Thursday, October 29, 2009

Busyness Cards & Record Collecties

Here's a nice bit of work I just completed for a client from the good old US of A. The Folkman Brothers -- it's not just a snappy name, they are actually brothers!

The initial brief was to produce a design which was mirrored, each side containing the contact details of one of the brothers. After the first draft of thumbnail ideas, we decided to go with all contact info on one side, and a nice bold design on the other.

This was an enjoyable project and I'm pleased with the end result.

Here's something else I recently produced for a friend's site. The site is currently a work in progress but the idea is that it will be a resource for record collectors. The banner image is supposed to convey this idea that even when our civilisation comes crashing down in a broken heap, record collectors will still be detirmined to track down that rare first pressing of the 'Chalky and the Smash-Hammers' EP on beef coloured vinyl!

I'll be sure to give a head's up when the site is live.

I'm working on a couple of projects; updates soon...

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Update Drei

So. Euro-Flatstock 4.

I sort of think there should be an addendum to the the definition of Flatstock from the API site, with a seperate description for Flatstock Europe.

In theory they are both very similar creatures (and to be fair, since I haven't attended a US Flatstock, who am I to suggest they are different at all?) but after numerous chats with some of my US poster-comrades, I am reliably informed that what the Euro event lacks in commercial returns, it makes up for in camaraderie and, most important of all, mayhem.

Over in the States, Flatstock draws a crowd of actual gigposter collectors and enthusiasts: people who's most highly regarded passion is the collection of screenprinted gigposters. They often buy 2 copies of posters they like -- one to line their nest with and the other to be archived away in the hopes that it one day be worth a million in US Sterling. Some artists actually make so much money from selling posters they suffer from "Fiscal-Flu", literally an illness brought on by an overdose of cash.

Flatstock Europe, on the other hand is a loose cannon. A wild card. A Thunderdome. A potential death-trap.

About half way through a three day event where you sit at a stall surrounded by your own work, in the middle of Hamburg's red light district, you are hit by the "Flatstock Malaise". You start to tire of having bemused passers by ask you "What is a Melvin? What do these posters mean? Why are you doing this?" and you start to question the legitimacy of your very existance. I mean really, is this behaviour becoming of a gentleman? Why are these lovely German folk buying armfuls of posters from some artists and completely ignoring others? Is it time to start drinking yet??

At this point it is vital that the Euro'Stock Artist put aside every shred of negativity and doubt. It is essential that the fundamentals of the event are understood: You might make some money, you might not make some money; but you WILL have a lot of fun.

I was lucky enough to make a few sales and come away with a very small profit; but of far greater importance was the camaraderie and good times. It was great to meet up with old friends and make new ones. Everything from the 5am drinking to the Sunday Boat-ride to the constant in-jokes were tackled with aplomb, and that for me is the real success.

I took plenty of photos and there are numerous others doing the rounds online but in all honesty it's hard to choose even a handful which will adequately sum up the experience. Here's a shot taken by Dina Howard of myself and boothmate Cameron Two Ducks Disco, whose pleasant company and tolerance of my nonsense was much appreciated!

A billion thanks to everyone involved in this year's Flatstock Europe -- from all the other artists, to the Reeperbahn Fest people, to the API (and the real API), to the boat-driver, and to the punters who bought stuff (and even those who didn't).

See you next year.

Friday, October 09, 2009

Update Zwei

The next exciting addition to the Flatstock Europe parade of goodness was the Beatles themed print exhibition which took place at the newly opened Beatlemania Museum.

The brief was to produce a print inspired by a Beatles song of the artist's choice but without using any obvious Beatles imagery, song lyrics, or anything otherwise held tighly within the giant blue fists of copyright control. The last thing we would want is Paul McCartney turning up with his flamethrower and torching the place (as we all know he is want to do)...

Being a fan of winged and beaked beasts, I chose the song Blackbird. The song isn't bad either.

The printing process went incredibly smoothly and this is one of the rare occasions where, at least to me, the final print is actually far better than the Photoshop file I worked from.

I actually photo-Tweeted the process while I was printing this, something which I hope my Twitter followers enjoyed. This is probably something I'll do again, so if following hot print action, live as is performed, is your kind of thing you could do worse than follow my Twittery goodness.

Anyway, here are some snaps of the print process (mostly using Drying-Rack-Cam):

and the final print, signed and numbered:

4 colour screenprint, signed/numbered and limited to 50.
£22 including postage within the UK -- drop me an email if you are interested in purchasing one.

The exhibition opening was a lot of fun and very well put together. There was a free bar and a two-piece Beatles tribute band played which Luke Drozd and I very much enjoyed heckling. An additional, and very welcome, surprise was that the exhibition space also contained a selection of photography work by contemporary music photographers -- some of which were by none other than my old mate Danny North! Small world and all that.

Here's some pics of the museum entrance, as well as the exhibition space. I'm particularly proud that they translated my daft artist biog into German:

The work by the other artists involved was superb, I'm sure much of it is floating round the web for your viewing pleasure. A hearty well-done to everyone involved and a big and sincere thank-you to Dan McAdams for his sterling work in liaising with the right folks to get this off the ground, and of course Monika and everyone at Beatlemania Museum Hamburg.

Thanks for reading. In my next update, we will journey into the booze-breathed maw of the Flatstock 4 beast itself!

Stay tuned...

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Update Eins

I think I'm now sufficiently recovered from my Hamburg trip to be able to regale you, dear readers, with some tales...

Of course, the main reason for being there was to take part in Flatstock Europe 4 but a welcome addition to the activities for this year was a couple of extra exhibitions organised to work in partnership with the 'Stock, and with the Reeperbahnfest as a whole.

The first event which took place was the Squeegeedragger exhibition at the Galerie auf Halb Acht.

Organised by good Northern lad Nick Rhodes - Switch Open, the brief was sent out to various poster designers and print makers to paint, decorate or otherwise customise a squeegee handle -- the wooden fella that is used to pull ink through the mesh during the screenprinting process.

Now, confession time. I found this a bit of a struggle. I haven't physically painted anything in quite a while, and my current style of quite crisp shapes with plenty of texture is not one easily replicated in paint. But after a few false starts, I'm pleased (read: no longer horrified) with the end results.

The most important thing is that it challenged my otherwise normal creative process and that I got to contribute to a worthwhile endeavour. And that there was plenty of beer at the opening.

Without further ado, here's some snaps of the exhibition opening as well as the piece I contributed:

These photos were taken by Nick Rhodes, (you should check out his workhere) and you can see more pics of the exhibition and opening night on this Flickr page hither.

Mega-thanks to everyone involved in the show!

More Germany updates to come...