With his work for the Black Crowes, Alice in Chains, Gorillaz or the Melvins, I was sure that sooner or later, I will have to interview Jason Goad. And this is now a reality, and not only Jason is a wonderful designer (it has been quite hard to select the posters illustrating this interview) but he also gave a lot to say, this is the reason why I will no longer soeak myself and let him answer my questions…..
It's early in the morning, so right now I have the t.v. on next to me so I can get up to date on the news, although lately my work time music has been Crystal Castles, Mogwai, Johann Johannssen, and Tchaikovsky
Can you tell us more about yourself, who are you, where are you from, what do you do?
My name is Jason Goad, I'm 37 years old and I classify myself as a freelance illustrator, meaning I work from home and with a variety of clients. I'm from the United States and live in a suburb of Dayton, Ohio.
When did you start drawing?
My mom has a dresser drawer filled with drawings from my childhood that go back as far as age 1... so as cliche as it is probably as soon as I could hold crayon.
From an early age my artistic interest was nurtured by my family and in addition to the standard art training I received in public schools I also attended weekend art classes at the Dayton Art Institute. After graduating from high school I moved to Columbus, Ohio (about an hour and a half away) to study illustration and fine art at The Columbus College of Art Design and graduated from there in 1996.
Today are you living from your art, or do you do something else for a living ?
I've managed to live off my art for ten years now doing illustration work for various clients and niches... besides doing rock art I've also done graphics for motorcycle helmets, skateboards, and even Hot Wheels as a freelance designer for Mattel.
Are you collaborating with magazines/fanzines, regularly?
I have a variety of influences - comic books, anime, fantasy art, and art nouveau artists like Alphonse Mucha and Maxfield Parrish. Some other artists who's work I love or would pick as influences would be Norman Rockwell, John Byrne, Alan Davis, Travis Charest, Adam Hughes, Brom, Aaron Horkey, Robert Crumb, Justin Hampton, Jamie Hewlett, Alex Ross, Adam Warren.....I could probably go on forever but if you check that list you'll find that the majority are in the comics field...
What are the principal steps in your work ?
When designing a rock poster I'll usually spend a day or so trying to come up with a concept...sometimes I'm looking at song titles off the latest album trying to spark an idea, sometimes I'll just riff off the name of the band, and sometimes I'll just do something that is representative of my art and try to make it fit with the vibe of the band... it's kind of a messy process for me coming up with an idea..... like sometimes I'll literally be banging my head on my desk out of frustration and just like that an idea will come to me. I wish I had a set method for idea generation... it would make that part of the process a whole lot less chaotic. Then I start doing small thumbnail sketches so I can get a better idea as to the layout of all my info and overall design. Then I just keep doing progressively tighter and tighter sketches of my illustration until I feel confident enough to begin inking my line art (which can take between 1 and 3 days to finish) . Next step is to scan my line art so I can begin coloring it in Photoshop. I usually only work 4 colors or less, so I have to keep that in mind while designing and make the most of my color choices. Once I'm done coloring and everything is approved I send my separated files to the printer and nervously wait for he finished posters to arrive on my doorstep.
I try to do as much as I can by hand for a couple reasons - because I really love the tactile feeling of holding a pencil or pen and drawing...just a lot ,more satisfying than using a mouse or tablet. Also, it's good to have a tangible piece of art that I can sell down the road (my line art). In the case of my posters I do all the coloring and separations on the computer.
How long does it take you to do a poster?
It depends on the complexity of the drawing/design. Sometimes it varies from a day to a week.
It's kind of funny that you mention horses because I always use to joke that I can draw anything but horses... just something about them, that I can't wrap my head around or have no interest in drawing..... but if the concept behind it could be explained to me in a way that would get me on board i'm always up for a challenge. Back when I was in the tattoo industry I was kind of known for either doing angels or robots and remember one of the artists at the shop I was working at making a crack about it like it was a sign weakness and I think I spent my time after that trying to prove to some imaginary critic that I could do a variety of things whether my heart was 100% into the imagery or not. I don't think it was a bad thing because it forced me to get comfortable doing a variety of work and challenging myself to make things that I didn't particularly like, interesting to me. But at the same time it's good to figure out imagery that speaks to you and represents you and strive to develop it on a regular basis.
I've done poster art for a variety of bands including Alice in Chains, The Killers, Jucifer, Chris Isaak, The Black Crowes, the Swell Season, Gorillaz, Face to Face, Pink, AFI, The Melvins, and more. I also contributed illustrations for The Offspring's 2008 album Rise and Fall Rage and Grace including art for the front and back covers, and a slew of drawings for the liner notes that were also adapted into various t-shirts.
For which band would you love to work?
Probably my top five of bands I would like to do work for would be Sigur Ros, Depeche Mode, Radiohead, Mogwai, and My Morning Jacket, although honestly I don't know if my style would fit with the art direction all those bands have already established for themselves. It would definitely be a challenge.
Do you choose the artists yourself?
For most of the posters I've done I worked with the venue promoter and am either asked if I'm interested in doing a poster for a particular show or would glance at their upcoming schedule and inquire about doing certain shows.
I would have to say coming up with the concept and getting it crystalized in my brain. After that it's just a matter of making that image in my head a reality.
Do you think you are part of a "Graphic Scene", if so who else ?
I am, but in a way it's a virtual scene meaning a lot of the artists I'm interacting with are through the internet. Luckily the time when I first got into doing rock art was also the same time that Gigposters.com was in it's infancy and it exposed me to a lot of great artists that were doing similar work.
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 check out my website http://www.ingoadwetrust.com/ or my profile on http://www.gigposters.com/.
I recently heard from a fellow artist I was an inspiration to him when he found out that I was able to live off my art. That felt good to hear.
What can we wish you for the future?
I guess just to keep doing bigger and better work that reaches more people.
Thanks for answering my questions and see you soon on the website !!