Rock Art Wednesday-Todd Slater II
Posted by T Rex on December 19, 2007
This weeks Rock Art Wednesday artist has an impressive portfolio of work. The majority of my collection consists of his posters both for the incredible designs but also the great bands he works with. His Neil Young poster for the Tower Theatre is by far my favorite poster of 2007. His influence was from Neil’s song Cortez the Killer. The detail is superb with the soldier being made up of tiny skulls. This week is one of the best…Todd Slater. Todd was kind enough to find the time between cranking out killer posters for Ween and Neil Young to answer a bunch of questions for Runaway Dinosaur.
Can you describe the silkscreen process?
Think of silkscreening as printing with stencils. You are essentially
making elaborate handcut stencils and printing each color one at a
time. Most of Andy Warhol’s work is silkscreened. It’s a totally
antiquated printing method which I love.
What was your first poster?
My first real silkscreen poster was for Pretty Girls Make Graves in
2003 at the Trocadero in Philadelphia. I think it took me like 6
hours to do the color separations for it and probably a week to finish
in all. Even though I was unsure about the poster at the time I felt
like I would find a way to keep making posters regardless of whether
the people involved liked it. Fortunately, they did like it and I
didn’t have to take that assistant manager position at Circuit City or
Tech World or whatever dead end job I would have ended up at…
How long have you been doing this?
About 4 years now I think, 7 years if you count the posters I was
making in my head.
Do the bands commission you or do the venues?
Both. At first I was approaching the venues a begging for gigs but as
I’ve built up a portfolio it’s gotten easier.
Who are some artists you like?
Way too many list but some of my favorite poster artists would have to
include the Ames Brothers who were a big influence on me in college in
the way they were able to make striking posters in a variety of
styles. Also, Rob Jones of the White Stripes fame who has been a
great friend to me. Aesthetic Apparatus was also a big influence on
me thru college and still today. There’s a couple of painters that
shaped my development too even if it doesn’t show in my posters, and
that’d be Peter Saul, Jenny Saville, John Currin and Lisa Yuskavage.
For film there’s Wes Anderson; I could probably recite the dialogue
from all his films from memory at this point.
Which poster of yours is your favorite?
Maybe my first Interpol but this year’s pic would be my Elvis Costello
that was made of tiny gemstones.
How do you decide the number you release?
I usually do editions of 200 now but will do more if the band needs
them. Occasionally I like to throw a curveball and do a really small
edition like my latest Interpol with the spiderweb. There’s not some
business model that I follow though, it’s just kinda how I feel after
I finish the poster usually.
Does it bother you to see your posters on Ebay?
Mostly it’s flattering but I don’t really dig it when someone gives me
some story about how badly they want the print and then it ends up on
ebay the day they get it. They usually deny that’s them but like how
many tubes can I be sending to Bozeman, Montana ya know?
Whats in the works?
I’ve got Mars Volta, Ween, Foo Fighters and a Cure lined up next!
You can see all of Todd’s work here.
Check out next week’s Rock Art Wednesday for the year end wrap with my favorite poster from each artist we’ve featured.
If there is an artist you would like to see featured drop me a line!