Burlesque of North America (Wes Winship & Mike Davis) (US)

Wes Winship (left) and Mike Davis (right)
Burlesque of North America (Wes Winship &Mike Davis) (US)

Of course, as they are 2 it is easier to cover a wide range of style but I have to say that, amongst many other things, one of the great talent of those two guys is to be able to do a really different poster everytime ! Listening to things from Mister Sabbath to Black Oizo is also a true point of originality. Well, let's face it, I really dig their work and won't spend more time trying to find out why, just check !


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

- at this moment I'm listening to a mix of all Galt MacDermot joints done up by DJ Green Giant. In general though, if you popped into our studio, you'd hear anything from Mr. Oizo to Black Sabbath to Doomtree to Alan Hawkshaw to Marc Maron's WTF podcast to Minnesota Public Radio.

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

- we began as a casual crew of illustrators and designers who got into postermaking and graphic art for hire, then built what we had into a full-time design and screenprinting studio, creating posters, logos, t-shirts, album packaging, stage design, and more for Arcade Fire, Target, Nike Sportswear, Rhymesayers, The Melvins, The National, and many others. We are based in Northeast Minneapolis MN, but work with artists from all across the globe. Wes Winship and I are the principals and creative directors and we have two full-time printers and one full-time project manager / shipping she-wizard.

When did you start drawing?

- early childhood. It seems like something I've always been doing.

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

- both. I was always drawing all over my notebooks in school, but also learned quite a bit through formal design training.

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

- Burlesque is our full-time gig. It's what we get out of bed to do every day.

Are you collaborating with magazines/fanzines, regularly?

- No. We occassionaly do illustrations or other visual contributions to magazines, but it's not a regular thing for us.

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

- All over. We are constantly looking at classic film posters, psychedelic concert posters, postage stamps, sports team branding, product packaging, movie credits, magazines, experimental video, and album artwork from all eras and all points of the planet for inspiration.

What are the principal steps in your work ?

- talk with the client, figure out a creative direction, research, sketch, research, sketch, research, sketch, refine, show to client, finalize artwork, prepare for print, output films, expose screens, count and stack paper, mix inks, prepare the presses, print, print, print, cut, count, stamp, sign, number, pack, ship, lunch break.

Do you do everything by hand or on computer?

- Both. Everything we do ends up on the computer, but we usually like to include some kind of hand-drawn element, photograph, painted splatters, or any other little bit pulled from beyond the computer if we can.

How long does it take you to do a poster?

- We just started and finished one inbetween answering the last two questions. There goes another one.

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 ?

- People generally come to us in search of a style they've seen from us before, so we generally don't get too many horse oil painting style requests. However, we're always up for a challenge!

For which band have you already worked for?

- Arcade Fire, The Melvins, Converge, Baroness, MF DOOM, Isis, Diplo, Dosh, Zebulon Pike, Seu Jorge, Gayngs, Andrew Bird, Cubic Zirconia, Atmosphere, Lyrics Born, Jesu, Doomtree, High On Fire.

For which band would you love to work?

- Justin Bieber.

Do you choose the artists yourself?

- We are fortunate to be able to work with artists we really look up to. It's a mutual choosing I suppose.

What is the most difficult part in designing a poster ?

- Knowing when the design is "done."

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

- I guess so. We do a lot of different work so we are part of lots of different little scenes. We love the Flatstock / gig poster scene and getting to see our talented friends like Jay Ryan, Daniel Danger, Dan Macadam, Delicious Design League, etc.

You will attend Flatstock 2012, is it the first time you take part of such an event ? What are you expecting from it ?

- Nope, this will be our 15th or 20th Flatstock. We love going! Always fun to meet the other artists and poster enthusiasts, plus escape Minnesota's shit weather for Austin's awesome sunshine and great food. It's like Summer camp for us.

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?

- Anyone can stop by our studio in Minneapolis at the corner of Broadway & Stinson, or just see us online at http://burlesquedesign.com

The best praise you received lately?

- Anytime anyone visits our website or orders a poster or anything from us, I take that as a very high praise.

What can we wish you for the future?

- Wish us to be able to keep doing what we love to do every day!

Thanks Benoit! Merci!


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