As everything is already said on his facebook profile, I will just copy-paste it as an introduction of this interview of one of my fav poster artist ever: "Since founding GIGART in 1996, Gregg Gordon's artwork has been seen on TV, featured in magazines and newspaper publications, and utilized as an integral part of a number of national ad campaigns and concert merchandising efforts. Corporate clients such as TBWA/Chiat/Day, Landor Associates, Spin Magazine, KROQ Radio, Live105 Radio, Interscope Records, J Records, ESPN, Bill Graham Presents, DreamWorks Records, and many more, have repeatedly turned to GIGART for their poster, logo, album cover and package design needs. In addition, Gregg Gordon's designs are consistently among the most popular pieces featured in art shows and festivals around the country. GIGART's reputation for creating quality work on time and on budget makes it a premiere choice for all your illustration and design needs."
I have been really into Spotify lately. I get to hear tons of music that I might not have heard before.
I am big into listening to Playlists based on a few bands I like and definitely the classic rock radio.
Can you tell us more about yourself, who are you, where are you from, what do you do?
I was born in 1971, down in Los Angeles near Hollywood on Sunset Blvd.
Grew up right outside of LA, and then kept moving further and further North.
I have been living in San Francisco now for about 20 years, and work as an illustrator / graphic designer.
The main work I do has been in the music industry: (concert merchandise, rock posters, album art, radio stations)
I also create for many corporate clients, having worked on a number of national ad campaigns, featured in magazines, newspapers and more.
When did you start drawing?
Did you follow any course or did you improve by drawing in the margins of your schoolbooks?
I studied graphic design and illustration at San Jose State University.
I got an internship at Sony Signatures up in San Francisco my junior year. I had to change my major, and switch around my schedule, but that job is what got me doing what I do today. After college, I worked at Sony for a few years, and then Winterland, creating concert merchandise for an endless list of bands such as KISS, Ozzy Osbourne, and Pearl Jam, to Britney Spears, Prince, and even Barbra Streisand, just to name a few.
Today are you living from your art, or do you do something else for a living ?
Yes, I am living off my art.
In the past few years, I have been creating more art and products on my own that I am selling online and getting into many stores around the country. That is a direction that I plan to keep moving towards.
I am always up for drawing illustrations for magazines. I have worked with Spin, Revolver, Maxim, many local papers.
I have been part of some cool fanzines such as, I Want Your Skull, but nothing regularly.
Where does your influence come from? Is there any artists/graphists you particularly like, what are your influences?
I am a huge fan of illustration. There are some really talented people doing amazing line work and detail.
I am a fan of the craft, but also of the ideas and thought that people put behind their work.
To list a few artists today that always inspire me with their illustrations are EMEK, Alan Forbes, Ken Taylor, Dwitt, Zeloot, Methane…just to name a few. I am lucky to know a lot of talented artists and learn from them (and get jealous of them) every day.
When I get a gig to do a poster for a band, I like to find out as much as I can about them.
I listen to their music, read their lyrics, see other work done for them. I really try to make my art fit the band I am designing for, and be original.
I sketch up ideas first. Once I know which direction I am going to go, I layout the poster with all the info, draw a tighter sketch, and then start my final inking. I draw almost all of my illustrations by hand with pen and ink on Bristol Board. Once the black and white inks are done, I scan them into the computer. From there I work with colors, make tweaks, corrections, work with type and more. Once finished, I get the artwork ready for print by making the color separations on the computer.
Do you do everything by hand or on computer?
How long does it take you to do a poster?
Coming up with the ideas and concepts take me longer than creating the actual poster.
If I have a solid idea, I can bust that poster out in less than 3 days. It really depends on how elaborate the illustration and poster is.
Some might be quicker than others. If the deadline is not a rush, I sometimes take my time and keep revisiting the piece, making lots of changes until the poster is just right. I do not print my own work, so all of my time is put towards the artwork. I print all of my posters with D&L Screenprinting in Seattle.
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 no problem drawing anything someone asks for. I actually like getting direction if it helps the piece.
With that said, I have been very lucky to get a lot of freedom with my work, and really enjoy sharing my ideas and making them come alive.
For which band have you already worked for?
I have been working with bands for almost 20 years now, so my list is long.
To name a random selection of bands: Ween, Ozzy, Primus, Pavement, Green Day, Iggy Pop, Pearl Jam, Alice In Chains, Train, Liz Phair, Britney Spears, Bob Dylan, KISS, Slayer, NSYNC, Neil Young, QOTSA, Maroon 5, and so many more…
For which band would you love to work?
David Bowie, Bjork, Arcade Fire, The Flaming Lips, Sonic Youth, Tool
Do you choose the artists yourself?
But I have been lucky over the years, that my work and posters have attracted bands and artists to contact me.
I always think of my posters as big business cards. I really never know what my next project will be or what band might contact me.
What is the most difficult part in designing a poster ?
No so difficult, but more challenging, is coming up with a great image, concept, and design.
Something that really fits with the band, and is new and original. I am a big fan of illustration and detail.
I also love color. So I try to fit all of that in my posters when I can.
Do you think you are part of a "Graphic Scene", if so who else ?
Gigposters.com and have been in many events with tons of the other poster artists from around the world. I have been in more than 15 Flatstock Poster Shows, helped out with Flatstock 1 when these events were just getting started. I am also featured in many books that highlight the poster scene.
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?
I have started posting process photos of me working on posters. I post them on Facebook and Twitter.
It gives people a chance to see how I work and the details in my line work and inking. I have gotten a really good response and hope to do more of that with future projects. So follow me on Facebook to see the process.
What can we wish you for the future?
That I keep trying new things. Keep challenging myself. And always have fun doing what I love to do.