ok, i should have written this post a long while ago – but you know what? as I said previously, i’ve been a little busy and sometimes that’s just the way the cookie crumbles. it’s 2:04 am right now. i warned you i was burning the candle at both ends. so here goes (and i apologize in advance if this post is somewhat scrambled):
good news Pt 1. i have hereby been asked to be the full time artist & art director for a local Seattle band: Andrew Vait and The Eternal Fair. their music is strong and only getting stronger. they are getting quite a decent following in the area and i am stoked to be participating in such an endeavor. my first project involved LOGO design. they wanted some legitimate branding that they could use for posters, t-shirts, etc. so, I came up with two logos:
of course logo No. 2 took far longer than logo No. 1 (notice, logo No. 2 relates back to that darn circus tent i was rambling about a few weeks back…) and being the nature of the design beast the band chose logo No. 1 as their favorite. these things happen. these things not only happen, but they are expected to happen. i would have been surprised had things turned out any differently.
that said, logo No. 1 was printed onto some t-shirts just a week ago for their show at The Hard Rock Cafe in downtown Seattle:
none of this would have been possible without Mr. Jeremy Manley of Manley Music. he rocks. so does Andrew. so get on your desktop, laptop, iPhone, or what-have-you and “like” them or whatever it is you kids are doing these days to show your support for awesomeness.
[digital design][illustration + digital application]
(The Foghorns, Pete’s Candy Store :: Brooklyn, NY)
(Bart, Soda Bar :: San Diego, CA)
(Rich, Soda Bar :: San Diego, CA)
(Katie, Hollow Earth Radio in Studio :: Seattle, WA)
i have already told you i went on tour with The Foghorns. we left in the beginning of September 2009 and arrived 4.5 very long weeks later back in Seattle. we traveled from Seattle to New York to California and back to Seattle. we had shows in approximately twenty cities across the US. i had the time of my life. i had the opportunity to see most of America from the road, visit cities i’d never even seen before, meet people from all walks of life, hear countless bands from all over the country (and even one from the Netherlands) – oh and don’t let me forget i took pictures of the band every single night they played while selling their merchandise at the same time. it’s one of the best trips i’ve ever taken and i’d do it again without question.
so, when i arrived back to Seattle – i had some 20+ rolls of film on me, some i had developed along the way and some i developed when i arrived back home. so, if you are wondering why there are so many band photographs on my Nikon page – well, this explains it. it was the time of my life. if you ever get the chance to go on tour with a band, i highly recommend doing it. it’s just .. fantasic. and there’s no better way to see this great landscape we call America.
[35 mm + nikon + color film + black and white film]
(cover – detail)
(cover and back cover)
(interior side A, lyrics)
(interior side B, poster)
so, when The Foghorns made their most recent album – i was asked to create the art for said album. truth: i have never made album art before. when i was asked to put together art for an actual album that was to go into production and be sold in stores .. yikes. that was whole new territory for me. but, as usual, i said ‘ya, shure, you betcha’ – because i love a good challenge.
in short, the work i did for this album took many many hours. there are many guidelines that go into album art production. you have to take many things into consideration that one just doesn’t take into consideration when you are just haphazardly drawing pictures in your sketchbook. i wasn’t surprised by this fact, i was just extremely slightly overwhelmed by just how much planning goes into it.
in any event, the album actually turned out great. i was impressed with the quality and although there are two minor errors in the text (minor because any normal person wouldn’t notice them, but to me they are glaring errors because i just want to KICK myself for not having proofread it again – i thought proofreading it ten + times was enough, apparently i was wrong).
in any case, you should have listened to this band by now. if you haven’t please do so here. and if you love them, as i suspect you will, you can purchase their album off iTunes and other sources as well, visit their website for more details on that. so, music lovers, get to it! and if you live in Seattle, make an effort to come out to one of their shows. they are worth watching live. as much as i adore the album, their live performances are still my favorite.
[hand drawn illustration + digital illustration]
i made this poster in early November 2009 for local band, Lost Weekend. they just released a new album, so visit the link because Rich knows what he’s doin’.
please meet The Foghorns. they are a local-ish seattle band. the –ish is because the band was originally formed in wisconsin, then it moved to brooklyn, then it move to iceland, and now it’s in seattle – and i have no idea where they’ll end up next. how do i know them? i know them through a friend. and then another friend. and then those friends became part of the band. and then we went on an epic road trip when The Foghorns toured the US to promote their newest album, A Diamond as Big as the Motel 6.
if you haven’t caught on by now, The Foghorns move around a lot. this means that band members have come in and out and their sound has evolved greatly over the years – the one constant has been the founder, main song writer, and lead singer, Bart.
