Just over a month ago was the deadline for my 50 Rock N Roll Posters project on Kickstarter and unfortunately it did not receive the needed funding but I am grateful for all of you who did support this project and I want to thank you. I know a many of you are not as passionate about rock n roll as I am and yet you supported me. I know my artistic style isn’t exactly your taste and yet you supported me. I know for some of you money is tight and yet you supported me. I can’t tell you how much this means to me! I sincerely mean it when I say thank you, I am grateful for your support. Someone recently said to me, “You know the average millionaire failed 7 times before they succeeded at making their money.” Whether that’s true or not it sounds good to me. I guess that means I have 6 more swings to hit my home-run!
Ever since I was in diapers I have enjoyed creating art. Once I hit awkward puberty I found solace in trying to play guitar. Today I am on a journey to reinvent the rock poster. I’m here on Kickstarter to ask for your support to make this dream a reality. If successfully funded I will give you beautifully crafted and brilliantly conceived high quality, limited edition rock ‘n’ roll giclée prints of your favorite bands. That’s this project in a nutshell, for more details, keep reading.
As a teenager in the 90’s I spent the majority of my meager paycheck on purchasing CDs. In order to get more bang for my buck, I would usually drive to Minneapolis to my favorite used music store, Cheapo. I would spend hours shuffling through piles of unorganized, used CDs in hopes to find a few gems. In those days I found great pleasure and excitement in viewing the art filled booklet of a newly purchased CD, while listening to the music for the first time. Such an experience would frequently result in me feeling personally connected to the band.
Since those care free days of my youth, I have noticed such feelings are increasingly more rare even though I am purchasing more music than ever. I think one major reason for this detachment is that, for the past ten years almost all the music I have purchased has been intangible MP3s. This digital format has physically disconnected me from having that experience of my youth when I heard AND saw the music.
Back when Radiohead released The King Of Limbs I decided I was going to purchase the special “Newspaper” edition. The day it arrived I sat down for over 2 hours to read the newspaper and enjoy the artwork while re-listening to the album. That was the first time in a long time that I felt the excitement of my youth, and a tangible connection between art and music.
Since that day I have been striving to reconnect art and music in my life through reinventing the rock poster. I have always had a feeling of nostalgia when gazing upon my CD collection, but now I feel these rock posters are connecting me to the music and these bands with an even greater sense of excitement.
Rock ‘n’ roll-inspired art of the past mostly consists of concert or gig posters. Many of these posters have vibrant, psychedelic, rad artwork but at the same time lack any ACCURATE visual representation of who the band really is or what their music sounds like.
Another defective attribute of most rock posters is being cluttered with specific concert information such as the venue, date, opening acts, where to buy tickets, and even when the doors open. If you attended the concert for which a poster was created then there is significance in having the concert info on the poster; but if not, all that information means NOTHING and in many cases it takes away from the art itself.
Many other gig posters have rather cliché images. Rock ‘n’ roll is so much more than skulls, the middle finger, and half-naked, big-breasted, devil women. That is why I want to create this series; to truly capture the essence of each band and the music they create.
15 – 35 hours researching the band, reading through the lyrics of every song, collecting a wide range of photo reference of the band and their original album artwork, watching music videos & live performances and brainstorming concepts & themes relevant to the band and their music. Doing such in depth research helps to create a visually accurate representation of the band and their music.
35 – 60 hours creating the detailed drawings, puzzle-piecing the drawings together in Photoshop, arranging & tweaking the composition and hand drawing the text.
10 – 15 hours creating background textures by painting and collaging photo reference.
15 – 30 hours enhancing the background textures and adding digital color.
The average piece takes me 85 hours to complete, however on a few pieces I have spent over 140 hours.
With each piece I create I strive to truly capture the essence of the band through imagery, lyrics and the overall concept. In several of these band posters you will see original album artwork incorporated into the piece. Almost all of the text in each piece is lyrically based. Usually the more you are familiar with the history of the band and their music, the more you will understand the symbolism and appreciate the subtle nuances within my work. Here are just a few examples:
CLICK ON THE FOLLOWING IMAGES TO VIEW THE ARTWORK IN IT’S ENTIRETY
I knew before I even started my Led Zeppelin piece that I wanted it to have a mystical feeling. As I dove into my research I quickly realized that Tarot cards would make the perfect foundation on which to build. The “Stairway to Heaven” illustration of the “Zoso”booklet obviously derives from The Hermit Tarot card. Below, you can see how the Tarot deck influenced this piece.
In “The Beatles – Lonely Hearts, Rubber Soul & Magical Yellow Submarine Tour” you will see a walrus sitting on a mushroom smoking a hookah, here is how that imagery came about…
When John Lennon wrote the lyrics to the song “I Am The Walrus” he based it on the poem “The Walrus And The Carpenter” by Lewis Carroll. Lewis Carroll is best known for writing Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland. In Alice in Wonderland there is a part where Alice comes across a caterpillar sitting on a mushroom smoking a hookah…. hence, the walrus on the mushroom smoking the hookah is born.
The hookah also ties in nicely with the sitar since both originate from the India – Persia region.
In “Radiohead – The King of Limbs” you will notice 3 white mice in the tree towards the top of the image, they are each doing a different dance move inspired by Thom’s Lotus Flower dance.
In “Pearl Jam – If Not For Love I Would Be Drowning” there is original album artwork from all of PJ’s nine studio albums from Ten to Backspacer.
In “U2 – Where Is The Hope And Where Is The Faith And The Love” you will see a demolished building to the left, in the middle of the wall there is a deteriorated spot. The shape of this spot is Ireland (the island not the republic) which is of course U2’s native land.
These are just a few samples of symbolism and hidden meaning within my work. If this project is successful I plan to publish a coffee table book of all 50 pieces with a detailed description of all the symbolism, hidden meaning and inspiration behind each piece.
I have already completed 18 of these posters but I need your help to finish the remaining 32. Because this is an enormous undertaking and in order to get you your rewards faster, I’m dividing this goal into two phases or projects. For the first phase I want to finish another 7 posters totaling 25 and then if there is sufficient funding and interest I will complete an additional 25 NEW posters in the second phase. Who knows, with your help maybe I’ll create posters for 100 rock bands!
PHASE 1 COMPLETED
PHASE 1 REMAINING
If we reach $150,000 I will dedicate the next year & a half to this project and complete an additional 25 NEW posters in the 2nd phase totaling 50 posters!!! If we make it that far I plan to publish a coffee table book of all 50 posters with a detailed description of the symbolism, hidden meaning and inspiration behind each piece. Limited edition giclée prints of the following bands will ONLY be available if we reach the stretch goal.
PHASE 2 BANDS
DIGITAL WALLPAPER – THE SPACE ON THE LEFT IS FOR ICONS
T-SHIRTS are 60/40 cotton-poly blend crew neck. Available in both men’s and women’s cut in the following sizes: MEN’S small – 3XL & WOMEN’S small – 2XL
HOODIES are 80/20 cotton-poly blend with a front pocket. Available in sizes small – 3XL.
The following images are just mock-ups and there may be some slight variations in the final product.