My first contact with Two Arms Inc was a Matt Costa poster I saw on gigposter, I found really great. Karen Goheen and Michael Tabie collaborate together at Two Arms Inc on pretty much everything according to Michael, but he dealed alone with the interview and I am pretty sure he is the guy on the picture ... Karen can hardly look like that ;)
Motorhead, Bill Monroe, Black Keys, Shilpa Ray, Wu-Gazi, Jeff the Brotherhood
Can you tell us more about yourself, who are you, where are you from, what do you do?
My name is Michael Tabie, I am one half of Two Arms Inc. My partner Karen Goheen and I run a small boutique design shop in Brooklyn New York.
When did you start drawing?
I started drawing as early as I can remember. My first drawing were all of either animals, or jets. Sometimes animals fighting jets.
Did you follow any course or did you improve by drawing in the margins of your schoolbooks?
I drew on everything, and anything. I used to love drawing very elaborate pieces in school books, library books, anything that I thought someone else would eventually discover. I liked the idea of them wondering who did it. I eventually moved onto lettering, and on public property for similar reasons.
I am happy to say "yes". Karen and I both left our corporate jobs in the city about year and half ago. This have been steadily moving forward ever since. It's a constant hustle, but I have never been happier.
Are you collaborating with magazines/fanzines, regularly?
We love working on editorial illustrations, but we have not worked with any publications that are more specific to our field. We would love to collaborate with some fanzines though!
Where does your influence come from? Is there any artists/graphists you particularly like, what are your influences?
We take a large part of our inspiration from old books, signage and vintage packaging. I love the style and influence of the older generations of illustrators. We scavenge a lot of old matchbooks, comic books, liquor labels, advertisements, flea markets, garage sales. The more dusty and forgotten the better.
What are the principal steps in your work ?
One of us usually starts with a concept or idea, and begins to work it out either on the computer or as a sketches. Then the other will pick up and re-work it trying to add more character and push the concept a bit further. We pass files back and forth until we are happy. A lot of people are surprised to hear that we collaborate on single files like this. Sometimes one of us ends up going along ( kicking and screaming ) but its always better in the end.
Both. We try out best to push our selves to create something that feels and looks more hand touched. The best way to do this is to get off the computer. I love hand lettering, and creating our own textures.
How long does it take you to do a poster?
Depends. Sometimes you have an idea right from the start and you can just bang it out in a day. Other times it feels like a bit of struggle and it could end up taking a week to really work out the idea properly
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 ?
We do have a style I think that makes me happy to create in, but we both really try to offer up the best possible execution for the project. We have done plenty of very clean bubbly happy vector work, as well as more photo based dark and evil work as well. Its just not something we usually end up putting in our portfolio
Ice T, Ra Ra Riot, Matt Costa, Jedi Mind Tricks, The Lawrence Arms, Smoking Popes, Galactic.
For which band would you love to work?
I would love to do something for the Deftones, or the Foo Fighters.
Do you choose the artists yourself?
Sometimes we work with a local venue and select shows we think would really benefit with a poster, other times bands come directly to us.
What is the most difficult part in designing a poster ?
Knowing when it's finished.
I would say that there is definitely a "rock poster" community. Specifically there is an awesome group of artists in NYC doing this as well. Its hard I think in the city to really have a tight knit group. But we are getting better about meeting up and hanging out.
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?
We are working on adding a whole bunch of new work to out website. Check it out!
also check out our Tumblr and Dribbble pages for other updates
We actually won "best Brooklyn Poster artists" in the recent Brooklyn L Magazine issue. That was pretty cool to see.
What can we wish you for the future?
Full beers, and fresh ink!