Archive for the 'POSTERS' Category

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.



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.



This isn’t exactly “the decision” or any kind of revolutionary defection from the status quo, it’s just a man making his life easier whilst servicing his customers efficiently. Outsourcing, if you will.
What am I talking about?? I’m moving my online store to NAKATOMI, which means when you order a print of mine you will receive it in 2-5 days as you should instead of waiting for my dumb ass to have time to tube it up and drag it to the post office which can often take a month to arrive as many of you reading this likely know from experience. That and I often times send the wrong poster(s), all that shit is over now. My posters are in capable hands.

This is the first wave, I will be slowly transitioning the back catalog of posters to Nakatomi and eventually close out my big cartel store and Nakatomi will be the main location to find Jon Smith posters online. So bookmark that shit yo.

Bottomline it’s a win/win, you get what you want when you buy a poster quick and easy and I get more time to spend designing…or catching up on old SEGA games, whatevs!

All posters will still be signed and numbered by me moving forward as per usual unless it’s an art print that gets printed in-house at Nakatomi down the road in which case will just be numbered and not signed. Overall I’d say 80-90% of the time my prints will still be signed by me.

CLOSE UP/DETAIL IMAGE: Built To Spill, Showbox. November, 2010. Seattle, WA.

Aaaaaaand to help kick off the new store I’ve finally got my Built To Spill poster from November available. There are 2 versions of the poster, regular edition of 100 and an edition of 50 with a subtle nod to the memory of a once proud, now deceased sports franchise….championship ghosts….

Also, while moving posters around, organizing and such I found a few more copies of the Black Keys Columbus poster I could spare so a few of those are in the store as well but there are only a few and that’s it forever!!!

Goodnight internet, I have a feeling we’ll be seeing more of each other throughout the school year…I uh, peeked at your schedule and went to the office and got myself transferred into  a couple of the classes you’re taking this quarter…


Internet! Thank GOD your here!!

2011 is already awesome, things are gonna change I can feel it. Everything ground to a halt toward the end of 2010 due to having too much shit happening at the same time but it was still a good run, I liked it. A damn site better than 2009 that’s for sure.

Long story short, having a day job and working on overlapping deadlines at night during football season is suicide. I fucked myself on a couple projects, I would go into vivid detail but I’d be here all day.

But anyway that mess was in December and things are snapping back into shape, yknow like in Christine when the car rebuilds itself.

I’m going to Los Angeles on Friday(maybe that’s today depending on when I post this) to attend the opening of “Is This thing On?” a group show at Gallery 1988. Jensen was gracious enough(or drunk enough, zing!) to ask me to design the official poster for the show:

I’ve done a couple prints for 1988 in the past and have one more coming up, I’ve never been down there so I’m really looking forward to it. The other show I speak of is “MULTIPLAYER” the video game themed group show opening January 15th at the new Gallery 1988 location in Venice.

Speaking of which, while I’m in L.A I’m going to get over to Venice and check out some of Jim Morrison’s old haunts. Ha! That’s a joke…..but it’s…true. I’m going to do just that if I can.

Shit! I gotta go, my dad’s giving me a ride to the airport(I let him do it, he loves it…) which means getting there 3 HOURS EARLY.

Oh and speaking of comedy posters, here’s that Doug Stanhope poster I did. Illustration/design by me, concept by Rob Jones:

Alright I gotta hop in the shower. Love you, talk soon! XOXOXO


Hello internet,

So here’s the deal, I started writing this last night. It was going pretty good(I was my usual clever self) but this hunk a junk PC of mine took a dump in my face,  nothing was saved. So this’ll be pretty bare bones, just the facts ma’am:

The Black Keys November 2, 2010. Brixton Academy.

The Black Keys November 3, 2010. Brixton Academy.

Here we have  not one but two new posters for The Black Keys, for back to back shows at Brixton Academy in the UK!!! If you know me you know I’m a sucker for anything British(except that new David Cross show which sucks but I guess is made my Americans though…shit! A tangent for another time, gotta keep it movin) so I was pleased as punch to be asked to throw a design together for these shows.

From a design standpoint I wanted to have a “2 part” concept where each poster would stand on their own but also look good and make sense side by side. I think this is what one of my old design teachers would call “pop out”…I think.

