Archive for the ‘ Friends ’ Category

Getting Off To A Good Start

So I have been working hard at a new musical project (commonly known as a band) since February this year. It has been a huge amount of fun and I really don’t want to start playing gigs because it’s so cool just getting in a room and writing, refining songs and really just making a lot of noise with really great friends.

But as it goes, you tell other friends about the band and then other friends want to hear the band and so forth… Which eventually leads you to making a demo of your songs. Well, the recording side of the demo was made a few weeks ago which left the obvious question of how to distribute what we’d recorded. Sure, putting a digital file up on the internet would have been the easiest and zero dollar option but where is the fun in that? No I was hoping my bandmates would let me make something more tangible – even if it was just for us to keep.

Well making CDs was definitly the cheapest and quickest physical option available so over the last few weeks I’ve been toiling away at making something attractive to house our recording. Here is what I cam up with.

G4

Obviously the woodblock looked a lot nicer before I printed the heck out of it. Still, the little Calavera character that I carved out was mighty tricky simply because he was no bigger than my thumb. Still some handy work with a surgical scalpel got me what I was wanting…

G5

And here is the cheeky little bugger printed:

G1

Then came the task, fun at first but not so after some 8 or 9 hours of printing the coverart onto the custom made sleeves I got from Stumptown Press

G2

And so now (after some handy folding and burning of CDs) my bandmates and I have 50 copies of our first recording. I love making these things and really I hope it never changes so long as I have music to share with my friends.

G3

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Busier Than Ever

There’s so much happening that I might need to break things up into several posts. Heaven forbid I find the time to fill you in more regularly…

So my recent idea to turn one of my latest woodcuts into an affordable and comfy t-shirt was a resounding success and so a huge shout out of thanks has to go to everyone who snapped one up! I had a few extra made up and so there will be another chance to get your hands on one but more of that soon.

Front

Owl-Tshirt1

Back

Owl-Tshirt2

A big thanks goes to Matt Deasy of 7th Disaster for doing such a great job on the screenprinting of these. Really people, look him up for anything you want hand printed!

So a while back I said to stay tuned because I had lots of things happening before the end of the year. Well it’s all happening now.

I recently received the vinyl version of the debut album by High Tension when they came up to launch the album. Sure it looked great on the cd (see post below) but boy doesn’t it look better nice and big on vinyl? Stoked!

HTvinyl

And just last weekend I got my hands on the latest 7inch single by Melbourne band Harmony of which I (again) did the cover art for.

Harmony_1

It is the band’s third 7inch and the prelude to their second album which is out early next year through Posion City records. The band’s guitarist/vocalist/all-round-great-dude Tom Lyncoln is into sharks and so asked for a shark from me. Who am I to refuse? And so it was.

Here are all of the band’s singles, with the cover art for all of them done by me. Happy doesn’t even start to explain what it means to look at all these together.

Harmony_2

Sometimes doing artwork for great bands feels better (even though it is harder) than carving and making prints for myself but none of that comes even close to when something like this happens…

Robb Knaggs Tattoos

This is my friend Robb. Great guy and really talented musician. He recently took off to travel the world but just before he left he told me he wanted something that would remind him of home and this is what he wanted.

Printsml

Obviously the print represents something personal for him but I do find if nice that the Currawongs that hang around my house, gave me the feathers in question and that I captured in this print have unknowingly traveled so far.

CurrawongwoodcutThat also makes two people who have gotten a woodcut of mine tattooed. I think I might have to start planning to be the third.

That’ll do for now. More news soon.

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High Tension – Death Beat

There’s been a heap of work happening behind the scenes of late. This being the first of recent projects that I can unveil.

Melbourne band High Tension are about to release their debut album and they asked me to do up the artwork. Even before this I think this band are really great and love all the other bands they are and have been in (The Nation Blue/Young And Restless). Over the weekend I got my hands on their finished cd…
HT

HT-4…and here are some of the original woodcut prints that I did up especially for them to use:

HT-3 A little bit of ‘Evil Dead’ styled horror/humor for the inside.

