Thinking about making a gig poster was a bit intimidating to me. I like music, but I’ve never really taken time to know about different bands or artist or genres. I hardly knew anything about gig posters, or what they’re all about, so I looked into it some more. I started listening closer to the music I like, looking into genres and artwork. This helped inspire me before I went into my sketching.
As I sketched, I was looking for ideas to incorporate that were symbolic of the music that I had been listening to. When I listened to the music I usually enjoy, I found a lot of songs that were more mellow. Nothing stressful or overly argumentative. I found that I really like music about the simple things in life. Life is stressful enough, so I suppose my music helps me unwind. I came up with a lot of ideas and then slowly narrowed them down and began my first digital sketches.
At first, I was going to have the human body as a sort of setting for the poster, but my ideas evolved until it wasn’t the setting, but an element. They became part of the scenery in the background.
My first completed draft had a lot of my ideas, but had a lot of flaws. A lot of people didn’t understand that the back was supposed to be mountains. I also struggled with text. It was too distracting and had poor form. I tried hand drawn, on the left, and based off a font, on the right. The right was closer, but I didn’t execute it well on the side. Along with these issues, the backdrop became overly distracting, messy and too similar to the elements.
Knowing this, I took some steps backward. I reworked the mountains first, giving them better form and adding the outlines, highlights, and shadows. Then I reworked type until it really came together. I used the font again but worked with each individual letter to place and form it in the way I wanted. I added the outlines and shadows and made sure they fit in place.
After this, I decided I really wanted to rework my colors. I had been repeating colors often to try to create a unity in them, but they didn’t really come together till this point. I put much more yellow in all of them and moved the values closer so the black outlines would come out more. I also tried a more radial background, which was getting better. I also made sure to have the lines be much thinner than the rest of my outlines, so it didn’t blend in with the foreground. I felt like I was getting closer to a final product, but wasn’t quite there.
On the final day I added the rest of the type for the gig details. I used the same letter shapes without outlines. I wanted them less defined, but still clear. I also incorporated them into the pancakes, almost making them look like the syrup. I also tweaked and adjusted until it felt more unified and finished it off with a natural, marble-like texture.
This poster turned out better than I expected in the beginning but is far from my best work. I am proud of the hand drawn look that I accomplished because I had never done that before. I also found that creating illustrative type is very difficult but it makes a difference. I feel the poster fits my original thoughts for the music I wanted to represent. The entire poster is made of relaxed, hand drawn shapes, and faded, analogous colors. I used pancakes because I can’t think of a less stressful cliche. I mean, when was the last time you took some time to make pancakes? People eat pancakes with their grandkids on a Sunday morning after sleeping in. The essential organs in the back are to remind the audience that the crucial things in life are more simple than what they realize. You can eat pancakes in a scenic valley and you’re heart will still beat. In my kind of music, pancakes are the more important thing.