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.