How gig posters will always inspire my work

For as long as I can remember, I’ve always believed that I was born in the wrong era. When my sister and I would fall asleep when we were kids, we weren’t sung lullabies, instead we were singing the lyrics and playing the air guitar to Black Sabbath. My first concert ever was seeing Metallica on their Black album tour and to this day, I can sing all the lyrics to any Led Zeppelin song.

Classic rock and the 60-70s era of American culture was what inspired me to be creative, to love music, and to look at design from a deeper perspective. They believed in freedom, expression, love and the power of the people. They wrote, they sang, they marched and they caused the whole world to stop and recognize that they had something to say, and you were going to hear it. From the bright, neon, swirly designs, to the in-your-face bold type, you couldn’t avoid their posters, album covers, paintings and buses driving across America.

Gig posters from the hippie era inspired me to become a designer. Those posters, all done by hand mind you, were so intricately designed and thought out. Each color was screen printed individually and each letter placed by hand. These artists really loved what they were doing and their work portrayed that. They didn’t care who like them, who they offended or how much money they would make off of it, they just did it because that’s what they did. One concept that stuck with me from “American Artifact, the rise of the American rock poster art“, was that if someone was offended by the poster or couldn’t understand it, then that band probably wasn’t the right band for them. Of course, much of the design was drug-inspired, but the point is that they created a whole different market for designers,  ones that weren’t in it to make millions, but instead appealed to the “heads”, as my dad would say. And best of all, that was one of the biggest markets at the time.

Now-a-days, I don’t know if it’s smart to niche out your work, but if it works for you, more power to you. As for me, that’s where my roots came from and hopefully I can create posters that people will be talking about decades later.

Inspiration is contagious…

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