Q&A with Emek

September 30, 2014

Q: What were some of your initial inspirations in creating the artwork for poster?

A: The day the band’s manager contacted me to do a tour poster I went to bed after listening to some of their music, and that night I had a dream. It was kind of like a “Where The Wild Things Are” scenario where their tour bus was becoming wild nature. The next day I spoke with the lead singer, Alex, and explained my vision. We had a nice phone conversation about it, and he was into my idea. His only comment was that he would like a wolf somewhere in the poster so I added that — a little wolf on the horizon.

Q: What were you trying convey in your ESMZ poster?

A: Music can take you on a journey further than any vehicle. Using the idea of a retro Volkswagen bus I wanted to convey the feeling where everyone jumps in the car together and goes to the concert. That’s what a live concert does — it brings people together to share in the musical journey. But it can also mean whatever the hell you want it to mean. Its art maan!

Q: Describe your creative process for interpreting and transforming music into a poster art?

A: It’s hard to describe. I listen to the music, go to bed, and the ideas just come to me in a dream. I wake up the next day and start to draw. My drawings are in black and white, and once that part is done, then I start the coloring-in process … It sort of just develops and transforms.

Q: Were you a fan of ESMZ before you were asked to create the poster art?

A: I actually had a couple of their songs on my Ipod and didn’t even know it was them, but I liked them. So when poster collector and Facebook friend Josh Kelber contacted me about doing a poster for the band and asked to put me in touch with their manager, I was surely interested.

Q: How did you get into creating poster art for musicians?

A: I started over 20 years ago, professionally. But even as a kid growing up in my parents’ art studio (my mom and dad and brother and sister also are all professional artists) I was always drawn to artwork that had text on it, like old WWII propaganda posters and psychedelic 60s posters. And I have always liked music, so along the way something just clicked. I started doing posters for my friends’ high school party bands, and I liked seeing my artwork put up and passed out around town. Fast forward many years later and it’s still fun and challenging to come up with new ideas and create new posters. Check out some more of my work at www.emek.net or if you live near Portland, Oregon, check out my big retrospective at the People’s Art of Portland.

To purchase Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros tour posters, click here.


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