And here we go again with a discovery I should thanx Gigposter2 book for. Mainly digital but still very personal, the art of John Knoerl has a kind of poetry I would feel very uncomfortable to describe but that really touches me. As I think I am not the only one to feel this way, this interview is for you ....
I have a wide range of music genres that I listen to depending on what type of mood I’m in. The bands I currently have in heavy rotation are: Yellow Ostrich, Hundredth, Youth Lagoon, Com Truise, August Burns Red, Purity Ring, and The Black Keys.
Can you tell us more about yourself, who are you, where are you from, what do you do?
My name is John Knoerl. I’m a recent college graduate who has a passion for music and art, which led me to teaching myself the craft of screen-printing because it allows me to combine the two. I have been designing and printing posters since late 2009.
When did you start drawing?
I have drawn my whole life. My family is very art oriented, so I began at an early age, and I still draw all the time.
When I was younger I would usually draw players from my hockey cards or musicians that I liked. I would always doodle in school too though. It was one of the best parts of class.
Today are you living from your art, or do you do something else for a living ?
Not currently, but one day I hope to be able to. Right now I have a day job as an Art Director at and advertising agency.
Are you collaborating with magazines/fanzines, regularly?
I haven’t really had the opportunity come up. I haven’t been doing this for too long, but would definitely look forward to the chance to be able to.
Most of the inspiration for my work comes from the music of the artist I am designing for. It helps me get a feel for how I should visually express their music. I also get a lot of inspiration from other artists that I admire. Just to see what others are doing can really open your eyes, and make you think differently.
What are the principal steps in your work ?
I usually start off on the computer playing around with type. From there I develop an idea/concept and keep trying different things until I get an idea that I think will work. Then I keep working and tweaking the design until it gets to where I think it looks good. I can be a bit picky about how the design looks, so I sometimes find myself making a ton of small tweaks to my designs until they look just right to me.
Do you do everything by hand or on computer?
A majority of my work is done on the computer. Sometimes I’ll sketch out an idea I have in my head or draw some type.
It varies from job to job. Sometimes it can take me a long time to finish a design and other times, it just clicks from the start and I can get one done in a night.
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?
One thing I love about creating posters is the creative freedom it allows so I would probably have to pass. Even if I’m given a concept to work with, I still have the freedom to create what I feel works.
For which band have you already worked for?
Some artists that I’ve done work for so far are Andrew Bird, Passion Pit, Tokyo Police Club, My Morning Jacket, Bright Eyes, TV on the Radio, Fleet Foxes, and The Black Keys.
For which band would you love to work?
A few that come to mind right now are City and Colour, Bon Iver and Local Natives.
Since the start I’ve generally reached out to bands that I really enjoy and like to listen to. I have also worked with different venues to produce posters for shows.
What is the most difficult part in designing a poster ?
I would have to say the constraints of the medium. You have to take that into consideration when you are creating a design so you don’t end up with a design that can’t be executed.
You feature in the new gigposters 2 book, how did you find yourself involved in it ?
Clay from gigposters.com noticed my posters that I uploaded to the site and got in touch with me about having my prints in the book. I’m real excited to have my work in the book with all of the other great artists.
I would say I’m part of the gigposter scene since that’s I majority of the work I do.
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?
All my work can be found on my site: http://nerlsaysdesign.com/
You can also see projects I’m working on my dribbble page: http://dribbble.com/NerlSays
Or follow me on twitter ( I usually post process picks when I’m printing posters) https://twitter.com/#!/johnknoerlsays (@johnknoerlsays)
Being included in the book Gigposters Vol. 2
What can we wish you for the future?
To continue being able to print posters for great bands.
Thanks for answering my questions and see you soon on the website !!