Jason Taylor (US)

Jason Taylor (US)

Back from holidays, just to find Jason's answers in the emailbox. This helps to come back to reality. I discovered his work by roaming around gigposters.com, indeed I felt in love with his Detroit Cobras poster, I think I do not have to mention that all his posters looks awesome. Welcome on the site Jason, and welcome back to you dear readers !!!

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

Right now Mission of Burma’s Unsound is on loop. Loving every second of that album right now.
At any given moment you could hear just about anything on the speakers here. Just depends on the mood.

One day I saw this guy on TV that said he strictly only listened to Radiohead and has been doing so for years. Don’t get me wrong, Radiohead is great and all, but damn, only Radiohead? That’s a bit obsessive.

I think a healthy brain needs to be fed a healthy variety of sound.
Can you tell us more about yourself, who are you, where are you from, what do you do?

I grew up in a small town in Florida. I started out my career as a graphic designer in the theme park industry in Orlando. I then made the drastic transition to Massachusetts working for a large toy/game company. After that I struck out on my own and have been loving that for the past 7 years.
When did you start drawing?

I don’t remember. I remember kids telling me I was good at drawing in elementary school. I didn’t really see it as good. I just knew I had fun doing it. Around 5th grade is when I really fell in love with it though. I’d found some Dungeons and Dragons books and I remember trying to recreate characters I’d seen or making new mash ups.
Did you follow any course or did you improve by drawing in the margins of your schoolbooks?

I found a 2 year graphic design course and did that. It was the closest thing to an art career that I trusted I could make a living off of. Early on I didn’t have enough trust in my own abilities as an artist to strictly be an “artist”. I think graphic design has helped me to know myself and my abilities as well as understand my weaknesses and how to push myself to become better.
Today are you living from your art, or do you do something else for a living ?

I’m living from my own small one man design/illustration business. Alot of it is corporate toy/game/themepark industry work which I don’t get to really share publicly. That’s where the poster work comes in handy. It gives me something I can share publicly on my site and use as self promotion.
Are you collaborating with magazines/fanzines, regularly?

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

It comes from just about everywhere. My wife and kids, nature, music, rainbows, unicorns, puppies, boogers, whatever. I never really know what could spark an idea.

As far as current artist influences, there’s way too many to list and I’d be sure to forget someone and I’d feel like a jerk if I did. I’m on gigposters.com way too much. I’m influenced daily by so many of those monstrously talented people. It’s probably not healthy really.

Now, if I have to choose an all-time favorite artist it would have to go to M.C. Escher.
I’m always mesmerized by Antonio Gaudi’s architecture as well. I’d love to see some of that in person one day.
What are the principal steps in your work ?

I usually start with little pencil thumbnails, so I guess that counts as my single principal step. I’m not a fan of formulaic approaches. I feel like it can be a disservice to creative thinking - especially in the early concept stages. I don’t want to worry about my next step and have it influence my concepts. I’d rather it be the other way around - concept dictates process.

I see every project as an exploration. If I had strict step by steps in my process I think I would miss those wonderful tangents that could lead to something special.
Do you do everything by hand or on computer?

Both. They are both very valuable tools, but I’d definitely miss my hands more if I lost them.

I like getting my hands dirty. Most of the elements from my posters are hand drawn, but I’ll scan them and manipulate them more on the computer. I bounce back and forth between the two alot. All the colors and separations are done on the computer.

How long does it take you to do a poster?

For design of a poster it’s entirely deadline driven. If I know I have more time, I’ll use that time. I’ve finished them in 4 hours and I’ve taken weeks. One isn’t necessarily better than the other, though it’s always nice to have more time.
For screenprinting, I always try to block out about 4 days for printing. I can finish it alot sooner, but this gives me enough time to make that inevitable mistake in the printing process. I think I make a valuable mistake on just about every print job. Screenprinting is always teaching me something new.
You have a very distinctive style, are you doing only what you feel like or if tomorrow somebody asks you for an oil painting with horses running out of water with a sunset backdrop, is it a problem or are you up for it ?

Assuming it’s a paying job, I’d rock that. I might even throw in a rainbow... or two. However the oil painting part is a killer for me. If it were a screenprint we could talk. I once tried to teach myself oil painting and it was a disaster. I have some friends who could oil paint the hell out of that though so I’d just send you along to them.
For which band have you already worked for?
Man Man, Vetiver, The Album Leaf, Totimoshi, Lou Barlow + the Missing Men, Mono, Built to Spill, Low, Off, Mastodon, X, Psychic Ills, Moon Duo, The Detroit Cobras, and in a few days I’ll be finishing up a Mission of Burma poster as well as a few others coming up I’m excited about.
For which band would you love to work?

That’s a tough one. In some ways my favorite posters are the ones I’ve done for bands I hadn’t heard until I was asked to do a poster for them. It just adds a level of exploration to the project that I find interesting.
Do you choose the artists yourself?

What is the most difficult part in designing a poster ?

There always seems to be at least one point of doubt during the process. Sometimes to the point where I want to scrap everything and start over. Sometimes I do scrap it. Other times I’ve looked back and wish I had. If it’s a good concept, though I just have to fight through it to get the execution just right. It’s a never ending learning session. But that’s what helps me get better.
Do you think you are part of a "Graphic Scene", if so who else ?

I don’t know. I’ll let someone else make that distinction.
I’d rather just sit in my cave and make pictures than worry about that.
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?

An interviewer recently told me I have a very distinctive style. Even though it’s said to all the interviewees, it still made me feel all rainbowee inside.
What can we wish you for the future?

More poster work for years to come.
Thanks for answering my questions and see you soon on the website !!

Thank you!

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