Rich Bernett (US)

Rich Bernett (US)

When you enter a place where the first sound you hear is  ice rattling in whiskey tumblers, you can be sure the interview is gonna be great. Of course this is maybe not the best way to write a proper introduction so, because I am not Hunter S Thompson, I'll stop here and let you enjoy the work of Rich ! Cheers !!

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

There's a good chance we are listening to ice rattling in our whiskey tumblers.

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

I am a 30-something heir of a sod farm living in the Northern region of Little Rock, Arkansas. When not managing seed placement strategies, you can typically find me greasing fulcrum joints at the Little Rock See-saw factory. Or that is a lie. I probably live a pretty normal life just outside of Washington DC.

When did you start drawing?

As a child. Too young to really remember.

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

At the same time I was getting poor grades because I drew patterns on my scantron tests, I was also generally taking classes on something to do with art. Photography, sculpture, parents were always supportive of my artsy-fartsy tendencies. Not so supportive of my poor grades.

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

I make my living as a video editor/ promo producer. My poster work is extra credit. Something that I can do that is a bit more therapeutic than my day-to-day gig.

Are you collaborating with magazines/fanzines, regularly?

No. You'll see a few series of posters I did for online entities like Fuzzy Logic and "You, Me, Them, Everybody Live", but not really any zines. Has the internet killed zines? I haven't heard that word in a while.

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

I'm influenced by a lot of the contemporary artists that work with physical media. There is no shortage of disgustingly talented artists that are being published these days. I have a growing collection of handmade graphic type books that I flip through whenever I need a jolt of artistic inspiration. I've found that huffing brake cleaner just doesn't provide the artistic oomph it used to. I guess that comes with age.

What are the principal steps in your work ?

First I huff a can of brake cleaner. Then I typically wander the streets and pick fights with anyone that looks at me sideways. Usually, somewhere between the process of being handcuffed, and the ride to the police station, I have at least 3 or 4 new ideas for posters. If they let me have my crayons in solitary, that's where the magic happens.

Do you do everything by hand or on computer?

A good mix of both. Although I use a graphic-pad for a lot of the process, I begin with scanned-in hand drawn, or painted elements that I then manipulate to taste in Photoshop.

How long does it take you to do a poster?

It depends on what else I have going on, but I've had posters take anywhere from a single evening, to 3 or 4 nights before I'm happy with the way they look.

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 ?

I have been lucky enough to work with bands that will just let me run with my own ideas and style. By not feeling pressured to work within certain constraints, I tend to enjoy the process much more. I think that's probably human nature.

For which band have you already worked for?

A bunch. Mostly local DC bands and events.

For which band would you love to work?

If they are well known? Any band that says "I like your style, make me something cool". Otherwise I find that I like to design for local bands that I am familiar with, or know through friends of friends.

Do you choose the artists yourself?

No- I just put myself out there and see who's interested. I have said no to a number of requests due to time constraints and availability, but have never actually asked a band out of the blue. I probably will one of these days - it just hasn't happened yet.

What is the most difficult part in designing a poster ?

Considering it "done".

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

I'm still pretty green. When you are just starting out, It's hard to consider yourself part of a scene when you are aware of the hyper-talent that exists in the ranks around you.

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?

Mostly here:
When updated, this will be another dandy site:

The best praise you received lately?

I received a lot of good words about this show I organized at the Strathmore Mansion in Bethesda, MD.
It was great to see the caliber of bands and artists that came out for the event. They were all people I have met in the first year of my adventures in gig poster design. It was pretty incredible.

What can we wish you for the future?

Well in 2012 I am focusing on producing 3 music videos for 3 bands I met through gig poster design work. As soon as they are wrapped, I plan to dive headfirst back into the gig poster game. I also plan at some point to design a new cover for every Philip K. Dick novel that is currently printed by Vintage Press. Not by commission or anything, just because their current covers are so disappointing. I'll post the printable artwork on my site and let people download them.That will probably be something I do in 2013. I'm not even kidding.

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


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