So there’s that and I was trying to make it feel right for shows in the UK. I’ve been to London and Brighton, I was only there for about a week about 5 years ago so it’s not like I’m claiming dual citizenship here but I think it helped in the design process a little. If nothing else it just helped me to not overdo it and make it an obvious “this is a poster for a show in the UK by some yank from Seattle” deal.

I managed to avoid obvious references like The Guns of Brixton, The Union Jack, Monty Python, a can of Boddingtons or the power station from the cover of Pink Floyd’s Animals ;)

I think that’s all I have time for internet, here’s the technical skinny:

18″x24″, signed and numbered edition of 142 each(I only have about 50 or so myself, the rest went to the shows).

3 colors including a subtle metallic flake in the brick red.

Oh, where have you been my blue eyed son?

Well Bob, have a seat and I’ll tell you all about it.

I’ve been meaning to hop back on the blog since I got back from Renegade Austin in May and here it is the week after Renegade San Francisco. Doing two out of town shows in one summer has been a bigger pain than I anticipated and I don’t mind saying I came up short on both occasions. I think I covered my expenses(travel etc.) in Austin but I got my head handed to me in San Francisco. Came in guns a blazin’ and got creamed, you remember the end of Butch and Sundance right? Like that.

I’m over it but I bitched up a storm about it of course you know all about that if you follow me on twitter or facebook. As per usual all my caterwauling is all in good fun, I use my twitter account as free therapy, dumb joke depository, shit talking sounding board amongst friends and lastly a venue to dispense news on new prints/design and such. It’s synced straight to my facebook, I rarely check in on facebook itself.

If I wasn’t counting on making my rent money in San Fran it wouldn’t have been as big a deal to me, I don’t want anyone who came out to Renegade San Francisco or anyone involved with Renegade to feel slighted by anything I said….well, except the DJ. The DJ was spinning a mix tailor made for Kindergarten nap time, I mean you go to a Grocery Store and they at least play something with a consistent tempo. Keeps people engaged on what they came to do, introspective Neil Young or sad bastard Leonard Cohen slow jams are counterproductive to say the least. That DJ was not helping the atmosphere….though I like Wings as much as the next guy.

Jesus, speaking of bringing the mood down…to the bright side we go! I hung out with Tyler and Michelle Madsen of Love Nail Tree in San Fran, after meeting them initially in Austin. We’re going to try and collab on some shirts in the future, excited about that but god knows when that will see the light of day, fall probably. Anyway we saw Dinner for Schmucks the night before I flew back, fun times.

Also in San Fran were the usual poster suspects but I’m not going to list all the Two Rabbits, Kevin Tongs and Nate Duval‘s of the world, they’re all overrated anyway. ZING! LOLZORZ but working my booth myself I didn’t get out and mingle at all really, I think Regan Smith Clarke the shirt designer from Boston is the only non-poster new person I met. His buddy helping him at his booth looks like a young Seth Romatelli from the Uhh Yeah Dude podcast…anyway Regan Smith Clarke, solid guy. Traded him a print for a nice Tank Top. Oh shit, I also met the dudes from Fuzzy Ink, they make shirts too. Nice guys, met them while drunk(..ish) with Mike from Two Rabbits in lower Haight.

Leading up to San Francisco I needed to finish a design for Spoon and get it approved, the time crunch due to finishing new wood prints(more info down the road) and boxing up 100 lbs of my wares and display paraphernalia forced me to spend most of my Friday once I landed in my hotel room slaving over a hot laptop finishing up the design. The design ended up being rad and it was approved:

The print however did not go quite as I had hoped, more on that later. Flukey weird shit, hardly ever happens but…like I said I’ll address that later.

Moving right along, printing this week will be a 3 color poster for The Black Keys(strangely playing the same venue as Spoon in the above poster)  this Friday in Columbus, Ohio.

To recap my trip to Austin in May, it was a great time. Austin always is. I stayed with Tim Doyle (of Nakatomi inc. fame), his wife Angie and darling son Rocko! I’m bad with baby ages but he’s a little guy, got a lot of bam bam in him. Also met Nick Derrington(awesome illustrator) and his wife, if I had 5 minutes to concentrate on it I’m sure I could remember her name but she made this amazing Peach Cobbler. One of the greatest foodstuffs I have ever partaken in. Anyway Tim lives right down the street from where they shoot a portion of my favorite guilty pleasure, Friday Night Lights. Driving through the neighborhood I always felt like I was in the opening montage.

