commercial art!) and I find a lot of inspiration in those things. I love earthy, neutral palettes as well, but I often get comments that my color palettes have a very 60s/70s feel to them. I have a book of Blue Note album covers that I reference all the time and I think they created one of the greatest visual identities in all of modern music. I could look at that book for hours!
Are there any upcoming projects you’re eager to share soon?
There’s a fun one coming up on Halloween that’s being printed by Lady Lazarus and it’s a one-color design on French Paper Bag Kraft... I can’t say much right now, but I’m really looking forward to seeing that one drop!
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