Frank Zio (US)

Frank Zio (US)

As I was making a scandalous advertising campain for the blog on facebook, spamming artists walls with links to their own interviews, Frank commented behind one of them, I guess now he was trying to get my attention to his work and, as you may see today, it worked !!! :) So, frustrated designers still waiting for me to contact you to talk about your work, feel free to take the first step, if you are talented as Frank is, no doubt you will be online soon ;)

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

I had recently been listening to a lot of electronic music, namely Skrillex and Pretty Lights for the most part. I got the latest Korn record and that's been on pretty heavy rotation. Yesterday and today I've been listening to Deftones and Pink Floyd on vinyl, and I've been rounding out the mix with Danko Jones' latest EP "mouth to mouth." I think I left electronic music in 2011 honestly.

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

I draw, fuck around on the computer, and print posters. I'm lookin to do more self-serving art type printing in the coming year, but i freakin love gig posters. (also check my 'about me' on my facebook artist page)

When did you start drawing?

I've been drawing since I was a kid. I used to draw these huge ninja turtles with these nasty markers that could get you really high when i was like in the single digits. I guess it's come full circle. I used to want to be an animator and work for disney and i wold draw little flip books of ninjas and exploding cars and shit in my textbooks. I was super into marvel comicbook cards too and spent all my allowance money buying packs of cards at a trade show in santa ana every 2 weeks.I just loved those illustrations, especially spiderman, he's always been my favorite. I guess that's why i lost interest in animation: I cared wayy more about the illustration than the story. the coolest part about comic books are usually the covers.

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

I make almost half a living on art these days. I also work as a personal trainer at a small, privately owned gym in downtown oakland. I went to UC Berkeley and was on the swim team there and received my art degree from there, so the balance of art and athletics is something that I've always had in my life.

Are you collaborating with magazines/fanzines, regularly?


Where does your influence come from? Is there any artists/graphists you particularly like, what are your influences?

I've been pretty heavily influenced by the artist's who were around when i was learning to print. Obviously Ron Donovan and Chuck Sperry of The Firehouse Kustom Rockart Co. i've stolen a lot from Dave Hunter as well as John Paul Bail, more technically than stylistically. I've tried to keep my own style even when stealing.I love ink illustration and hand drawn text, and Alan Forbes and Gregg Gordon are pretty big illustrative influences.

What are the principal steps in your work ?

Like most people, i always start with a sketch. The most recent poster I did for Skrillex started as a dry erase sketch on a white board and all of the main elements are right there in the finished version (i'll inlude some pics) Then i'f I'm drawing I start doing what I call a soft sketch, and then a hard sketch (I usually give these away in my first poster orders, fyi). Then I do the ink. All of the drawing is on a big-assed light table that I built in college. If the design is going to be digital, I may draw some elements, but i will generally do a bunch of image farming or picture taking of things I want to use if I can't find what I want. Or I'll go to the library and dig through reference books. sometimes you just can't find the right shit on the internet. I always listen to the band while I'm working too. that and movies.

Do you do everything by hand or on computer?

everything is always hand and computer. even if the poster is design totally digitally, it still gets printed by hand.

How long does it take you to do a poster?

 My shortest turnaround was 2 days, but usually a rush is 3. I much prefer having more time. For Skrillex from proposal to approval to final printing the poster took 5 days. it was the perfect amount of time.

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 ?

This is a job, but it's a job that I love doing. I don't do posters that I think are fucking lame. There are a million people out there who can make a lame poster. When I make a poster it's something that I'm going to be investing a lot of time and energy into, and I want to be able to be proud of the result. It's always expected that there is going to be art direction with a band, and the special thing about a rock poster is that you are making art that has to be in line with a pre-existing aesthetic. but that challenge is what I really find exciting.

For which band have you already worked for?

I'm lucky to have made posters for many bands whom I love: 311, Bad Religion, The Faint, Muse, Skrillex, Social Distortion, Danko Jones, Ghostland Observatory, among others. I'd love to work with these artists again! And it would be dope to do something for Thrice. They went to my highchool and are gearing up for their last tour.

Do you choose the artists yourself?

I do usually choose the artist myself, and generally have to hustle to get the gig. But that's the way it is when you're trying to build a reputation.

What is the most difficult part in designing a poster ?

Man, the hardest part is hooking up the gig for sure. Honetsly, I find every part to be hard. Illustrating is something that I try to get better and better at, but it's never been easy and I am definitely hard on myself while I'm drawing. Separating is severe tedium, but meditative, and the actual printing can be strenuous, but I love the rhythm and physicality of the process. I fucking love screenprinting.

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

I never really feel like part of a scene, although it's great with gigposters you kinda feel part an international community of rockart freaks. I'm pretty young compared with most people who do this, and I want young people to appreciate the art form, which is why I was relaly stoked to work with Skrillex, since his is a very young, t- shirt buying crowd that is not typically an art-buying crowd.

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?

Right now links to facebook but I have a real website under construction where that url will go soon. also my artist page on is a great place.

The best praise you received lately?

The best is when the artist gets it, sees that I get them, and wants to use the art. Recently it was wanting to use the image from the poster for a t-shirt design.

What can we wish you for the future?

Wish me much much more of the same! bigger and better in 2012!

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

thanks yo

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