Midnight Oil, AC/DC, INXS or Radio Birdman, Silverchair or Kylie Minogue, I am sure you already see what I want to talk to you about. As sure as the musical scene is wide and definitly good, australian rock posters scene is also really huge, so, because you always have to make a first step, please welcome my first guest from the other side of the world: Jase Harper !!!
Brisbane band Gentle Ben and his Sensitive side’s latest album has been living in my headphones this week and it doesn’t look like it’s leaving anytime soon.
Can you tell us more about yourself, who are you, where are you from, what do you do?
I’m a Melbourne based illustrator/animator formerly from Brisbane. I work fulltime as an animator and spend the rest of my waking time drawing poster ideas and comics.
When did you start drawing?
I started getting into drawing around Primary school after I won a poster design for book week. I remember thinking it was fun and I dug the praise.
I spent most of my school life drawing band logos on my folder and even started charging money to replicate band logos on people’s school bags! I won’t mention the bands as I don’t want them to take a cut of my lunch money profits.
I did some brief art studies straight out of school, then worked in a print shop for a few years before deciding I wanted to draw fulltime. The Art collage was offering a degree in Animation and that’s where I really started to hone my skills.
Today are you living from your art, or do you do something else for a living?
I’ve been making a living from various forms of the creative industries for about 11 years now.
I’ve been submitting comics to various underground type comics for awhile now, such as Phatsville comix, Yuck! And recently for Fried Cat comix a music comic/zine from fellow Aus poster artist Rick Chesshire.
Where does your influence come from? Is there any artists/graphists you particularly like, what are your influences?
I’m heavily influenced by music and alternative comic art. My fave comic artists at the moment would have to be Jim Woodring, Ben Constantine (Plump Oyster) and Peter Bagge, anything with a surreal element to it I dig.
As for posters artists, Ken Taylor and Drew Millward always knock my socks off.
What are the principal steps in your work ?
First I listen to the music of the band I’m doing the poster for, then I go look at the themes that are already present in their posters and cd’s, I don’t want to repeat anything or stray too far from what they have done in the past. Then I thumbnail out various ideas and run them by the band. Once they’re happy with the concept I move onto tighter pencils, then ink, scan and colour and add text.
I do all the illustration by hand, until the scanning stage. I prefer to do all the text by hand but due to sudden line up changes, date changes, I’ve stopped doing that. I still like to hand distress digital fonts to give them a bit of hand done look.
How long does it take you to do a poster?
Anywhere from a few hours to a day.
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?
The best scenario is when the band lets me do my own thing, they usually come out happier as they don’t have any pre conceptions already formed on how the art will look. Having said that I’m more than happy to work to a band’s brief, it just takes a little longer.
Local bands such as Bronson, Moroccan Kings, Fangs of..., Bodies, The Vendettas. International I’ve done work for Zombina and the Skeletones and Caustic Casanova.
For which band would you love to work?
I love my local bands so I’d have to say Mesa Cosa, The Meanies and Six ft Hick. Internationally I’d love to do something for Les Savy Fav, King Khan, Built to Spill, Black Angels.
Do you choose the artists yourself?
I have approached a band after a show and have done a poster for them but mostly it’s a band or local label that has seen a previous poster and got in contact with me.
What is the most difficult part in designing a poster ?
Fitting in the text and getting a nice balance. It’s tricky having to fit a band name that consists of 3 letters next a band that has 25.
In Melbourne there’s a comic scene, a street art scene but not much of a poster scene. I only know of a few in Australia that are making posters consistently, Ken Taylor, Ben Brown, Rick Chesshire, Ross Radiation and Glenn Smith . The last three cross over into the comic scene. I’m sure there’s more.
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?
The best praise you received lately?
A band did a shout out in the local street press about one of my posters.
More poster work, an exhibition perhaps?