HT-2 And big old “Don’t F*** With Me” Rottweiler on the outside. All stylised and  done up real pretty for the coverart.

This is what the woodcut looked like coming off the block in my studio.
HT-5 I’m most excited about the fact that the band will also have this on vinyl. All formats (digital etc) will be out 25th October. You should go to your favourite independent music store and get them to order you a copy or if waiting isn’t your style then sample the first song off it below.

Trainspotters might note the bass player Matt Weston is wearing my band’s t-shirt in this clip. Bonus kudos for the outstanding wardrobe selection.

More info and stuff about High Tension (that is well worth your time) is over on their Facebook page.

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HAZE XXL

As someone who is devoted to printmaking as much as I am to music. I find that a lot of the people who inspire me don’t necessarily come from the standard cannon of historically successful artists. Sure I can look at Hiroshige or Durer and appreciate what they helped create but in this day and age it’s the hands on artists that I love the most. Mix into that the DIY aesthetic that fuels punk rock music and you get people like Tom Hazelmyer from Minneapolis in the US – quite easily the person who’s artistic perspective I admire above anyone else. Everyone needs people to look up to so they can say to themselves “I can do that” and “I want to be as good as them” – and that’s not coming from a style perspective but from one of attitude.

Here’s a really cool clip I just watched on Tom that showcases his printmaking endevours. You don’t need to like the music to like where he’s taking art but it certainly helps…

and here’s a linocut poster that Tom made that hangs above my stereo.

Lino-poster

New Found Harmony

Back in 2011 one of my favourite bands in Australia asked me to do up the coverart for their debut 7″. I was both excited and nervous at the prospect of working with Melbourne’s Harmony (which I elaborated on here).

Well, clearly I did something right because late last year they asked me to have another shot with the first single from their second full-length album.

Harmony

…and this is what arrived in the mail a few days ago. Not to boast but wow it came up great. Harmony are a band that always make good looking releases and I think they did a great job turning my woodcut into the cover illustration of their single.

The image came from listening to the two songs on repeat, in particular the second track ‘ I Wait All Night For You…’. Their music  a strange mix of beauty and torment – kind of like a georgous woman standing on the railing of a bridge… you want a happy ending but it might not likely come.

Their new album will be out in a couple of months. Until then you can get the 7-inch from their bandcamp page and you should before its limited run sells out.

CHECK OUT HARMONY

BUY THEIR NEW SINGLE

Because Being Punk Is Too Hard

So two weeks ago my good friend Luke called me and asked if I’d be interested in doing the illustration for a t-shirt for his band Violent Soho. I’ll tell you what, I couldn’t say yes fast enough. I love Violent Soho. Their music is great and even better with the volume and energy of their live show. It just so happens that all four members of Soho are top notch dudes. I quickly decided that I’d better not stuff this up!

So they gave me an outline of what they were looking for and their idea had a great tongue in cheek vibe to it. Taking the early east coast and west coast punk signposts and mixing it with some Australian references and giving it a bit of a Pettibon flavour but all through my woodcut filter left me with something I was really proud of making.

That’s the T-shirt. Below is the initial block and print that was the first part of the image. One thing that was really unual for me is that I was able to do this woodcut in 48hrs (while going to work and such). That’s the fastest woodcut I’ve done in many many months.

This is the fourth woodcut that’s ended up on a t-shirt this year. It’s been a real good year!

Harmony & Heartache

Some good friends of mine from Melbourne have a band called Harmony and I think they’re pretty damn good. The bees knees as a matter of fact! Thing is that there are six of them. This is good when it comes to the music and the singing and such but bad when it comes to affordable independent touring!

This Friday and Saturday they’re playing here in Brisbane as part of their national ‘Heartache’ tour.

Friday night: X&Y Bar (Ann St in the Valley)
Saturday night: The Waiting Room (Browning St in West End)

Because we’re lucky enough to get two shows, I initially though of doing a poster for it all. This however, in my usual way of getting carried away with things, meant that I ended up carving out a special woodcut and hand printing 20 prints instead.

