Well, I have to admit that Brian Methe is what I would call my first virtual speed dating experience. I saw his work on gigposters.com, 10 seconds later I contacted him, 3 minutes later he was asking me to send the questions, lets say 15 minutes later I received the answers, and here they are, guys, brand new and fresh !!!
You caught me in the middle of The Howard Stern show.
Can you tell us more about yourself, who are you, where are you from, what do you do?
I was born and raised in Columbus, Ohio and lived there until 2001 when my wife and I moved to Seattle. We lived there until 2004 when we moved to Cincinnati, Ohio where we have been ever since.
When did you start drawing?
I can’t remember not drawing as a kid. When I started college I was studying to be a medical illustrator, but the computer was becoming more prevalent in that field in the early 90s and the major was eliminated. I eventually got a degree in English and stopped drawing for a long time. I started again in 2004 when we moved and my daughter was born.
I ‘m self taught. In my first art class in college I was having a critique with my professor and he wasn’t too impressed with my assignment but he saw sketches that I did on my own for fun in my portfolio, I think they were portraits of bands and artists I liked and he thought they were great. I got an A for the stuff I was drawing for myself.
Today are you living from your art, or do you do something else for a living ?
No. I have a day job and I’m finishing up the last year of a Master’s program in Library Science.
Are you collaborating with magazines/fanzines, regularly?
No. I’ve been doing a lot of prints for gallery shows this year.
I’m influenced by all kinds of media (books, movies, music, advertising, etc). A few of my design/art influences are Art Chantry, Jeff Kleinsmith, and Jean-Michel Basquiat.
What are the principal steps in your work ?
I listen to the artist I’m working for over and over looking for lyrics that jump out or the images that I get in my head from the music. Once I have the concept I look for reference images (I can’t just draw what is in my head) from books, magazines, the internet and start drawing. I’ll do several rough sketches of different ideas and when I find the one I like the most that is the direction I go in.
Do you do everything by hand or on computer?
It’s about 50/50. I draw by hand, scan into the computer and edit and color in Photoshop.
Anywhere from hours to weeks.
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 ?
More often than not I am doing what I want. Some bands have more input than others. I like the challenge of working for a client with a specific idea or concept in mind. I can’t paint so that client is SOL.
For which band have you already worked for?
Wilco, The Decemberists, X, Black Joe Lewis & the Honeybears, The National, Dinosaur Jr, Magnolia Electric Co, Eagles of Death Metal, Bob Pollard, Happy Chichester, Helmet, Burning Brides, Silversun Pickups, The Detroit Cobras, Electric Six, TV on the Radio, The Hold Stead, Hank III, Mastodon
Pearl Jam or Phish
Do you choose the artists yourself?
Yes. I generally pick artists I am a fan of but working with a new or different artist is always a nice challenge.
What is the most difficult part in designing a poster ?
The most difficult part is letting it go. Some are easier than others, but once it is off to the printer it is final.
Do you think you are part of a "Graphic Scene", if so who else ?
I am part of the larger Gig Poster scene. Gigposters.com is the epicenter of the gig poster community and has been a huge part of the community and its development.
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?
You can find my work on gigposters.com. I have a fan page on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/bmetheart) and an Etsy page (http://www.etsy.com/shop/bmethe) where you can purchase posters.
I was included in the Second Annual Ten Club Poster Convention at Pearl Jam’s 20th Anniversary concert in Wisconsin. That was a great experience and I met so many awesome poster art fans. A poster I designed for a gallery show of work inspired by Quentin Tarantino and the Coen Brothers was bought by Ethan Coen and I’m curating a poster series for the upcoming Black Joe Lewis & the Honeybears West Coast Fall Tour.
What can we wish you for the future?
More posters coming down the pike. I’m working on a couple art prints for gallery shows in October and December and a couple more gigposters to finish the year.