R Black (US)

R Black (US)

X-Mas time is really close now, so I wanted to offer you a last gift before I leave the internet a little bit for holidays, and I am glad this gift is R Black as the guy is really hugely talented…

Hello, of course as every Crewk interview, first question: what are we listening to when we come to visit you?

I'm obsessing about The Black Angels at the moment

Can you tell us more about yourself, who are you, where are you from, what do you do?

My name is R.Black. I am a graphic artist from Oakland, Ca. I'm a Gemini, I like long walks on the beach and naming light posts after famous Russian historical figures.

When did you start drawing?

My earliest memory of drawing is around 5, I think i drew Foghorn Leghorn in which there was a giant statue of for some reason at my school.

Did you follow any course or did you improve by drawing in the margins of your schoolbooks?

More like drawing from cartoon strips, Peanuts, Garfield, Bloom County as well as Disney characters when I was younger, moved into comic books and anime as I got older, and drawing my friends and my characters from D&D and other roll playing games at the time.

Today are you living from your art, or do you do something else for a living ?

-I do make a living as an artist, but I keep "living" very simple.

Are you collaborating with magazines/fanzines, regularly?

-No at at really, mostly poster work and graphics.

Where does your influence come from?

-Influences usually come form what ever Im really into at the moment. If I like something say like a genre of music or theatre, Ill start doing posters for anything related to it as to be able to enjoy it for free( like I said, live simply), I like to be involved in the subjects I take on

Is there any artists/graphists you particularly like, what are your influences?

-Im really influenced by art nouveau artsit such as Mucha and Jules Chéret. Neoclassical like Ingres, pop artists such as Lichtenstein. Comic artists like Jim Lee and Kirby. Posters artists like Ewing, Coop, and Fairey.

What are the principal steps in your work ?

Ponder, thought , depression, drink, execution, elation.

Do you do everything by hand or on computer?

I used to sketch and ink by hand then color in Photoshop. Then I'd just sketch, scan and then "ink" and color in Illustrator. Now that I'm proficient in Illustrator I just do all the steps at the same time.

How long does it take you to do a poster?

Depends on how quickly the idea comes, the labor is the easy part, I do not feel my style is very complicated, its the idea that's the difficult part.

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 ?

-As Im a whore for art, i'd do my best to paint what you wanted if the price or the interest is right. i have no idea how to use oils, but I wouldn't back down from a challenge. I'd even make them unicorns with peg legs in you were paying good.

For which band have you already worked for?

-A ton, but generally a poster artist tends to work with a venue and not the band directly, in my experience.

For which band would you love to work?

-Devotchka, hands down.

Do you choose the artists yourself?

-Sometimes, if I really love a band, I'll approach them directly, most times its a venue asking if I want to design for bands. More rare is when a band comes directly to me.

What is the most difficult part in designing a poster ?

-Being clever, coming up with an original idea that both conveys the attitude of the band and developing an image that will make a viewer want to go see them.

You feature in the new gigposters 2 book, how did you find yourself involved in it ?

-Ive been on gigposters for a long time, I think just by being known by them is what led them to invite me to be in the book. I've also been part of a calender one year and some other things. Its a great site.

Do you think you are part of a "Graphic Scene", if so who else ?

-More like part of the rock poster scene, made splash for a second when my book came out, if only for a second. There seemed to be a few of us at the same moment when it got really exciting for me. Artist such as Brian Ewing, Tara Mcpherson, Andrew Bawidamann, and Scrojo to name but a few.

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?

My site rblack.org, the theatre im part of shotgunplayers.org, Facebook and of course Gigposters. One of my Occupy posters was featured on the Rachel Maddow show and another one on the Huffington Post. I also had a book published some years ago by Dark Horse, you can get on Amazon for super cheap.

The best praise you received lately?

Someone was mentioning that before the met me they used to steal my posters off the way at clubs, I think thats awesome, when one is moved so much to rip an item off the wall and dedicate wall space for it in their home, amazing.

What can we wish you for the future?

Opera posters!

Thanks for answering my questions and see you soon on the website !!

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