For those of you who can't make it to the SI Advertising & Institutional opening in New York City on Friday, March 30th, but might find yourselves in the Fayetteville, Arkansas area instead........I'll be speaking to the Northwest Arkansas Art Directors Club, 7:30 pm at the Dickson St. Theatre. Slow down, now - there are limited tickets available, so line up neatly and be patient, please. Posters will be available for signing.
For the last three days, I've been living in the heart of one of the biggest music festivals in the country: South by Southwest. Over 50 venues showcase almost 1400 bands, and most of the action takes place within a short stroll of my house/studio. This year's biggest act was the opening gig of the Stooges new tour, following the release of their first album together in 33 years. The piece above was done a while back for a book and exhibition at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and it seemed like the right time to break it out.
I'm an Iggy fan from way back, having first seen him live when I was a teenager, and over 20 times since. I even got to meet him once, at a now defunct record store here called the Inner Sanctum, and found him to be a very nice and approachable guy. In concert, however, he's a force of nature, and last night's show was no exception. It's hard to believe that a guy about to turn 60 still looks like this and is willing to throw himself into the moshpit mid-concert to battle it out with the fans (which he did several times last night). The band even invited the crowd up on stage during the final number, which was absolute chaos. All and all, a Fun Time.
Along the way, I saw some other great acts, including my new favorite Peelander Z, a Japanese band now based in NY that's part punk and part Teletubbies, and from what I can tell the official band of Kaiju Big Battel - itself a cross between pro wrestling, bad science fiction movies and performance art. We also saw the Polyphonic Spree, the Little Ones, and a number of other bands that were new to me.
Peelander Z - like nothing you've ever seen.
Another aspect of the Fesitval is the showcase Flatstock, which brings together some of the best gig poster art & artists from around the country. Yee Haw Industries, Methane, Burlesque of North America, and several other great groups that create the most amazing concert art are all under one roof, and selling their posters at very reasonable prices.
Today, the crowds are starting to head home and city is beginning to quiet down again. There's always great music here in Austin, but SXSW represents one of the main reasons this city has developed the reputation it has internationally for music, and one the best times of year to come and see why Austin is a destination.
From April 19th through the 22nd, Austin's own AIGA chapter will hold its semi-almost-annual event in the heart of the beautiful Texas Hill Country, at Waldemar Guest Ranch, along the Guadalupe River. It's become the preferred getaway and tubing mecca for designers and artists across the country, and having been a few times myself, I can personally attest to the fun: its one of the best times you'll ever have while actually learning something. It's got hands-on, back to basics workshops - no computers, no lectures - interspersed with BBQ, swimming, canoeing, and a cool beverage or two, not to mention the dancing and entertainment from some of the best bands in Austin. Did I mention there are art director's everywhere? I'll be doing a workshop there, as well as these fine folks:
Decoder Ring | Austin | Designers (www.thedecoderring.com) Michael Osborne | San Francisco | Designer (www.mobsf.com) Tim Hale | Dallas | Designer (www.fossil.com) Stefan Bucher | Los Angeles | Illustrator (www.344design.com) Petrula Vrontikus | Los Angeles | Designer (www.35k.com) Dan Winters | Los Angeles | Photographer (www.danwintersphoto.com) Yee Haw! | Knoxville | Designers (www.yehawindustries.com)
As if all that wasn't enough, it's in the mid 70s today, with a blue sky and flowers blooming everywhere. Mid April is even prettier.......
Waldemar GuestRanch, where it all happens. 693 acres so beautiful you'll want to take up ranching.
In the March issue of Mother Jones, there's a piece written by Bill Donahue about a visit he made to the swamps of south Florida, where Tom Monaghan, the billionaire founder of Domino's Pizza, is building an ultraconservative Catholic university and gated community. Done in the style of an illuminated manuscript, my images make clear that Bill wasn't exactly welcome on the campus of Ave Maria.
This was an article that hit home for me, as I went to a religiously affiliated university myself, though a Baptist one. We seem to be living in a time where more and more Americans of different beliefs and political affiliations want to live separate lives, apart from the influence of those they disagree with. This is just one of the more extreme examples, but it's a growing trend. An interesting topic, made all the more complex in our current political climate. To read Bill's article, click the Mother Jone's link here.
I just got a copy of John Cuneo's new book of dirty drawings, nEuROTIC, (even came in a brown paper bag), and I highly recommend it. Designed by the great Robert Festino, it's one you need on the (top) shelf of your bookcase. In addition to be being completely depraved and a work of genius, I understand all proceeds are applied directly to John's psychiatrist bills.
To get your own, click on the Amazon.com link here.