Ricky Tanner (UK)

Ricky Tanner (UK)

OK you are right, somewhere in the interview Ricky says:"I often create posters strictly for digital promotion", so this interview is not 100% silkscreening driven but... so what ? Ricky's work is nice and personal, it looks so simple that it cannot be and he is a newcomer on gigposters.com, so there are absolutly no reason not to have him here. Welcome Ricky !!!

Hello, of course as every Crewk interview, first question: what are we listening to when we come to visit you?
Lately I have been listening to a lot of early Black Sabbath. I have been listening to the Paranoid album. In retrospect it is both dark and quaint.

Can you tell us more about yourself, who are you, where are you from, what do you do?
I'm from Berkshire in the UK. I'm a real part timer with posters, design and illustration as I always have to hold down other jobs. I do it mainly for fun and for the musical and cultural connections you can make.

When did you start drawing?
Did you follow any course or did you improve by drawing in the margins of your schoolbooks?
I have always sketched since my childhood, but had always lacked any kind of muse, or nay purpose for sketching. So I had always kept it to myself. When I started playing in bands and started needing posters I finally had an excuse to sketch or draw or print. I only really started making any improvements when I left school and joined more bands.

Today are you living from your art, or do you do something else for a living ?
I haven't been able to find a value for my work so I'm doing it all for free. So I cannot make a living quite yet! If people offered to pay I'd certainly not turn it down. For the past few years I have been working in either administration or retail so these posters have been my only real source of creativity.

Are you collaborating with magazines/fanzines, regularly?
I work with a blogzine I helped launch a few years back called Here Comes Everyone (herecomeseveryone.org). It focusses on a global music scene rather than local ones. I used to contribute a few pictures and sketches/images for featured blogs (like these http://www.herecomeseveryone.org/_blog/journal.php?id=25) but I usually maintain the graphic design.

Where does your influence come from? Is there any artists/graphists you particularly like, what are your influences?
For posters, it has always been heavily influenced by the screen prints of Jason Munn. His work can say so much with so few colours and shapes. But when sketching by hand, my biggest influence has got to be Sir Arthur Rackham. Rackham was a children's illustrator, illustrating fairy tales with a combination of the beautiful and the grotesque. His drawings are so elaborate, that despite the content, the pictures are always inspiring.

What are the principal steps in your work ?
As I work with friends, they often give me an incredibly vague brief. So I always research the artist, the venue and the sound. I look at their past posters and events and then I think about what this poster needs to be saying and to whom. Then I think about images and iconography that I might use.

Do you do everything by hand or on computer?
Mostly by computer. I usually sketch out my ideas in paper and often I import them into Photoshop or into Fireworks as my primary medium is vectors images. I am working on my Rackham-esque sketches but it'll be a while before I am happy with them.

How long does it take you to do a poster?
It varies from project to project. I often create posters strictly for digital promotion (Facebook, Myspace etc) and they don't require physical printing. In this case detail is not required so I create them within 24 hours. If I am printing them, then it might take anything up to a week in some cases.

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 yet to receive a real strict brief. So I have been quite lucky to have the freedom to create what I feel is suitable. However I would jump at the chance to stretch my self and improve myself.

For which band have you already worked for?
Well, there is my own bands Cake Mountain and Debt Brigade, but also acts such as Knoxx, Balowski, Yo! Hipster, Mark T., My Sexy Darling, LowerWay and The Gorgeous Man Circle.

For which band would you love to work?
Acts with a rich visual history that I could add to somehow. Bands like Flaming Lips, Ted Leo, The Black Keys or maybe some more punkish acts such as the Beatsteaks!

Do you choose the artists yourself?
Not yet. I usually get an offer to make a poster,  but I got some good advice recently to perhaps make the poster and send it to the artist prospectively. It might work! Worst case scenario, I will have made some cool fan art!

What is the most difficult part in designing a poster ?
Anything I make, I want it to be collectable. I want people to pull them off of the walls of the venue and to take them home. So I have to make it desirable and relate-able. I find that awfully difficult!

Do you think you are part of a "Graphic Scene", if so who else ?
Not yet. I am quite introvert artistically. I want to meet more local musicians and therefore hopefully more local illustrators.

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?
You can visit my work at tanner-portfolio.info plus I have a few up at gigposters.com.

The best praise you received lately?
Usually, it just a "aaah, cheers for that mate. Looks good!"

What can we wish you for the future?
I just want an excuse to sketch more than using vectors!

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

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