This is the design I did for Sunset til Sunrise’s event “How Strange 3“. The event is taking place in Pittsburgh, PA on Saturday, September 10th, 2011. The location will be posted closer to the event and you can find it on FaceBook or (our website) Lolli.org. I posted the images pretty large this time so I’m not going to write out the entire lineup because it’s huge.
This was a challenging design for me to do. When Tall told me he wanted me to do the design I started compiling a TON of random, fun images, and had the intent to collage them together in a crazy, random, fun design. About 2 days before we needed to go to print, changes were made (of course) in the size of the final printed piece as well as additions to the lineup. This meant that anything I had worked on would of course need to be majorly adjusted. Not an issue, I’m quite accustomed to working under the wire. I mean, I might as well live under that wire.
In reworking my original concept, I began to move in a new direction. Not just compiling various images together to create a cool and cohesive layout, but really creating my own art for the piece. Now you can get into what a graphic designer does vs what an artist does until you’re blue in the face. I consider myself first and foremost to be a graphic designer. I’m not the best at fine art. Well, let me rephrase that. It’s not that I don’t have skill there… but I wouldn’t position myself as strongly to someone that I could deliver what they wanted on a fine art level as much as I would graphic design. I digress… Anyways. Somewhere between the hours and 1 and 3am, while drowning in some deep tech house, I began to create the world you see in the design.
Where did it come from? No freaking clue. A lot was inspired by things I’ve seen, things I’d want to see. I could say that it might be somewhat inspired by the video of one of my favorite songs: “Ghost Inside” by Broken Bells. (Seriously, it’s a great song. Check it out.) All I know is that when I felt I was done, I sat back and thought to myself, “Wow. I actually like this. No, I love this. This is actually me.”
I have found myself struggling with “rave art” lately, and my place in it, the direction other designers are taking it, etc. Truthfully there are a lot of people out there that can do what I do, can do it better, can do it differently. But it seems that what the big name promoters are all going for lately all looks the same… and that design style just isn’t me. You know, I loved 90’s and early 2000’s rave art because it was just that… art. It wasn’t about how colorful you could make it, if it could glow in the dark, if it was on super glossy paper, if you used 3-d graphics, any of that. It was truly about an artist creating the promoter’s vision of the event. It was art that could easily be translated into just a poster. Strong imagery, simple and straightforward typography.
About 2 years ago is when I noticed my design really make a shift towards this current “in” style of rave design (bright colors, 3-d, puke puke puke). During that time of course I referenced a lot of other rave designs, therefore my stuff has looked very similar, because face it, I wanted the work, and I wanted to give people what they wanted. I think I’m at a point now where I have the freedom (and client base) to do my own thing and truly stop conforming just because that’s what’s “in” right now. I mean, we’re artists. Being different is what makes us who we are. Trying to be someone else (or even design like someone else) will always be harder than just being yourself.
I’m excited to start this new path. I know that this whole write up probably means more to me as a brain dump than anyone else reading it. To be honest, if you’ve made it this far without thinking I’m nuts, I’ll give you a cookie or a shot or something the next time I see you. I DIGRESS yet again. Anyhow. Look for changes in the future, cause they’re a comin’.