Q&A with Todd Slater

January 13, 2015
David Wexler

Q: What were some of your initial inspirations in creating the tour poster artwork for the Sept. 6, 2012 Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros show from Ojai, California?

A: Initially, I try and think of subject matter and elements that will look attractive on a print. Horses have a long history throughout art, and I’ve always been attracted to Da Vinci’s iconic sketches since an early age. Once I settle on a few elements, I try and piece them together in my head in a meaningful way. I also remember that I didn’t want the colors to be too bright. I kept reminding myself that they should look more like earth tones. We ended up printing on black paper so that the colors would dull out just a hair.

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

A: The idea was to show a wild horse emerging from the flames as a kind of rebirth, a new beginning, running forward into the unknown. It’s a comment on Alex’s growth as a musician.

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

A: Sometimes listening to the band’s music will conjure up a color or a mood or a tone that will dictate the direction of the image. In this case, Man on Fire stood out and probably informed some of the imagery in my print. I trust my gut at this point and go with what I feel is right. The deadlines are usually pretty tight so there really isn’t time for second guessing.

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

A: I was yes. My daughter and I watched Home on Letterman and I ended up buying the disc for the two of us to listen to.

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

A: Essentially, I found a site called gigposters.com, read all the forums there and started contacting both promoters and bands. Once I had done a few the snowball started to build and work has been steady for 10-plus years now.

For more information about Todd Slater, visit www.toddslater.net.

Todd Slater

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