Back from holidays and, once again, happy to see that Rock Posters are spreading all over the world. Best proof is this interview of the really talented Michael Hacker from Austria !
Hello, of course as every Crewk interview, first question: what are we listening to when we come to visit you?
- Hello! At the moment you'd probably hear Kvelertak's debut album. Or maybe High on Fire or Municipal Waste or ZU. Or maybe Finnish Tango.
- My name's Michael Hacker and I'm living and working as an illustrator and comic artist in Vienna, Austria. I started printing gigposters together with my friends from Atzgerei collective in 2005.
When did you start drawing?
- It all began when me and my brothers got tons of old comic books from a neighbour's mother. Although I couldn't even read I devoured them. I guess that's when and why I started drawing...
Did you follow any course or did you improve by drawing in the margins of your schoolbooks?
- Looking back I don't understand why it didn't come to my mind to get a sketch book back in school. All my schoolbooks and desks were filled with drawings and doodles. In 2002 I went to Art school where I bought my first sketch book.
Today are you living from your art, or do you do something else for a living ?
- I'm very happy to make a living from illustration.
- I sometimes contribute short comic stories to different magazines. But not on a regular basis. Last year I self-published my first comic zine called "Häcksler".
Where does your influence come from? Is there any artists/graphists you particularly like, what are your influences?
- Comics have definitely been very influencing to me. Not just in terms of style but also in terms of humorous and narrative approach. As a kid I was reading lots of French comicbooks and nowadays I read mostly independent and underground comics. There are tons of great artists I like. E.g. Jim Woodring, Mike Mignola and Nicolas Mahler. Three totally different artists but each one with a very distinctive style that fits the sort of stories they tell perfectly. That's something I admire.
What are the principal steps in your work ? Do you do everything by hand or on computer?
- I all starts with an idea and a very rough and small sketch. After blowing it up and adding details I ink it with a brush pen by tracing it on a light table. As I often try to integrate the typography into my artwork I do the lettering by hand as well. Most of the time I add the colours on the computer or I draw the colour layers on transparent paper and put them together on the computer.
In general it takes me two or three days to design a poster and another one to screen print it (often with beer-intensive night shifts). Sometimes I already have an idea for a poster in mind for weeks before I start drawing. Or even a couple of years before I even contact the particular band.
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 ?
- I've never done an oil painting. But concerning the horses I'd have no problem. As long as I can bring in my style.
- So far I've done posters for bands such as Queens of the Stone Age, Mastodon, Eagles of Death Metal, Sonic Youth, Dinosaur Jr., Municipal Waste, Melt-Banana, Fu Manchu...
For which band would you love to work?
- I'd love to design a retsopnikufesin for Anthrax!!!
Do you choose the artists yourself?
- Most of the times I try to contact the bands by myself. But it happens that other poster artists or band managers put together a tour series and ask me if I want to contribute.
What is the most difficult part in designing a poster ?
- To realize when a poster is done.
- Not really, but it's great to meet other poster artists from all over the world at Flatstock every year. I've met a lot of talented and great people there. You can find most of them on www.gigposters.com
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?
- http://www.michaelhacker.at/ And if you ever visit Vienna, check out Inoperable gallery.
Can you tell us a little bit more about the austrian poster scene ?
- Unfortunately there's not much going on regarding gigposters in Austria. There are lots of talented people but hardly anyone is printing posters.
- Some years ago brilliant French rock poster artist Tanxxx put together a poster series for Unsane's europe tour and invited me to do the poster for the Austrian show. I assume that's all I know...
Thanks for answering my questions and see you soon on the website !!
- Thank you for asking and cheers from Vienna!