I figured if I make 10 prints for each show and the band sell them for a few bob, then it may help them with the petrol money and get all six of them safely home to Melbourne (instead of leaving one or two on the side of the road half way home). That (joke) aside, I’m sure they will sell out both shows, be great to watch and these prints will make wonderful mementos of it all.

All of the prints have the same illustration but are printed in a unique fashion…

There’s definitely a lot happening this coming weekend. On Friday night I for one am having an art exhibition opening a few blocks down the street at the White Canvas Gallery which is where I will be before X&Y.

If you don’t have Harmony’s debut album yet, bring a few extra bucks to the show and get it!

Before then you can check them out here: Harmony Bandcamp

Or at these various facebook pages cause that’s where people seem to hang out these days.
Harmony Facebook
Waiting Room Facebook
X&Y Facebook

Kellie Lloyd: Magnetic North

A few months ago I was asked by a friend and great local musician Kellie Lloyd (she’s also in the rad Brisbane band Screamfeeder) to help her with the visual element of her forthcoming solo album. She commissioned me to do a series of woodcuts and after listening to her album ‘Magnetic North’ there definitely were a wealth of ideas.

Kellie liked some of the those ideas and a few of the woodcuts are starting to crop up on her posters for gigs that she’s doing around the country. Here’s a sneak peak of one of those woodcuts.

The print is called ‘Made Of Stars’ and comes from a song on her album which is looking to come out early next year but she is launching a flexi-disc single in the coming weeks so you should go check it out!

Kellie’s Facebook page

Kellie has also made herself a video for the song…

We Are made Of Stars from Kellie Lloyd – Magnetic North on Vimeo.

I can’t wait to hear… and see the final album! I’ll be sure to blab all about it on here!

It’s all just ink anyway…

I like tattoos. I have a couple of them now and have been slowly acquiring them over the last 17 years. One thing that making woodcuts has done has been to shift my impulse of making the transient image permanent, from tattoos to paper. I often see pretty images or have a strong emotional connection to something with a defining visual element and think “that would make a great tattoo here”. Sometime later, It might in fact make a great woodcut – a process I am now familiar with.

But recently I had a moment of life imitating art imitating life where my love of Mexican culture and their unique spiritual beliefs (as well as the brilliant artistic stylings of Mike Giant) morphed into a tattoo that I wanted to get. A few sessions later my friend Tim decorated my forearm with a sugar-skull, some roses in red and black and scroll in Spanish. This is the side of my arm with the sugar-skull…

I love the tattoo and after looking at it for a few weeks I got the idea of trying a woodcut of… well of my new tattoo. I made some adjustments seeing as I was working on flat rectangular surface and not my skinny old arm. I’m real happy with the print. Both colours are off the one block too.

I gave Tim a print today to say thank you for the the great work he did. I’ll now file this one away seeing as I already get to look at it everyday. Looks like my love affair with ink won’t dry up any time soon!

Ready-to-wear

I had never really thought about my woodcuts ending up on clothing until recently. Then before I knew it in quick succession, I had three different woodcut images boldly plastered on complete strangers. It’s a funny thing standing at a gig (like when I went and saw Helmet the other week) and there is some fellow I’ve never seen before wearing a t-shirt with my woodcut on it.

This is a t-shirt for my band, No Anchor. When we released our record recently I did the cover art and it was decided by the band to take that cover image and adapt it to a t-shirt to go with said album.

Die On Planes are a relatively unknown but completely mind-melting band based here in Brisbane. They asked me to design up a t-shirt for them. I went with amps because Die On Planes are all about amps, lots and lots of amps. You should check them out live and take some earplugs just for good measure.

This one, I have to say is my favourite and came as quite a surprise. I was asked to do up artwork for a seven-inch single by the Melbourne band Harmony. This in itself was a great and rewarding experience but when the band arrived in Brisbane to launch their record a few months later, they pulled out a whole box of these t-shirts. I didn’t know they’d made them but lucky for all of us they’re great looking t-shirts and I was just stoked for my girlfriend and I to have one to wear. She looks great in it but I haven’t gotten up the courage to wear mine yet. It feels a bit to much like self promotion.

Who knows what’s next… teatowels?

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