I discovered Marq's work with the Dinosaur Jr album cover he did for their latest album Farm and I have been immediatly xtuck by this half dream/half nightmare vision. I felt like a child fascinated by kind monsters a little bit like in Sesame Street. Who was the guy behind this image was then the most important thing to know for me. Searching a little bit more, I find out, thanx to Gigposters book that Marq was also doing rock posters. From there do I have to say that I feel really honoured to have him on the blog ?
I've really been into the African (Mostly Sahara) Desert Blues lately, bands like Tinarwein and Group Doueh. Big fan of the new Bon Iver record. I just picked up a bunch of new stuff from John Zorn's Tzadik label I've been playing quite a bit. And currently my 15 Sun Ra records are within reach.
Can you tell us more about yourself, who are you, where are you from, what do you do?
Hi, my name is Marq Spusta and I'm an artist. I make gig posters along with a lot of other stuff like, product packaging, band merch, album covers, paintings, prints, children's books, toys and women's accessories.
My mother tells me I was pretty into it when I was 2.
Did you follow any course or did you improve by drawing in the margins of your schoolbooks?
Yeah, it seems like half the my drawings from my youth were in my school notebooks. But I eventually went to University of Wisconsin Stout for a Graphic Design degree that allowed me to experiment and keep up my art/illustration interests.
Today are you living from your art, or do you do something else for a living ?
Artist is my occupation
Where does your influence come from? Is there any artists/graphists you particularly like, what are your influences?
I think my early influences like Jim Henson and Dr.Suess were very important to my artistic development, then in later years I discovered the endless array of inspiring visual artists. Some of my favorites are Rick Griffin, Joe Sorren, Mark Ryden, Mati Klarwien, Robert Crumb, Stanley Mouse, Alan Forbes, Norman Lindsey, Ernst Haeckel, Aaron Horkey, and so on.
What are the principal steps in your work ?
Absorb/research (usually listening to music if it's a poster) - sketch quick ideas - develop a sketch concept - present to client - finalize sketch concept - ink over the sketch - scan that in - Color in photoshop (on wacom tablet) - then send to my screen printer.
I usually do the sketching and blackline by hand, and then color in the computer, but there have been a few posters that get drawn using the wacom tablet in photoshop.
How long does it take you to do a poster?
-A week on average, but that's just the creation of the art, there's also prep, printing, signing, shipping and all that as well, so projects are usually active for a month.
I'm always up for a challenge, or being taken in new directions through a project or client, but at the same time I want to work with people who appreciate my style and tendencies. One of my most recent posters has horses jumping out of clouds with a sunset character of sorts - close enough!
For which band have you already worked for?
I've work for a ton of bands, I'm not sure I understand the question.
For which band would you love to work?
I would love it if Neil Young called me up tomorrow and asked me to draw him an album cover. I'd like to do a Radiohead poster. I'm very proud and honored to do album covers, so there are many bands I'd love to work with in that regard.
In most cases the bands reach out to me, sometimes I'll contact bands I want to work with. The magic is, that i'm often already a fan of a lot of the bands that contact me.
What is the most difficult part in designing a poster ?
Finishing it. I'm almost always staying up 'til the wee hours when it's time to finish the poster art..
You feature in the new gigposters 2 book, how did you find yourself involved in it ?
Clay at Gigposters.com reached out to me. All my posters get entered on gigposters.com. There's over 200 artists featured in volumes 1 and 2, so I'm glad I made the cut.
The gigposter thing is certainly some kind of a scene. But stylistically I'm not sure I fit that well into some group categorization. I'd like to think maybe my art fits into a few different "scenes"
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?
Stop by MarqSpusta.com to check out the work and see what's available in the Shop, which is always being restocked with new items as others sell out. We also keep the Spusta Studio Facebook page active.
The best praise you received lately?
A lot of the artists I've always looked up to, like since I was in high school as a fanboy, have recently been very complimentary of my work. I am even working on a few collaborations with some of these legends.
I hope that my art continues to evolve, but also that unique and diverse opportunities come my way. I hope that in another ten years I can look back and have done a lot of different types of projects with my artwork, not just 300 gigposters. I'd like to get some of my characters made into toys, maybe even build a bit of a storyline for some of them someday.
Thanks for answering my questions and see you soon on the website !!