Site revamp in flux….

Just waiting on the domain to be transferred to the new host.

I really hope you found the White Lion link in there.

The Ballad of Butch Coolidge

You feel that sting, internet? That’s just pride fuckin’ with you.

Alrighty, here’s the rundown on my second batch of prints for the Spoke Art Quentin vs. Coen show.

This was the natural progression from the first round of prints I contributed on the theme of The Big Lebowski in the Ralph Steadman aesthetic.

When I started brainstorming concepts on the colossal theme of “Quentin vs. Coen” I naturally had a million ideas but I wanted to do something I figured no one else had thought of because you never know what everyone else is bringing to the table in these kinds of shows. Somehow the idea of Walter and The Dude driving around in a piece of shit car overlapped in my head with Hunter S. and Dr. Gonzo flying around in that convertible in Fear and Loathing. It’s apples and oranges in a lot of ways but the similarities are two guys in a car on an insane adventure, the protagonist is on a mission while his sidekick means well but mostly just complicates things.

I started playing around, doing my best Steadman impression and it worked out. But in the middle of the process before I landed on what became the pieces on Walter/The Dude, The Stranger and Donny, I was trying the same aesthetic on other movie elements under the Quentin vs. Coen umbrella to see what fit. The illustration of Marsellus Wallace in the basement with Butch was actually one of the first things I started working up but set it aside when the Lebowski stuff started coming together. I knew I liked the illo of Wallace but didn’t know where it was going.

So when I found out there would be a second wave of Q vs. C I figured I should finish what I started with Butch and Mr. Wallace. Thing was, the Lebowski prints were specifically, intentionally a Fear and Loathing/Steadman homage. That tongue in cheek angle wasn’t necessary for a three piece art print arch on the character of Butch Coolidge BUT I had already started it in the Steadman style so I figured I’d keep the illustration style rough, gritty and insanely sloppy but I din’t feel the need to go out of my way to do a tight impression of another style. I wanted it to fit  with the approach of the Lebowski set but still be it’s own thing.

But anyway, let’s talk about Bruce Willis. I really think the character of Butch Coolidge(Bruce Willis) in Pulp Fiction has the most underrated storyline in that movie. Butch is for lack of a better term the “hero” out of the entire ensemble. He overcomes great obstacles to earn his freedom(kills a guy in a boxing match, nearly gets raped and or murdered in order to go back and get that fucking watch! Kills Vince etc.) and makes a clean getaway in the end, no strings attached.

Now you could argue Jules makes a clean getaway, and he pretty much does but his story doesn’t make him a “hero”. Jules is more of a bad guy who took a while to realize he was a bad guy and decided to make a change once he figured it out…but back to Butch. The thing that makes him the hero of Pulp Fiction is the way you pull for him throughout the film, he’s a guy doing what he has to do to get out of a tight spot at all times, he has a love interest and a strong sense of honor and moral compass. There are more reasons to care about what happens to butch than any other character.

He has to go back and get his fathers watch. He has to go back and save Marsellus Wallace, a man who wants to kill him. That’s the fucking definition of a good guy if there ever was one, Butch’s problems are solved if he leaves Wallace to Zed and the boys.

With Wallace dead Butch would be completely free, but he turns around, does the right thing. This is the kind of character that Willis has perfected over his career, from Die Hard to the Last Boy Scout he always adds a level of believability to these action heroes. He doesn’t make it look easy, there’s an everyman quality there. He smokes, he’s hungover half the time, he’s not excited to be in a position where his life is constantly in danger, he gets the shit beat out of him and he looks and acts like a guy who’s pushing his mangled body through these adventures on pure adrenaline because he has no other choice where Schwarzenegger or Stallone come off as robotic or wooden in comparison.

Sorry I got all James Lipton on you at the end there, internet. Sorry. Anyway here’s the official skinny on the new prints: signed and numbered edition of 80 regular prints on Mohawk cream paper and  20 variants. 5 colors, signed and numbered by moi. Get them for now at Spoke Art, I’ll have my copies available later.

In other news I’m looking to have a major website upgrade soon(if I can manage not to fuck it up) and a top secret big time interview coming up…stay tuned!

The Head and the Heart SASQUATCH!

Forget about it Internet, it’s China Town.

BEHOLD, my poster for The Head And The Heart for this years Sasquatch! Festival at the Gorge. This is a late blog post, so I’m going to keep it short and sweet.

The Head And The Heart have taken the Pacific Northwest, if not the world by storm as they’ve signed with Subterranean Pop and probably played more dates than Motörhead this year. It seemed fitting to keep the design of this poster northwest centric, they represent the northwest well and Sasquatch! is one of the biggest festivals in Washington state, annually.

