Brad Albright (US)

First of all, a very Happy New Year to all of you dear readers. As you may have noticed, it's been a while since the last interview, but we will try, this year, to update the blog on more regular basis. If you have any artist in mind, silkscreening gigposters and who never have been interviewed here, please feel free to conatct me, I will be more than glad to discover new talents, as this guy we will talk with today: Please welcome, as our first guest for 2018, the very talented Brad Albright !!

Hello, of course as every Crewk interview, first question: what are we listening to when we come to visit you?
Great first question! Something heavy, definitely! Lately I've been rocking instrumental stuff like Animals As Leaders, Modern Day Babylon, Pomegranate Tiger... Djenty stuff with a lot of driving rhythm and syncopation gets my head nodding and my drawing arm moving. Other favorites are Nine Inch Nails, Intronaut, Meshuggah, stuff along those lines.

Can you tell us more about yourself, who are you, where are you from, what do you do?
I'm a freelance illustrator, gallery artist, and pop-culture product designer based in Dallas, TX.

When did you start drawing?
I've been drawing since I was little, but really caught my stride in graduate school for illustration. That's when my line-art style really solidified and I started experimenting with old-school 3D for red/blue glasses.

Did you follow any course or did you improve by drawing in the margins of your schoolbooks?
A little bit of both, really, but graduate school for illustration was where it all started to come together... how to merge the personal passion with a professional approach. And practice practice practice.

Today are you living from your art, or do you do something else for a living ?
I do work full-time as a product designer and occasional illustrator in my day job. But I also work constantly in nights and weekends pursuing my own work, gallery shows, and freelance illustration projects. All of it blends nicely together where it feels interconnected to support and inspire me to keep growing.

Are you collaborating with magazines/fanzines, regularly?
My clients are more often bands and apparel retailers, art collectors and fans. Not often publications, though I'd love to do it more.

Where does your influence come from? Is there any artists/graphists you particularly like, what are your influences?
The heavy music drives me more than anything... almost like synesthesia. But I'm also inspired by movies, comics, books, and other artists. Swiss scratchboard cartoonist Thomas Ott and underground comics master R. Crumb are my biggest artist influences, if I had to pick.

What are the principal steps in your work ?
These days I work almost entirely digital, start very loose with an almost blurry brush to explore compositions and concepts. Then I rework, refine, turn it upside down, and just sculpt at it until things start to feel right. Then I can enjoy locking down the shapes and going to town on shading and line work.

Do you do everything by hand or on computer?
Primarily computer these days, though I do love a good ballpoint pen on some cardstock.

How long does it take you to do a poster?
Anywhere from 10 to 30 hours, typically. It just depends how complex an image I'm building and if I'm struggling with anything along the way.

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 ?
For the most part I'm working on self-directed projects where the final product is what feels right to me. Thankfully I've been lucky to work with some really great bands who give me total freedom, and the outcome feels true to myself as well as the band and their music. While I COULD do an oil painting with horses running out of water with a sunset backdrop, it's not really what I'm best at and don't generally have to deviate from my own processes. I'm very lucky to have a recognizable style without really trying for it, and thankfully that's what clients are looking for when they ask to hire me.

For which band have you already worked for?
Some of my favorite gigs have been He Is Legend, Comedian Marc Maron, Intronaut, Guided By Voices, These Old Men They Play Records, Daylight Industries, Sealion, and The Black Moriah.

For which band would you love to work?
Way too many to list! But just off the top of my head... Primus, Queens of the Stone Age, Periphery, Animals as Leaders, Meshuggah, and The Sea in the Sky.

Do you choose the artists yourself?
Occasionally I'll reach out to bands directly if I really believe in their work and feel like it's a good fit. Other times it's a surprise or a happy accident that we get connected.

What is the most difficult part in designing a poster ?
The designing is the fun part, through and through! Especially when they give a lot of freedom to take their sound and translate it into visuals that make sense to me. The most difficult part is almost always the business end... pricing, tracking down payment, following up. All the administrative stuff.

Do you think you are part of a "Graphic Scene", if so who else ?
I consider myself a part of the Dallas scene, for sure. I have a lot of close friends and colleagues here and enjoy the scene in the Deep Ellum neighborhood. I'm supported by Kettle Art Gallery and they continue to be a really important outlet for me and the community.

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?
I'm on Instagram @bradalbright ... ... ... twitter @bradalbright ... ... and last but not least my personal website carries all of my work

The best praise you received lately?
A customer reviewed a recent 3D poster saying "I think this is the best art print I own, so cool and so creative!!" That was very sweet and encouraging!

What can we wish you for the future?
I'm expanding into dimensional wall sculptures as well using lasers and wood... very excited to be making actual 3D art that is tactile and organic while still being designed digitally. It's an interested blend of disciplines that I'll be sharing in my etsy shop, in gallery shows, and soon in art festivals at my own tent.

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

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