It's legendary artists time on the blog. I am always amazed how those guys are easy to get in touch and so kind to answer my questions. After a long thought, I took the decision to ask them the same questions as for newbies in the poster world. It allows them the freedom to speak about their past or present works and I think it is not always so pkeasant for an artist to be considered as a legend from the past. Art has no age. So, it's my huge pleasure to welcome Carl Lundgren today …
The Bonzo Dog Band
Can you tell us more about yourself, who are you, where are you from, what do you do?
I'm an old time artist, who in my youth, happened to do some very famous Rock Posters for the Grande Ballroom in Detroit. But most of my life I was an Illustrator and Fine Artist who moved 24 times in 7 different states with my long-suffering wife, Michele.
When did you start drawing?
My mom saved my first drawing and I still have it. A scribble at one or two years old, but I didn't decide to pursue art professionally until 16 years old.
Did you follow any course or did you improve by drawing in the margins of your schoolbooks?
I'm mostly self-taught. I kinda' imitated other artists and now I imitate myself. I've created many kinds of art under many different conditions. And that's how I learned.
I've only done art my whole life and have made a fabulous living. I consider myself Detroit's most proficient artist.
Are you collaborating with magazines/fanzines, regularly?
No, I've gone solo and am strictly on my own although I enjoy the friendship of other picture makers.
Where does your influence come from?
Other artists. Never nature, although I use realism in part of my work. Biggest influence: Golden Age American Illustrators. Is there any artists/graphists you particularly like, what are your influences?Love everybody and everything, as long as there's a sense of humor involved. Life is too short to stay grumpy.
It changes with the piece. Currently, when I do a painting, I first draw a small black and white sketch. Then I enlarge the image to a preset size at Fedex Office and glue the paper print to a board with contact cement. I shellac the surface and color it with Alkyd Oil Color and Prismacolor pencils.
Do you do everything by hand or on computer?
Most of my Rock Posters are created completely on the computer, where I just combine pieces I have saved or I find, with lettering that appeals to me. This is the exact method that I used in the sixties (except without the computer!).
How long does it take you to do a poster?
Usually it takes about six hours, although I may go back and work on it and make changes for years! Something that only this generation of artists is capable of (because of the computer).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 ?
For which band have you already worked for?
I did a poster for Janis Joplin, for instance, and got to meet her twice, but it's not about the bands, although I'm proud of the bands I've worked for. To me, it's about the art and whether I've helped promote their careers.
For which band would you love to work?
I now create posters for any band I wish. A sort of tribute poster that I sell.
Do you choose the artists yourself?
Absolutely, unless the band or promoter approaches me.
If it is a poster for myself, I have no trouble at all. I just do it. If it's a poster assignment, the most difficult part is getting paid. Now I charge 50% deposit, before starting the project.
Do you think you are part of a "Graphic Scene", if so who else ?
Here in Detroit we have the top three Rock Poster artists, myself, Gary Grimshaw, and Mark Arminski.
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?
I've had a website for over 20 years and an eBay store called Detroit Rock Posters. I am very easy to find on the internet.The best praise you received lately?I recreantly received an award with Stan Lee for my contribution to co-chairing the first Multi-Media Convention ever held. (in Detroit in 1965).
All I want is that my family and friends to remain healthy and happy. What else is there?
Thanks for answering my questions and see you soon on the website !!
Your welcome. Thank you for your interest in the artwork.