Artillery Design (US)

Artillery Design (US)

Bradley Klausen is the guy behind Artillery design. He is the kind of guy who knew how to take his opportunity to work with Pearl Jam. Have just a look at his page on and you will be amazed by the posters he did for them. Do I have to add that he also worked for recent Soundgarden or Alice in Chains shows ? Surely not as I am sure that once you will have see one of his poster, you will want to know them all asap ;)

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

You'll most likely hear what sounds like some sort of boring lecture I found online somewhere. Lectures dealing mostly with esoteric concepts... things like alchemy, the rosicrucians, mystery schools, ancient egypt, the nazi's interests in all things occult and their "bell" project, the symbolism of freemasonry, the knights templar, astrology, torsion physics, the pineal gland, the soul, the ark of the covenant, monatomic gold, shamanism, entheogens, cymatics... things that most folks would consider "crazy". I love the stuff... can't get enough of it. If anyone out there reading this is on the same path, feel free to email me any links to more lectures/videos on similar subjects and I'll send you some of mine... I'm always looking for more....

Lately though I've been listening to a lot of comedy on pandora... their "today's comedy" channel... and that is great. It's not surprising how much your attitude and mental space changes when you're laughing a lot everyday. Everyone should listen to some amount of comedy each day or all day... makes life way better. Try it, you'll see....

If I'm not listening to those, there's some shitty terrible tv show I'm watching online playing in the background on my computer as I work. A bad habit that's becoming exponentially worse... when I'm listening to the lectures, I'm learning something, expanding my mind, finding new ideas for art concepts...listening to comedy, I'm laughing, making my life more pleasant and fun... with tv, I'm making myself dumber and dummer and duhmrrrr... I was really pleased to have freed myself from the tyranny of cable tv... to have no television channels being pumped into the house.... then I found I could watch tv online.... and they got me hooked again... the life draining bastards. I'll free myself from their poison again... hopefully...

If I'm totally brunt out on listening to people's voices, I'll opt for silence. Peace and quiet.

Not nearly as much music being played as there once was... if there is music playing, it means we're chopping and dicing and cooking and making dinner.... and that's my girlfriend's ipod on shuffle, so there's a whole range of musical genres playing.

You'll also hear lots of clapping... my two dogs are both 15 and are losing their hearing and apparently loud clapping is one of the only things that they hear... so there's a lot of clapping and shouting at old dogs, and since you're clapping that gives you a beat that inevitably turns into a song or jingle about whatever it is you want the dogs to do, be it going outside for a walk, or getting up to eat breakfast... so there's lots of clapping and made up jingles being sung.

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

Who am I... well, my name is Bradley Klausen, or at least that's what is says on my birth certificate. I, like everyone else, am a spirit trapped in a meat suit which has an ego trying to continually convince me that I am not a spirit but rather I am the ego and that my ego and the meat suit are all there is to who I am. While attempting to figure out a way to foil the very persuasive ego and not be recycled back into yet another meat suit, I spend my time drawing and creating gig posters for different bands. I'm not sure exactly where I am from, but at some point 35 years ago my spirit hopped into this particular meat suit somewhere in Santa Monica, CA. Spent the first 18 years in the Los Angeles/Southern CA area, then went to Denver, CO for 4 years, back to LA for about 1, then off to Seattle, WA for 10 years and spent the last year in Kingston, WA where i hope to spend many more decades learning about how things grow and figuring out how to grow out of my meat suit.

When did you start drawing?

I don't know exactly when I started drawing... but remember that I always seemed to like drawing and it was something I can recall doing at an early age.

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

I did both. I took some art classes here and there, but I also very much enjoyed doodling in the margins and back pages of my textbooks.

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

For the past 3 years I've been living from my art. I quit my day job to work for myself, and so far things have been good... but these days, who knows how much longer I, or anyone really, will be able to make a living selling art. People will always make art, myself included, but whether or not people will have money to buy art over the next decade or two is the more important question... doing my best these days to learn some other skills that will help keep me alive without money.

Are you collaborating with magazines/fanzines, regularly?

Nope, can't say that I am. When I worked with pearl jam, I would design their newsletter that they'd send out to their fanclub members... that's a fanzine.

