Ten Questions With Erick Montes

For the week-opening ten questions, I’ve asked my friend Erick Montes to come by and answer the questions.  He’s a good dude, and makes great posters.  Enjoy.

Age: I just celebrated my 9th Annual 21st Birthday.

Location: I live in East Atlanta, where the crack flows like wine.  Before moving here I lived in Austin for 10 years. And before that, I lived in Guatemala City.

Years Doing Posters: On and off for about 5-6 years. I think it was in ’03 when I met Geoff and Paul from Factor 27 (now at the decoder ring).  Those guys taught me how to print and drink high life at the same time. It was pretty much downhill from there.  I started making crappy posters for my friends’ crappy band… Then I made average posters with my friend Lonny Hurley.  Now I sporadically make slightly-more-than-average posters on my own for awesome bands and promoters.

Favorite Poster/Art print of mine: Tough question. For a little while I feel like each new poster is my new favorite because they’ve all been a really cool learning process… Until I get over them.  I don’t know if I have an all time favorite, so I’ll give you three: The Nada Surf/Rogue Wave poster because it happened very naturally. Also, production-wise, that one is one of the few that came out looking exactly how it did in my head. Then there’s that first Explosions in the Sky poster.. I love that one because I learned a ton while working on it. Both good and bad things… But then I also kind of hate it because it got such a good response, which is great, but I think the end product could have been better.  And finally the Okkervil River one for Ballroom Marfa, because it introduced me to their music. They’re now one of my favorite bands.

Favorite Poster/Art print that someone else did:
I have a ton.  Kleinsmith’s green Death Cab poster is one of them. Every time I look at it, I feel like I have a long way to go with my own work. Any of his posters, really. They’re very inspiring. I think you can probably tell his work is a huge influence in mine.  Factor 27’s Slayer poster is another. I love that one because it sparked my relationship with two of my now best friends. That was also the first time I dished out 40 bucks for a poster. I got some serious buyer’s remorse for about a week… but I’m glad I did it.  Also this Aesthetic Apparatus test print that I have. It’s a hybrid of their explosions poster, their Deathrays poster, some other things I can’t decipher, and a footprint. Every time I see it my head explodes.  There’s also some cuban posters, some Polish posters, James Victore, Saul Bass, old Cantinflas movie posters… the list goes on. I like posters.

Music currently in rotation: I’ve been listening to This Will Destroy You’s two records non-stop since March. They’re beautiful. You can play them real quiet or super loud. I can guarantee you that you’ll find something new in them each time. Very inspiring.  Also Cafe Tacuba’s Sino. Each one of their albums is completely different, and always sound great. This one’s a great pop record. It sometimes sounds like The Beatles (that’s right, I said it). They are one of those bands that I’d love to design posters for but haven’t had the chance to.
Mos Def – Black on Both Sides. I haven’t been listening to hip hop for very long, but its been long enough that I can honestly say that good hip hop is hard to find. This one is genius. His lyrics are amazing.
Radiohead – In Rainbows. I really wanted to dislike this one. I found the last three Radiohead records pretty boring, and I assumed this one would be the same. Now I can’t stop listening to it. The production is super nice.

Last Print/whathave you bought:  I think it was Print Mafia’s Black Keys poster (NSFW) from last year. It’s the first Print Mafia poster that I own. It’s amazing in person.

Art Hanging on the walls: I haven’t been living at this house for very long, so this is what is up so far:

Living Room: A Cantinflas portrait I did for a print exchange (this is the only thing I have hanging that I made), An unsigned acrylic on wood painting of a rooster wearing a crown, Michael Michael Motorcycle’s Built to Spill at the Gothic Theater and his Melvins at the Koko, and Jay Ryan’s burning animal prints from the Andrew Bird album.

Kitchen: Decoder Ring’s Neil Young in DC. The one printed on wood and then laser cut. It’s my favorite thing on my walls right now.

Office: An original Bachs poster for Vampiros en la Habana, Aesthetic Apparatus’ Melvins and Locust, and James Victore’s Join poster for Portfolio Center is about to go up.

Bathroom: Ugly Americans poster by Jermaine and Hampton, Eleanor Grosch’s Bride of Crotch Rock poster.

Bedroom: Pedini’s Moment of Happiness prints and two of his small totem prints.

Upcoming Stuff: I’m not working on any posters right now, but I am working on an art print about my dog to raise money to pay for her chemotherapy.

Words of Wisdom: Never take yourself too seriously, and try to remain humble. Once you get cocky at whatever it is that you do, not only do you become annoying, your work becomes boring. Remind yourself that change is inevitable and try to be positive.  And if you have a dog, get pet insurance.

To see more of Erick’s work, visit ErickMontes.com.

5 Responses to “Ten Questions With Erick Montes”

  1. Great artist and a personable fellow. His girl is a hoot too.

  2. Cool – he seems like a nice bloke Also where the hell do I get one of those Bride of Rock posters !

  3. Montes rules

  4. It´s been almost 1 year since this interview…

    …however, I´d like to leave a comment about Montes.

    I´ve had the privilege to have him as a close friend and honestly can say that he´s one of the most real persons on earth; I´ve been lucky enough to have being irrevocably influenced by his thinking and lifestyle.

    And I´m glad I met him before he turned into the creative genius he is now, cause I´d be too overwhelmed by his talent to think of him as “The Dude” now.

    Keep the posters coming Chapulin!

  5. it’s now been 10 years since this interview but i gotta say. erick montes is one of my heroes! he’s amazing… i don’t care what everyone says about him.

Leave a Reply