Mike Klay (US)

Mike Klay (US)

What link could you imagine between Paul Simon and High on Fire ?M83 and Fu Manchu ? Difficult to say, isn't it ? Well it is definitly a wide range of music styles, as wide as Mike's drawing skills. Just take a look at the first and last poster on this post, would you guess it is the same drawer ? Definitly I wanted to have Mike on the blog, here he is, just for you !!!

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

Kavinsky, Red Fang, M83 and The Black Angels.  My iTunes library is always on shuffle.

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

I was born and raised in San Jose, California and currently live in Seattle, Washington.
I'm a graphic designer by trade with my full time day job.  On the side, I freelance and design
concert posters and art prints.  I also screen print everything myself.

When did you start drawing?

Grade school.  I was obsessed with ninjas and drew lot of them in different rooftop battle scenes.

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

I went to college to pursue a mechanical engineering degree.  After i flunked calculus, i decided that i should
probably do something that interests me a bit more.  A trip to the art department provided clarity for what i wanted
to do with the rest of my life.

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

I guess I'm living from my art, since i have a day job as a graphic designer.  I don't scrub toilets on the weekends or anything.
(well at least not public ones)

Are you collaborating with magazines/fanzines, regularly?

Nope, not really.  I've kinda been flying under the radar of most publications lately.

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

Life.  A sound, smell, or sight trigger most of the ideas I come up with.  

What are the principal steps in your work ?

I usually think long and hard about a piece before I even begin producing something.
Lately I've been picking up the pencil a lot more and actually sketching my own work.
Sometimes I use my own photography, but mostly create everything in Illustrator.

Do you do everything by hand or on computer?

See above.

How long does it take you to do a poster?

It all really depends.  As little as a few hours or as much as a full day.

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 think people come to me or any artist for that matter for their style.  
I try and please my clients to the best of my ability.  

For which band have you already worked for?

Death Cab For Cutie, Ladytron, Dj Krush, Simian Mobile Disco, M83, Broken Bells, The Cars,
Ratatat, Ghostland Observatory, Minus the Bear, Kinski, Amon Tobin

For which band would you love to work?

I would love to silk screen a poster for The Prodigy.

Do you choose the artists yourself?

Mostly.  I love creating posters for musicians that I already like.  It makes the creative process a whole lot easier.
Every once in a while I'll get asked to create a poster for a band that I'm not too familiar with.

What is the most difficult part in designing a poster ?

Creating a cohesive piece that conveys the show info cleverly and creating something that the musicians will enjoy.

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

I don't know if you can call it a scene.  It's more of a community of artists doing a similar thing.

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

I've attended flatstock since the first seattle one (3) in 2003.  

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?

http://www.powerslidedesign.com  and you can sign up for my email list there.

The best praise you received lately?

I donated a few pieces to an auction recently and they were so well received that a few people bought some from my site after they
lost out on the bidding.

What can we wish you for the future?

More of the same.  Currently working on a companion piece to the dirt monster series involving different types of locomotives.

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

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