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

These days my influence seem to be coming more from stuff i've been reading or lectures I've been listening to. And while i know it sounds like I'm a new age hippy, I have been getting a lot of influence from walking through the woods. As far as artists that influence me, there's a lot, and i try and pick up as many new ones as I can each day... some of my favorites are Jay Ryan, Aaron Horkey, Ken Taylor, James Jean, Martin Ansin, Hokusai, Mucha, MC Escher, Syd Mead, Burne Hogarth, Jeff Kleinsmith, Audrey Kawasaki, Oliver Vernon, Jim Lee, Nathan Ota, Femke Hiemstra...

Do you do everything by hand or on computer?

Everything starts by hand then ends up in the computer. Each poster starts with pencil and paper as I work out my rough concept sketch which gets continually more and more refined until I am ready to ink it or create a very clean pencil drawing. From there that is scanned into the computer and cleaned up and altered and moved around. Then i do all my separation and trapping in the computer as well and make files for film to send to the printer.

How long does it take you to do a poster?

It depends.... usually it takes me about a week to 10 days... I would prefer 2 weeks, but that's because I tend to work pretty slowly. I've been trying to tighten things up and only take a week to do a poster, but I like having time to let things ferment and let concepts and drawings marinate, the longer you look at something the more it grows and the more ideas you have on how to change things and make them better. Usually when I am done with a design and get into trapping, I think of a whole new direction I want to take the design in, but I don't have any more time. I will literally take every minute you will give me to make a poster...and then ask for a couple more.

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 ?

99% of the time I am only doing what I feel like. That's when I am the happiest and when the work turns out the best... when I am given the freedom and trust to do what I do. I find it amusing and quite annoying when someone wants to hire you because they like what you do, then when you start working for them, they try and totally change what you do. Art direction can be very helpful at the beginning of a project, when someone gives you a jumping off point... but after that, I am not a fan of art direction. Let me do what I know how to do, what I am good at, what I do every day, what I've studied to do, what I've honed my skills and craft to do over the course of many years,.. I don't tell anyone else how to do their job, and don't appreciate being told how to do mine. It's the quickest way to bend me outta shape, I don't like being told what to do. But such is the nature of working in the arts.... everyone, whether or not they have any clue as to what they are talking about, has eyes and a certain taste.... so when you work in the art world, it comes with the territory that everyone is more then qualified enough and knows what they are talking about because they've seen things with their eyes before... art is the only professional world where this is acceptable...I can't walk into some business firm and shit can their entire business proposal for a project because I just don't like it or I don't like the number 4, because I haven't gone through the same schooling and know very little about how that world works, and my uneducated, uniformed opinion would carry little to no weight because I don't have the necessary criteria to make a comment on what's been put together... but anyone with eyes, with no schooling or study in the field or understanding in the basic concepts, foundations and history, can look at some form of art that was well thought out and purposefully executed and composed, and arrogantly and confidently tear it apart.

For which band would you love to work?

I'd love to do some posters for Tool. I'd love to do a whole tour of posters for Tool. They are really the only band out there that is heavily steeped in the esoteric worlds, so for me, conceptually there's an endless well of ideas for posters for them. Their guitar player Adam Jones creates all their posters, so I don't think I'll be getting the opportunity any time soon. But a boy can dream...

Do you choose the artists yourself?

Sometimes... I got the job I had with Pearl Jam by reaching out to them. That in turn taught me that you don't get in if you don't knock. So i've done that with other bands I've wanted to work with as well, and sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't. Then sometimes a band contacts you... it's one of the benefits of the internet/email age... you can contact almost anyone and almost anyone can contact you.

What is the most difficult part in designing a poster ?

For me, I'd say executing the concept. Coming up with the concept is my favorite part... sometimes it's difficult and you can't figure out what the hell you're going to do for a particular band, and you struggle with it. But I like that process, I like trying to come up with concepts. Once you have the concept, then you need to pull it from your head and actually create it... and that can be tricky. You can have this great concept, but how are you going to draw it? Or from what perspective are you going to draw it? And if you're concept deals with things that don't exist in real life, how are you going to draw them, what do they look like? Being able to transfer an abstract idea that exists only in your head to paper can be a bit daunting.

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

I'd say I am a tiny part of the bigger rock poster scene. I am one name out of thousands. I am one fish in a very big school in a very big sea.

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?

What can we wish you for the future?
WIsh for me what I wish for everyone else, that we continue to evolve our way of thinking and thusly our behavior towards one another and all living things so that the world will be one in which peace and prosperity is possible for all of us so we can take the next leap forward

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