“It helps if you actually like it, but it’s not totally necessary – like in the case of the Sublime poster I did. I really like how it came out and I think it fits the music, but I don’t like the band at all. No offence, Sublime.”
“Since we’re basically making big adverts for the bands, the art should reflect how they sound,” says Jared Connor of Mexican Chocolate Design, who nowadays creates mainly posters and T-shirt designs for the likes of Danzig, Turbonegro and Wolves in the Throne Room.
Jared works from an expansive collection of reference material he scans in, which he composes into a rough arrangement before polishing.
Dan Mumford’s comic-influenced style has proved popular with metal bands and has seen him create covers for bands such as Scarlet O’Hara (above) and posters the likes of Trivium (top)
“I usually work in greyscale, until I get a good working rough. Then I clean up layers and convert to RGB or CMYK to apply and adjust colours. Afterwards, I separate for print. It’s pretty much all done in Photoshop or Illustrator. Sometimes it’s quick, sometimes I work on stuff for hours,” says Jared.
“I do a doodle on a piece of paper, then do some research,” says Godmachine of his creative workflow.
“I take some pictures, sketch it out on the computer using my Wacom, until it looks ok, then start inking using [Photoshop and Manga Draw].”
Most of Brian Ewing’s work starts out hand-drawn and is finished on the computer.
“I prefer working with my hands,” he says. “If I need to get a certain type of lighting, or I’m obsessing over the accuracy of a car or toaster or guitar, I’ll take photo reference.”
Brian’s line work is created by hand. From initial sketches, he scans it into Illustrator, adds the typography and then prints the sketch to the full size it will be used at – which is usually 11 x 17 inches for a poster. He light boxes it onto a Strathmore 400 Cold Press Bristol Board, then redraws over the sketch to tighten it up, and inks it with a brush – or sometimes a pen. The artwork is then scanned at 600dpi back into Illustrator, where it’s coloured.