Also hung out with Clint Wilson, yeah he’s a Wilson from Austin I’m sure he’s related to Luke and Owen Wilson…and the other brother, future man whatever is name is. Didn’t hit too many places other than fine eateries which meant I had to stop by Geof Peveto‘s joint: FRANK. It’s Peveto’s world, we’re just living in it…hats off to you sir.
This is getting long already, I’ll just keep blogging throughout this and next week. There’s new stuff up in the store plus the aforementioned Black Keys poster will be available soon and there’s a whole wave of new art prints I can’t even get into right now which will be going up in my etsy store as soon as I can get to it. But designwise right now Ghostland Observatory is on the front burner, need to get some shirt designs and a tour poster done pronto! Before Flatstock at Bumbershoot of course. I’ll be back in a couple days, thanks for stopping by.

SJSA: March, 2010.

Greetings and salutations internet,

Typing fast hope I’m making sense, Nate Duval and I ended our blood feud and set aside our petty differences to create a fine poster for my favorite band:

Kidding about the blood feud of course…although we have joked before about staging an Andy Kaufmanesque fake fight for shits and giggles. Anyway these posters will be available at the show in Richmond, VA on Wednesday. We will make our copies available shorty after, stay tuned.

I’ve been mentioning an interview with Micah Smith, it’s been half done for quite a while I’ve just been slammed lately and Micah was down at SXSW last week so hopefully we can catch up and wrap the interview up this week.

I often ramble out of talk of new posters and into sports talk on this blog but at this juncture those two worlds have finally collided beautifully. I created a print for Gallery 1988‘s massive Greatest Moments in Sports Show.

Believe me, picking one concept was hard but I think I came up with something good. 4 colors on cream paper(Mohawk, the same stuff we use for  TSTOUT kiddos!), limited edition of only 55. The copies of this print at the gallery sold out quickly, my copies are available in the store now, grab ’em while they last.

Now that I’m on the topic of sports I’m going to riff on PNW specific sports stuff so you can stop reading now if you’re just here for the poster blabbery:

Holy shit the Dawgs are on fire, after dragging ass through two thirds of the Pac-10 season they have won 8 straight and exploded into the Sweet 16. They’re playing West Virginia, going to be tough but it’s nice to be at a respectable depth in the tournament. I’m proud of these kids, finally getting their shit together and playing an exciting brand of basketball. We’re finally seeing the team that was ranked in the top 20 to start the season. BOW DOWN TO WASHINGTON!!!

And of course there’s Charlie Whitehurst. Perhaps a future “savior” has come to the Jet City…

Jesus just left Chicago SanDiego and he’s bound for New Orleans Seattle.

A lot of people are bellyaching about this move, the phrase “hasn’t thrown a pass in a regular season game” has been used as much in reference to Whitehurst as “flip-flopper” has been with John Kerry. It’s a lazy way to look at things. Philips Rivers hasn’t missed a game in 4 years and Billy Volek is the best backup QB in the league so there would hardly be any instance in Whitehurt’s time in San Diego where he had a sniff of the regular season. In his 4 regular season snaps he handed off 3 times and then scrambled 14 yards for a touchdown.

The bottom line is, the Hawks looked at Charlie Whitehurst as a draft pick. They liked him more than any QB in this draft outside of Sam Bradford(who they aren’t going to have a chance at) so they traded up in the second round and gave up their third round pick next year to get him. I will say this ’til I’m (Seahawk)blue in the face, no matter what this move is better than taking a chance on Jimmy Clausen in the first round in 2010. Whitehurst is bigger, stronger, faster, has been in the NFL for 4 years and obviously cheaper.

Outside of all that, look at this guys hair! I have so many nicknames floating through my head, Serpico Jesus, Hot Tub Jesus, Rambo Jesus, Tim McGraw Jesus, Comic Book Jesus, Soap Opera Jesus, Aragorn Jesus, Dukes of Hazzard Jesus…


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

Print releases and interviews coming soon!!!

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