Dear reader, consider you are pretty lucky today to be able to read Guy's interview as, I plead guilty, it has first been lost in my mails during a lon long time. Is it the only reason to feel lucky ? not at all indeed, the other one is that is interview is a "premiere" ! Yes, for the first time ever on the blog, you will have the opportunity to follow the whole playlist running while Guy answers the question. Is that all now ? Still not! The most important reason why you should consider yourself lucky is definitly because you will discover Guy's work and his poster art is so unique, it should be the only good reason to take into account !
As the songs cycle through right now there is some Jesus and Mary Chain, The Soundtrack of Our Lives, some Lali Puna and some Lyres which seems to be a pretty fine groove.
Can you tell us more about yourself, who are you, where are you from, what do you do?
I am Guy Burwell. I sit and draw and drink coffee and fret and freak out in Portland, Oregon, USA. I am in flux.
When did you start drawing?
I have always drawn as far as I can recall. I have a photo of myself at four or five years bent in concentration over a nub
of pencil and a slab of paper so I guess that's as far as anyone could really manage to go back and mean it. I can't say how or why it started but it seems to be the most important thing, so I am sticking with it.
I have to say the margins of schoolbooks had far more to do with it than courses even through the years. I can't say that that has really been the best course but it's the only course I know. Or perhaps it's more accurate to say that I drew constantly in all of my courses: science and history and english and mathematics and home economics. Those were all drawing courses.
Now Playing: The Flaming Lips "With You"
Today are you living from your art, or do you do something else for a living ?
Today I make my living from art. Earlier today when I was driving home after lunch in the Mid-Afternoon, I once again thanked my lucky stars that today I make my living making art. I had jobs making art for several years so that was close to living and making art but it was too unrewarding to continue in that way. I couldn't stand behind any of my work and it made me terribly unhappy with the situation so I changed those circumstances.
Now Playing: The United Future Organization "Friends-We'll Be".
When things come along, as in opportunities, I try to remember to try to be involved in things but it doesn't always happen. I seem to have my own schedule right now that is having a hard time fitting with the efforts of others.
Now Playing: The Flaming Lips "With You"
Where does your influence come from? Is there any artists/graphists you particularly like, what are your influences?
I like illustrators mostly. And designers who have an ease to their work that suggests to me that they really have an idea of their
own and aren't just going through libraries of their predecessors. I don't have a list of names of influences. All the standard greats of the past are probably there somewhere but I like Raymond Loewy, David Stone Martin, Picasso, Toulouse-Lautrec, Todd Schorr, Mondrian, Mitch O'Connell, and Doug Barker.
Now Playing: Speedball Baby "Dangerous Top"
I sketch and sketch and sketch and sketch and sketch, and then I sketch. After that I draw with a pencil and pens and brush and ink and
with my posters I process the whole mess using my computer like a combination razor blade, camera, paintbrush and food processor
to prepare the art in the usual way for printmaking. For paintings and such, I form the whole from sketches pieced together and then close my eyes and hope for the best.
Now Playing: Varnaline "Blackbird Fields"
How long does it take you to do a poster?
The process of one piece can take a long or short time, depending, lately, on the rest of the day and the rest of life revolving around the processing period. It can take from a week to as much as pieces and parts of several weeks. The initial clarity of the idea can have a lot to do with it. Most ideas need a reason behind them, not just the demand that a project must proceed.
Now Playing: The Scud Mountain Boys "A Ride"
I am not up for it. Unless there is a big and wonderful reason why I should have to do it. But if you are asking if I can paint
those horses and that sunset, then the answer is "Sure thing. No problem." But I do what I do, for my own work, precisely because it is what I feel like doing. I have to remember to remember to do the feeling before the doing. In some Instances, you can find yourself doing and then realize you have no feeling for it, and that is a bad place to find yourself. But it happens regardless. But I can paint those horses and dazzle that sunset as you like.
Now Playing: That Petrol Emotion "Infinite Thrill"
For which band have you already worked for?
For which band would you love to work?
I have had some good luck in the past year or two being able to work with some of my favorite musical sorts, like Joe Pernice and You Am I, Kyuss, Anders Parker, Adam Franklin and Swervedriver, but in the past I also was able to do posters for Thee Michelle Gun Elephant and The Psyclone Rangers, and though I could think of some folks who I would like to do some work for, I would have to say that I wish I could have had the chance to do something for Thelonious Monster, The Replacements, more work for Thee Michelle Gun Elephant, or bands like The Dancing Hoods, The Posies, Redd Kross, Sugar Plant, or Dave Brubeck. Stuff that probably just won't happen. The Rolling Stones in 1972. Sloan. The Flashing Lights. Best Kissers In The World, Chet Baker. Blast Paris.
Now Playing: Faith No More "R N' R"
Much of the time. One aspect of choosing is choosing not to do something, also.
What is the most difficult part in designing a poster ?
The most difficult part is trying to conceive of and execute something that isn't exactly like what most people would expect
to see. The second most difficult thing pulling it off.
Now Playing: Flop "Parasite" (a great many F bands tonight.)
Do you think you are part of a "Graphic Scene", if so who else ?
No. Or yes. So, no one. Or every one. Not really. I hope not. I don't know why that would be the thing to want to be. I understand why I could be but I don't know why anyone would want to. I think doing your thing and just keeping it honest is one thing. When your thing is really someone else's thing, at the heart, previously accomplished, then it's time to find another thing altogether.
Now Playing: The Flaming Lips "Can't Exist" (there must be a lesson in these songs or something.)
You can find my work most easily at guyburwell.com or by putting my name into any of the many search functions scattered
around life by this point. I am everywhere, as are we all.
Now Playing: Sloan "It's In Your Eyes"
The best praise you received lately?
Without prouting my own toot, I get a wonderful amount of notes and comments from many lovely people who are fine and wonderful, supporting what I do that to say that any great note or comment is better than another would be ungenerous. I am thrilled that some people, any people, like what I do enough to allow me my answer to question number five above. Or maybe it was that my mother was happy that I found some books I like at the library. I know she really means it.
Now Playing: Blast Paris "Blood" (from one of my favorite albums ever.)
Just more. If there is more, forever, then that is all we can wish for me. And I would thank you for those wishes.
Thanks for answering my questions and see you soon on the website !!