The main design element is a scrapbook of sorts, the main type is a literal interpretation of the song “Rivers and Roads”. The background is an old map of Washington, there are sports cards spilling out the bottom there, including EdgarTez and The Man Child….it was either that or a Dick’s wrapper. Them’s are the facts, don’t really have time to pontificate.
It’s a 5 color screen print, edition of only 100 pieces, signed and numbered. Available in my store at Nakatomi.

CHAMPIONSHIP SLATERADE SHOWER!!!

Internet, avert your gaze if you don’t give a shit about sports as I once again check in with the homie Todd Slater on the subject of Basketball. This is a little late as I wanted to get this up hot on the heels of Todd’s Dallas Maverick’s first NBA championship.
It was tough not to check in with Todd while the Mav’s where making their run, I didn’t want to jinx it. Like when a guy’s pitching a no hitter, after five or six innings no one sits next to him in the dugout, there’s magic happening and no one wants to upset that mojo.
So anyway, it was nice to talk to Todd once the Mav’s defeated Ivan Drago and saved the planet from the end times. I called him the night of game six, the following is my email exchange with Todd the following week or so:
Jon: Alright, where are we at since we spoke? How many pieces of Mavericks championship memorabilia have you purchased and or tattoos have you acrued to your person? Did you go to the parade??
Todd:  Ok, I got 3 championship t-shirts plus one for Kristie to wear.  Kristie also bought me the champions backpack and Christmas ornament for Father’s day (finally, a benefit to being a father :).  I dunno if that sounds like a lot or a little but I never buy crap like this.  I’ve wondered so many times who wears Championship junk years after the event… well, now I know.  Expect to see me at Seattle Flatstock in 2020 wearing a worn out Mavs Champions shirt with all the little caricatures of the team.
Jon:  Buy all that Championship gear! I remember my dad’s old ’79 Championship Sonics stuff growing up, it was cool. I love those caricature shirts, I have one from the ’87 All-Star game at the Kingdome somewhere.
I just checked it’s $100 on eBay.
As we know my NBA fandom is in limbo, so I have to latch onto any and all ties to the 206. There are surprising Seattle ties to the Mavericks. Jason Terry of course, Rick Carlisle had a scant tour of duty as color commentator for Supersonics games when he was between coaching gigs and two of the best assistant coaches in the league Dwane Casey and Terry Stotts coached for many years under Nate McMillan and George Carl in Seattle. That and I will always love Mark Cuban for being one of the only 2 NBA owners to vote AGAINST the move of the Sonics to OKC, a classy gesture.
It’s kinda sad that this is all the NBA is to me, it’s just chunks of nostalgia floating around. I’m not the kind of fan who can just watch a league, I’m a homer, I have to align myself somewhere. Should I just pick a team and follow them until David Stern is out of power and Seattle gets a new arena and a new team in 50 years?? Portland? Do they still have Rudy Fernandez? Liked him in the Gold Medal game in the Olympics.
Todd: Man, timely Rudy F reference dood. Dallas just traded their first round pick for him tonight.  I’d expect him to fill DeShawn Stevenson‘s or Peja’s spot next year.  Good player, I like the trade alot considering the pick was at the end of the first round.
I can’t believe Rick Carlisle was actually a color commentator… I mean I know he worked at ESPN, but man, he just doesn’t seem to be happy.  I think he’s a great coach, but doesn’t really enjoy coaching ya know?  You can tell it takes a toll on him, I’m hoping he’s enjoying this championship.
Jon: Guru it up! Last time you threw out some some prognostications. I think you picked the Spurs to win it all….what’s in your crystal ball? Aside from lockout talk cuz this league has serious issues and the lockout might nuke the entire 2011-2012 season. I just mean in general, what teams you see getting better or worse and any thoughts on the draft.
Todd:  I did pick the Spurs… heh.  The league is really wide open right now, no juggernaut’s or dynasties happening right now.  The Heat are probably gonna get it done here soon here I think.  I love the parity in the league right now tho, it’s great.  There was a time for awhile there where I felt like other teams didn’t really have a chance against the Lakers and that was kind of a drag.  But also, the league has never been just about the champion for me (well, except for this year), I mean I like watching Milwaukee and Minnesota in November.  The draft is fresh on my mind so I’ll go into that now:
- Michael Jordan had a nice draft tonight.  He got Kemba Walker and Bismack Biyombo while adding Corey Maggette but losing Stephen Jackson.  The Bobcats are in full blown rebuild mode but I still like the young talent he got this year.  Might be the worst offensive team in NBA history next year however.
