Todd Slater (US Version)

Todd Slater (French Version - en cours)

An artist with a bio saying only   "Hello… is it me you’re looking for…"on his site is definitly an interesting guy. Not only because this shows excellent musical taste but also because the variety of style he is using for its posters proves that he is definitly a talented guy. But let the guy speak by himself ....

Hello, of course as every Crewk interview, first question: what are we listening to when we come to visit you?

Let's see, right now, new Meat Puppets album, Lollipop, came out a few weeks ago.  I took a ride to Houston yesterday with my mother and played Yo La Tengo's Summer Sun for her because I thought she'd like it.  Quite a bit of Guided By Voices in the past few months too...

Can you tell us more about yourself, who are you, where are you from, what do you do?

Well, I was born in Illinois but I've lived all around Texas for most of my life.  I went to school at Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches and studied Art there.  Ultimately now, I work quietly in my office all day making new prints, coming up with new ideas and styles and packing prints along with my wife Kristie.  It isn't too glamorous but it works for me.  One big key is just minimizing distractions which allows you to be more productive.  I don't own cell phone since I'm at home in my office nearly everyday.  Little things like that can make a difference my output.

When did you start drawing?

Ever since I can remember.  My parents were both very encouraging of what I was doing.  I told people in kindergarden that I was going to be an artist in when I grow up.

Did you follow any course or did you improve by drawing in the margins of your schoolbooks?

Heh, yes I did many notebook drawings in math classes.  I took many art classes but feel like my biggest breakthroughs came from working alone.

Today are you living from your art, or do you do something else for a living ?

I make prints for a living.

Where does your influence come from? Is there any artists/graphists you particularly like, what are your influences?

From life experiences, things I've seen, things I want to see.  Basically, just living life.  I really liked Aesthetic Apparatus and the Ames Bros. while I was in college.  They influenced my work early on.  Right now, I really like the prints that Mondo is putting out for movie related imagery.  I think Methane Studios is probably the great poster artist of this time period... like the 2000's.  There are many but if I have to pick one I'd say it's them.  There's so much variety in their styles, tones and themes.  They've put out an inspired body of work over the last 10 years...

What are the principal steps in your work ?

Hmm, I don't have a set way of working.  I think the most important step is just coming up with an idea.  Once you have that the rest will fall into place.  It's a bit like writing a rough draft I guess.

Do you do everything by hand or on computer?

It's a mix of both but it's mostly computer.

How long does it take you to do a poster?

About 40 hours...

You have a very distinctive style, are you doing only what you feel like or if tomorrow somebody asks you an oil painting with horses running out of water with a sunset backdrop, is it a problem or are you up for it ?

Altho I have a variety of styles I'm definitely not trying to show that I can do everything.  I doubt you'll see me paint a Thomas Kinkade cottage anytime soon.  Unless it's on fire maybe... and there you have it, my next Death Cab for Cutie poster!  I kid, I kid... I am however kind of going thru a folk art phase right now which is something I never thought I'd be interested in.  

For which band have you already worked for?

Too many to list... White Stripes, Dead Weather, Ween, Decemberists, Black Keys, Eisley, Phish and many others.

For which band would you love to work?

Bob Dylan.

Do you choose the artists yourself?

Sometimes I contact them and sometimes they contact me.

What is the most difficult part in designing a poster ?

The idea.  Coming up with an original idea that will resonate with people.  That's the tough part.

Do you think you are part of a "Graphic Scene", if so who else ?

I do yes.  I would say all the regulars on are part of this scene.  The people you see at Flatstock's as well.

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?

There's a gallery in the UK called the Richard Goodall Gallery that has been good to carry my prints over the past 7 years as well.

The best praise you received lately?

Probably Rob Jones noting that I at least worked hard on my Close Encounters of the Third Kind print even if he didn't like the end result.  He's as tough as they come as a critic so I'll take what I can get from him.

What can we wish you for the future?

My hope is to have a long art career.  I'd like to make more prints for films along with band posters.  I'd like to have a one man show at some point when I have the time to produce a good body of work.  Good health, things like that!

Last question : Do you know anything about french rock posters scene ?

I think the only one I can think of off the top of my head is Tanxxx who kills it everytime.

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