Anonymous Ink & Idea (US)

Anonymous Ink & Idea (US)

It may happen that sometimes I am joking with the fact that Rock Posters are only boobs abd skulls drawings and that I am glad to discover artists who are doing other things. But when I discovered Rich's posters I definitly stopped making fun of skulls. No boobs at all here but many worderfully drawned skulls and skeletons, gargoyles and other creatures of the night. To tell you the truth, after some times spent on his website, Rich is about to become one of my fav !!!

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

A regular favorite...Nine Inch Nails, The Fragile (disc 1).  Close by is The Chariot “Wars and Rumors of Wars”, Puscifer “Conditions of My Parole”, Mogwai “The Hawk is Howling”” and The Mars Volta “Octahedron”.

Can you tell us more about yourself, who are you, where are you from, what do you do?
When did you start drawing?

 Home for me is Austin, Texas. I’ve been a graphic artist here for over a decade, but just recently have gained some attention through my work with Anonymous Ink and  Idea (my intentionally cryptic moniker).  Like most people, I started drawing as a kid, but I resisted my instincts to become any sort of artist until my early twenties.  That was when I realized this was something I was born to do.

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

No school for me.  But I definitely improved my skills significantly through practice and diligent study.  I’m still learning though and am grateful for the chance to develop my style.

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

The work I do through Anonymous is more of a serious hobby now days.  I used to run a design studio with a focus on advertising, but the business of design really took a toll on me and my family.  So today, I earn a living as a digital artist and UX ninja for Dell Computers, and my work with Anonymous is reserved for evenings and weekends.

Are you collaborating with magazines/fanzines, regularly?

Not so much.  I try to keep my focus on gig posters, art prints and music packaging now days.  But I keep my eyes open to opportunities as they come up.

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

I’m greatly influenced by film and television, particularity shows with darker themes or complex story arcs.  Shows like Six Feet Under, Dexter and the Wire made the hair on my arms stand up when I first got into them and I try to replicate that emotion in my work.   I gravitate toward ominous themes and regularly use elements of human anatomy, the Fibonacci sequence, symmetry and geometry.  I’ve also had a long standing fascination with tornadoes, the cosmos and the darker sides of mother nature.  Artist’s who influence me?  Storm Thorgeson, Don/Ryan Clark, and Rob Sheridan were early and longstanding influences for me.  But in the gig poster community, I adore the work of DKNG, John Vogl, Todd Slater, Daniel Danger, and Ken name a few.

 What are the principal steps in your work ?

Lot’s of study and preparation.  Setting up and maintaining my work environment is an important (be it sometimes inconvenient) part of my process.  I have a great home studio with ambient lighting, lots of desk space and a library of music, movies and TV shows to play while I work.  Along with a steady stream of caffeine, these things are what keep me in my chair as long as it takes to get results.  Otherwise, I think my process is similar to most... pencil sketch, scanner, computer, rinse and repeat.

 Do you do everything by hand or on computer?

I always start with a pencil sketch, but everything ends up in the computer in the end.  I sometimes like to print out my work mid-process, draw on it and scan it back in to the computer. 

 How long does it take you to do a poster?

I usually start to see the fruits of my labor between 20-30 hours.  Less than that... I’m usually dissatisfied.  I have been known to throw away good work and start over from scratch if I’m not feeling it, so I try to commit long stretches to a single task or project.

 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’m definitely doing what I feel.  The first 10 years of my career (particularly while I ran my own studio) were different, and I spent a lot of time fulfilling the needs of my clients, because that is what paid the bills.  A lot of great work came out of those years, but I was often left unfulfilled and dissatisfied with my work as an artist.  The work I’m doing now is very satisfying to me, and I trust that my criticism will be positively shared by others.

 For which band have you already worked for?

I’ve worked with Opeth, In Flames, Mastodon, Trivium, Norma Jean, The Chariot, The Bled, Machine Head and a few hundred unsigned bands no one has never heard of.

For which band would you love to work?

I’d like the chance to work with Trent Reznor on a project someday.  Otherwise, The Mars Volta, Portishead, Mogwai and local bands like This Will Destroy You or The Clouds Are Ghosts.

 Do you choose the artists yourself?

95% of the time, I choose the projects I want to work on.  One of the benefits of doing this part-time is I don’t have to take on commissions unless I really want to.   I get tempting offers all the time, and it is hard to say no... but I don’t feel like every project would be a good fit for me...or that I would would be a good fit for every project.

 What is the most difficult part in designing a poster ?

I get in my own way a lot.  So “managing the talent” is a challenge sometimes.  But If I am patient with my process, I feel like I can do anything. 

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

Hmmm, yes and no.  I’ve been doing this for a long time...but only started getting attention from the design community in the last 8 months... so in that way I feel like a huge outsider.  On the other hand, as I’ve gotten to know some of the great design talent out there... I really feel a bond with them and look forward to collaborations and collective projects.  I might want to answer that question again next year.

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?

The best praise you received lately?

Praise is welcome, but often difficult for me to accept.  However, my favorite part of every week is sitting down to tube and ship posters.  Knowing that people from all over the world like my work enough to purchase a poster, frame it and live with it is very flattering.

What can we wish you for the future?

Patience, health and luck.

10x10" silver metallic ink on black card stock for Flatstock 33

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