The hits continue rolling in. This weeks Rock Art Wednesday artist is a big name in the poster world, Chicago’s Jay Ryan. Jay’s been creating posters since 1995 and has an incredible portfolio of work. I love his use of warm colors and his designs create true art pieces the fact they promote a concert is a bonus. I’m looking forward to adding some of his pieces to my rapidly growing collection. He also plays bass and sings vocals in his band Dianogah. Check out a recent review of Dianogah@ The Empty Bottle in Chicago from our friends at Live Music Blog. Jay was kind enough to put his mark on Rock Art Wednesday.
Jay Ryan’s work can be found (and purchased) at The Birdmachine.com make sure you check out his stuff. Check out Dianogah on myspace.
RD-How would you describe your style?
JR-Sloppy and haphazard.
RD-What are you working on for the first half of 2008?
JR-Lots of posters, though fewer for concerts than usual. doing a series of prints for the BBC right now for a new take on their ‘blue planet’ series, just finishing some shirts for Patagonia, doing posters for film festivals, film screenings, a bike race or two, a community bike shop, a puppet show, and a bunch of bands. most of my time for the last six months has been spent in gutting a building that the bird machine bought, and working on fixing it up so we can run the print shop there. I am about one day away from being ready to actually start moving the presses and flat files and drawing tables into place.
RD-Any upcoming events..poster shows, convention, festival etc….?
JR-Flatstock in Austin, then flatstock in Chicago in July (and again in Seattle and Hamburg in September). just had gallery shows in Chicago, Urbana, and Macomb Illinois. group show in Philadelphia. hrrrm, I know I’m missing some stuff. my band has a couple tour this year – east coast and then Europe.
RD-Are you doing posters for any of the big summer festivals?
JR-I believe that I’m working on the pitchfork music festival again for the third year.
RD-Do you approach bands you like to try and design for them?
JR-Pretty rarely, but on occasion I’ll hear about some line-up that kicks my ass, and call the promoter asking to do the print. I just had one of these types of jobs come up: a bunch of bands from the early ’90s in Champaign are reuniting for an event in May. These were the bands I went to see while in college. Called the promoter, and am making prints.
RD-Thoughts on eBay when a poster you know you sold goes for 2x the amount.??
JR-as far as I’m concerned, if I sell someone a poster from my website for, say, $30, and they have it for a while, and get tired of it, and decide to put it on eBay and get silly money for it, that’s hot. congrats. When someone comes to an event where I have a brand-new print that’s not even on my site, buys it, takes it home and immediately puts it on eBay as “rare! sold out!”, that pisses me off.
RD-Which are a few of your favorites that you’ve made?
JR-I like most of them. there are relatively few that make me cringe, thankfully. today I was looking at the decemberists print from about a year ago, of the small houses on the cliff sides, for the decemberists’ song ‘sons & daughters’ – I really like that one a lot, but that’s just the first one that comes to mind.