Jesse LeDoux (Version française)
Fed up with skulls, half naked ladies and horned devils on your rock posters ? If so, just have a look at Jesse LeDoux’s work. Poetry and inspiration are both there. Be prepare for a trip in your dreams, but first of all, take time to meet the pilot:
Hello, of course as every Crewk interview, first question: what are we listening to when we come to visit you?
Moondog. He was a street musician in NYC from the 40s-70s. He dressed in Viking outfits and made his own instruments. Pretty fascinating guy. His song, "Rabbit Hop" is a gem.
Can you tell us more about yourself, who are you, where are you from, what do you do?
I grew up in the Pacific Northwest. As a kid, I explored the forests around my house outside of Portland, Oregon, and went into the city to skateboard. I moved to Seattle in 1995 to go to college. In Seattle, I found myself going to a lot of rock shows. After a brief stint at Up Records, Jeff Kleinsmith hired me at Sub Pop Records to share the role of art director. While at Sub Pop, Jeff and I also formed Patent Pending Industries, with the intent of creating screen printed posters for the various music events around Seattle. In 2004, I left Sub Pop and moved to Providence, RI where I formed LeDouxville. My work with LeDouxville is strongly illustration based, working on a wide variety of mediums and formats. In 2007-2008, I spent a year living in Tokyo, Japan, and 2009 found me moving back to Seattle, where I split my time between LeDouxville, Patent Pending, and working on fine art for gallery shows. I plan to be here for a good long time.
When did you start drawing?
I can't remember not drawing. As a kid, art supplies would be at the top of every birthday and Christmas list.
Although I did have an art education, I've found I'm most engaged by a stack of blank paper and some supplies. So, yes to both, but I'd align myself more with the latter.
Today are you living from your art, or do you do something else for a living ?
Fortunately, I'm able to live off my art. Commercial illustration primarily pays the bills, though my gallery work definitely helps out. I feel I'm incredibly lucky.
Are you collaborating with magazines/fanzines, regularly?
I've been featured in a few magazines, but never in an ongoing context.
I love a lot of work from the 40s-60s. The work had a soul, a warmth that I don't see so much today. Are computers to blame? I try to incorporate many traditional and archaic techniques into my work in the hope of achieving the same warmth. As for influences, Ben Shahn is far and away my favorite. His subject matter was strong and direct, his linework was incredible, and his color sense was great. I could stare at his work for weeks/months/years.
What are the principal steps in your work (from start to finish) ?
I'll always start out with pencil sketches. From there, I work in several different ways. Most commonly when creating work for clients, I'll use pen and ink to redraw the work. I'll scan it in with Photoshop, and import the drawings into Illustrator to color them. When creating my fine art work for galleries, after very rough sketches, I'll paint the background elements using gouache, and then draw in ink over the painted pieces.
Do you do everything by hand or on computer?
The computer is a tool. It's just as important to me as my ink pen (except it's nice that I can also check email on it!). It's very important to me that I not use the computer too much in my work, or the work runs the risk of losing its soul.
How long does it take you to do a poster?
Sometimes it takes 2 days, sometimes it takes 2 months.
I definitely try to interject my own voice into the piece. If somebody asks me to do an oil painting with horses running out of water with a sunset backdrop, I'm TOTALLY up for it! However, be forewarned that the horses might be pear shaped with bendy legs and have clouds as hair.
For which band have you already worked for?
I've worked with quite a few bands.
For which band would you love to work?
It's harder working for bands I really love. There's an added pressure for the work to be perfect, that isn't present with bands that I'm not in love with. My favorite bands to work with are new discoveries that I love, but haven't loved long.
Do you choose the artists yourself?
Sometimes the rock club will send us a listing of their upcoming concerts and we can choose. Yet more often, we are asked to do a poster for a specific band/concert.
Can you tell us which is the greatest band to work with for posters and.... the worst ? :)
The best bands have been ones that give me a vague direction, but allow me the freedom to do interpret that direction in whatever way I like. The Shins, Damien Jurado, Pedro the Lion/Dave Bazan, and all the bands on Suicide Squeeze Records have been that way. The worst bands are ones who micromanage and fail to have clear reasons for their decisions. I've encountered a few like that, but I tend to forget about those bands pretty quickly.
Self doubt. I tend to overthink things.
Do you think you are part of a "Graphic Scene", if so who else ?
There is definitely a new wave of postermakers right now. I try to stay outside of most groups or classifications, for fear of getting "pigeonholed". Other postermakers I really love, however, are The Little Friends of Printmaking, Aesthetic Apparatus, Sonnenzimmer, and Seripop.
A bit of self-promotion, take advantage of it, it's free, where can we see your work , on the web or in real life?
The bulk of my work can be seen at http://www.ledouxville.com/ and http://www.patentpendingindustries.com/. I have a piece in the Sanrio 50th Anniversary show that opens in Los Angeles next week. And if you're ever in Denver, CO, I have a pretty large mural that's worth checking out.
The best praise you received lately?
Several people ordered prints from my website this week. It's always flattering when people like my work enough to want to own it.
What are you working on at the moment and what s next ?
I just finished up a 5 color screen print for http://www.tinyshowcase.com/ and a couple other prints I'll be releasing on my website soon. I'm also working on some book illustrations, some T-shirt designs, and have a few commissioned drawings I need to complete.
What can we wish you for the future?
Fame and glory? Love and happiness? Peace and understanding? All of the above?
The last time I was in France, I had an incredibly hard time even finding a record store. I know very little about French rock posters. However, with that said, there are many things I don't know much about.
How would you explain that rock posters have spread so heavily over america s culture, it is quite difficult to understand for us in france where this art is nearly unknown.
I don't know much about France's music scene. In the U.S., bands are constantly touring all over the country. The frequency of good bands coming through your town creates a desire to be involved in the music scene. Going to shows, making posters, and buying records are all results of that energy.
Thanks for answering my questions and see you soon on the website !!