- Please cue up the Star Trek 2 Kahnnnn! scream on youtube in reference to GM David Kahn… the Timberwolves are baffling.  They draft the one position they don’t need (SF/PF) with the number 2 overall pick in draft.  They then trade away their pick in the 20s to Houston for another first rounder next year.  The Wolves seem to acquire picks only to keep trading them in a cycle we see every year.  They also give Jonny Flynn away as part of the trade with Houston.  Flynn was the number 6 pick in the 2008 draft which shows how quickly they give up on their guys.  But hey, Houston did give them a 35 year old Brad Miller in the deal, there’s the big man we all wanted to see Rubio paired with right?  I listened to Bill Simmon’s podcast on ESPN and he really goes after Kahn on the Flynn deal and presses him for answers.  Kahn says he believes that Flynn will become a very good PG in the NBA, and maybe even turn into an allstar, but didn’t feel it could happen playing for Rambis in the triangle.  Well ok, that’s all fine I guess (not sure why you drafted him), but all reports are that Rambis will be fired before the season starts.  This series of events is precisely what puts teams in the lottery year after year.  My advice: just keep Flynn.  You got virtually nothing for him in the trade and even if he’s not a starter for you maybe he’s a rotation player ya know?  You need some guys to play 20-25 minutes a game (checkout how many the Mavs have this year).  It isn’t ideal for a high pick to play reserve minutes but it’s better then giving him away because he’s not a starter.  Alright, have I talked about Kahnnn! enough?  Ok, I’ll let it go…
- Nice job by the Heat grabbing Norris Cole.  I think he can start for them and just knows how to get nasty… like him alot as a late first rounder.  Chalmers is probably heading out of town.
- I wish Jimmer well but there’s just way too many chuckers on that team.
I really feel like next year will be wide open again.  The Lakers will probably bounce back, the Mavs, Celts, Bulls and Heat will all be contenders.  OKC will have another year of experience and could very well be ready to go to the Finals.  The Jazz are rebuilding very quickly and altho they won’t be a contender next year I think it could be coming with all the picks and young guys they have.  If the Clips don’t make the playoffs next year then I don’t know when they will.  I believe the Raptors and Bobcats will be the worst teams in the league *next* year.  I think Deron Williams leaves the Nets.  I just don’t see them putting enough together to keep him.  I definitely think Dwight is outta Orlando too and I doubt CP3 stays long term in New Orleans.  I think Sacramento will be a total mess next year, ego’s will get in the way and they’ll have the worst chemistry in the league.  All guesses here, just throwin’ out the HSOs (hot sports opinions).
Jon: Yeah I caught Kahn on Simmon’s Podcast, that dude is creepy and his explanations didn’t hold a lot of water.
It’s been an all-time shitty year in Cleveland obviously. Winning the draft lottery against the odds was a bit of a silver lining but when you look at this draft, could it be a worse year to have the top pick? P.S Derrick Williams will be the best NBA player in this draft, Klay Thompson the dark horse/sleeper.
Todd: Williams probably is the best player in the draft but he won’t get the minutes to showcase his talent unless a trade happens.  I *despise* the draft the best player available and figure things out later theory.  Hate it, rarely pays off and here’s why:  How can you build trade value if the player isn’t logging big minutes?  Beasley and Love are more NBA ready right now and they will rightfully have earned the lionshare of minutes when the season starts.  So now, Derrick Williams starts to get disgruntled, lowering his already sinking trade value due to the fact that he can’t get enough minutes to develop and begin showing his skills.  Don’t forget that Anthony Randolph is also in that crowded rotation. Enes Kanter was the guy they should have picked even if his ceiling isn’t as high.  2 years ago the Thunder took James Harden number 3 overall in front of Steph Curry, Tyreke Evans and Brandon Jennings because they already have their PG.  And that was absolutely the right thing to do.  Now if you’re the Cavs, and you’re rebuilding your whole team then I’m fine with taking the best available.  
Klay Thompson is fun to watch, really like him, and it’ll be interesting to see if they use him in an 6th man role or if they trade Monta and start him. Marshon Brooks is pretty smooth and I’ll bet he puts up some decent numbers next year on a depleted Nets team.
Jon: Well that’ll do it, Internet. To the five of you reading this, thanks! I’ll have Todd back on the blog to discuss the next NBA season, in 2013!