i could go on and on about The Foghorns since i spent four weeks on the road with them and a good two years attending their shows, making their posters, and singing along to their songs. this band is the reason i know anything about band photography, concert posters, and designing album art. a lot of the work that i have featured on this site is related to The Foghorns and i do have to say a big thanks to The Foghorns, because without you (all of you, both past and present members), i wouldn’t be where i am today. that said, i also have to say, they are pretty awesome, so go on now, click on that little link and have a listen. you’ll be a big fan, i promise.
p.s. this is the tip of The Foghorns iceberg. there’s a whole lot more to come so i’ll do my best to pepper in their posts in moderation.
my best friend, Katie, started her band ‘Blue, Pig.‘ a couple of years ago. i designed this poster for their very first show. the venue was actually pretty cool, the turn out was more than decent, and i couldn’t have been more proud to see her, finally, singing on stage. she has an amazing voice.
we became best friends ten years ago in high school. i remember whenever i would drive anywhere i would always play music in my car that i knew she would sing along to – for the selfish reason that i just wanted to hear her voice. you may consider me bias, but when you hear her sing you’ll understand just why i would do such a thing. she’s beyond incredible and if she ever joined American Idol (vomit), i’d like to think she’d really blow the other contestants out of the water. will she ever join American Idol? no. she has no interest in selling out. she’d much rather go about it the natural way – being broke and devoted and relying on word of mouth to bring her ‘success.’
i respect her decision to do so because American Idol, really? don’t get me wrong, i love to watch the auditions (for entertainment purposes), but beyond that i have no interest in watching somewhat capable singers become super duper stars over night. i’ll admit it: there are some amazing voices that appear on American Idol, but.. but.. it’s just a form of celebrity i have a hard time understanding or supporting. but, sigh, to each their own.
[digital illustration + photography]
p.s. if you are wondering why the band is called ‘Blue, Pig.’ then you should watch this movie.
so begins my venture into band photography, posters, album art, and role as graphic designer and groupie for (more on the ‘groupie’ thing later) local bands. these pictures were taken for my friend Katie’s band, ‘Blue, Pig.’ this band was formed in 2008. it no longer technically exists, except for on MySpace really. regardless, i was asked to take some band photos for them. a few of these were used for some promo stuff and the rest have remained neglected and forgotten on my hard drive – so is the fate of so many photographs – tear, sniffle, sigh.
i took the first four on my Nikon and the last two on my sx-70 outside of a motel off Highway 99/Aurora – a road known for being rundown, unsafe (depending on where you are), and a staple roadway in seattle. members include(d) are Katie, her brother Rich, and friend Bart.
let me take this opportunity to thank the local bands of Seattle who have allowed me to be their photographer and, cough, groupie. it’s opened a lot of doors for me and the challenges of band photography is larger than i had once imagined, i’ve learned a great deal and you’ll see a whole lot more band related posts to come.
[35mm film + nikon] [polaroid sx-70 film blend + chocolate blend]
p.s. i haven’t heard back from my polaroid film supplier, Mike. it’s looking very likely that he is no longer in business. i’ve exhausted my resources only to find small amounts of cheap expired film or small amounts of overpriced (70+$!) non expired film available – i will get to the bottom of this. as i told a friend, abandoning my polaroid(s) at this point would make me feel like a neglectful parent, abandoning my child for something cheaper and easier – like a doll made of plastic.
this is the first piece of album art that i ever illustrated and designed. although it never went into production, it was a bit of a milestone for me (if you will). i put this together in 2006 for a friend of mine, Rich (who later went on to form Lost Weekend*). when attending a high brow design school and attaining a degree in a competitive illustration department, there is a certain self consciousness that tends to take a hold of you.
i made this on my summer vacation – away from the pressures of school and the you-need-to-be-a-commercial-illustrator mentality. it was the first time in my ‘career’ that i realized i could make something that not only satisfied the needs of the assignment/job, but something that i also liked and enjoyed making. what a concept?
i don’t think i’m alone in my battle, as an artist, to strike a balance between getting a job done and liking the job you are getting done. it’s a fine line, but album art and concert posters are right up my alley. they allow you freedom to be the crazy fine artist that you are at heart while fulfilling an assignment that will, hopefully, get you paid at the same time.
[collage + pen + colored pencil + digital application]
*more on Lost Weekend to come
p.s. although i originally intended to place these postings in some semblance of a chronological order, i am failing miserably. i have much work i would love to share and it feels impossible to categorize it into a neat and tidy structure. or perhaps it’s just my dyslexia and messiness preventing me from keeping things in order. regardless, please bear with me.