Q&A with James Eads

December 22, 2015

What were some of your initial inspirations in creating the artwork for the Buffalo gigposter from the June 2013 show?

I began my Buffalo poster with the intention of creating a modern take on Seurat’s famous painting “A Sunday Afternoon.” This type of a gathering in nature is something I have always associated with the sound of Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros – triumphant, celebratory, worry free.

What were you trying convey in the poster?

For this poster, my goal was to convey the feeling of satisfaction and appreciation for the simple things, much like spending a lazy Sunday afternoon in nature. While there are multiple characters throughout the illustration, each is lost in thought and taking in the day, attempting to appreciate the scene and what life has to offer. The yellow flowers overtaking the space and crawling on the figures represents life and the abundance of early summer.

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

Yes! It’s a wonderful thing when you get to collaborate with a band you admire.

Have you ever seen ESMZ in concert?

Unfortunately I haven’t!

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

When I begin a concept for a gig poster I will start out by listening and attempting to understand the general aesthetic and vibe of the band. If I haven’t heard of the band before I will usually do a fair amount of research on past gig posters and any other artwork associated with the band. Since I was previously a fan of ESMZ I had a good idea of what would accompany the sound well. I take the concepts as far as I need to to give the client a good idea of what they can expect with the final. This will almost always include a color scheme and typography and composition. That said, much of the illustration develops and changes as it progresses toward the final.

How did you get into creating poster art for musicians?

The poster I did for ESMZ was actually one of the first I had worked on as a freelance artist. Back in college I was in charge of designing the posters for the acts that would play at our school, which paved the way for what I am doing now. Connecting with the management at ESMZ was a really exciting stepping stone for me and it played a huge role in the beginning of my career in gig poster illustration.

For more information about James Eads, visit www.jamesreads.com.

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James Eads

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