DON'T MESS WITH THE BULL(YOUNG MAN) PINE TAR EDITION!!!

Look alive out there Internet !

Pitchers and catchers have reported, Spring Training is in full swing, a fresh baseball season is right around the corner, hope spring eternal and all that. Being in a baseball mood again and realizing I’m going to be in Texas for Flatstock and SXSW it seemed as good a time as any to pull the trigger on a limited wood edition of the long sold out Don’t Mess With The Bull(Young Man) print.

Printing on wood is not easy, we just make it look that way:

Here’s the skinny(less jokes, more facts cuz I have to get to work). The wood was pre-coated by my small hands with acrylic white paint mixed with PINE TAR. It really just adds more of a wood smell to it. In the video I squirt pine tar on one of the pieces pretty good but in actuality only a handful of pieces in the run got hit with pine tar after printing like that and it was subtle squirt not as deliberate as that. So y’know, when you get one it’s not going to be all sticky and shit with pine tar all over it. Don’t worry!

The edition size is 34 pieces(good number right Ranger fans?!). There is a slightly more limited edition of 10, the “SXSW Edition” which will be available with my posters at the Nakatomi booth at Flatstock 29. I get in to Austin tomorrow night and will sign and number them Thursday in time for the second day of Flatstock, hope to see you there!!!

Other specs: 18″x24″ on 1/4″ Birch Veneer(good wood). They turned out awesome…..here’s the link if you missed the first 2 times, AVAILABLE NOW CLICK HERE.

DON’T MESS WITH THE BULL(YOUNG MAN) PINE TAR EDITION!!!

Look alive out there Internet !

Pitchers and catchers have reported, Spring Training is in full swing, a fresh baseball season is right around the corner, hope spring eternal and all that. Being in a baseball mood again and realizing I’m going to be in Texas for Flatstock and SXSW it seemed as good a time as any to pull the trigger on a limited wood edition of the long sold out Don’t Mess With The Bull(Young Man) print.

Printing on wood is not easy, we just make it look that way:

Here’s the skinny(less jokes, more facts cuz I have to get to work). The wood was pre-coated by my small hands with acrylic white paint mixed with PINE TAR. It really just adds more of a wood smell to it. In the video I squirt pine tar on one of the pieces pretty good but in actuality only a handful of pieces in the run got hit with pine tar after printing like that and it was subtle squirt not as deliberate as that. So y’know, when you get one it’s not going to be all sticky and shit with pine tar all over it. Don’t worry!

The edition size is 34 pieces(good number right Ranger fans?!). There is a slightly more limited edition of 10, the “SXSW Edition” which will be available with my posters at the Nakatomi booth at Flatstock 29. I get in to Austin tomorrow night and will sign and number them Thursday in time for the second day of Flatstock, hope to see you there!!!

Other specs: 18″x24″ on 1/4″ Birch Veneer(good wood). They turned out awesome…..here’s the link if you missed the first 2 times, AVAILABLE NOW CLICK HERE.

KE$HA

Wake up Internet, I think I got something to say to you.

As a designer of posters, one of the most common questions I get is “How does it work? Do you talk to the bands or do they talk to you or what?”.

The answer is a little bit of both. When you’re just starting out you have to blindly ask anyone you can think of, and build off of the generous souls who allow you to design anything for them. Be it a band, a club or a label, whatever. Then if you’re lucky, once you get to a point where people have seen your work then you’ll get asked back by previous clients or bands and venues will contact you out of the blue.

It’s like anything else really. If you have any degree of talent and are willing to put in the work, you’ll be fine.

So in the case of this Ke$ha poster, I was asked by the Showbox if I could get a poster done in ten days in time for the show. Not a lot of time considering I have a day job and other projects on my plate and I had no idea if it would fit into the schedule at D&L*. Not to mention I’m not that familiar with Ke$ha’s music, didn’t seem like a great fit. I declined.

In an effort to grease the wheels of production they offered to pay for the art and the printing. It was apparent they really needed this thing to happen and I was happy to help them out now that I was going to make a couple bucks off of the job rather than potentially losing a couple hundred which…happens when you have to foot the bill for printing and don’t sell enough of the posters on your own.

Okay so now I’m in but I still don’t have a lot of time and not a great frame of reference. Luckily Christina from Perfect Laughter was more than helpful throwing in various aesthetic references via twitter. I really wanted to use as many as possible, especially Rodman but I could really only work in one of them BUT the big thing is it helped me get in the proper head space designwise. Big ups to Perfect Laughter or as I say in my head “Perfy Ha Ha”.

The point of all this is, it’s not just about doing posters for your favorite bands. It’s still design work most of the time and I personally like the challenge of creating something for a client(or subject matter) that I don’t know much about at the outset because it’s fun starting from scratch. And in situations like this I’m really trying to please the client rather than myself, which is healthier than building a mountain of weirdness that only I can understand ;)

As far as I’m concerned, this is how poster making should happen. You get asked, you get payed, you do the work(don’t overthink it), please the client. I heard Ke$ha loved the poster and grabbed a ton for herself. Everybody wins!

*See kids, you not only have deadlines to get your design done but screen printing takes time and if you’re not doing it yourself you have to give you’re printer time to squeeze it into the schedule.


NEWS:

The Head and the Heart, Lykke Li posters in the store now!!

Print releases and interviews coming soon!!!

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