Today is kind of a slow news day, so luckily I caught up with one of my favorite up-and-coming poster artists for ten questions of entertaining goodness. You’ll like this one, I promise. Ladies and gentlemen, John Vogl aka The Bungaloo!
Age/Location: 25, St. Louis MO
How You Got Into Doing Posters / First Poster / Years Doing Posters: I’ve been doing the poster thing for a shade over 2 years now. I first started collecting posters when I was in college. I bought a couple of Jay Ryan’s prints after seeing an article about his Michael Chabon cover artwork. I was at Drake University, and while we had a great litho and etching department, screen printing wasn’t offered. I was majoring in graphic design, and drawing most of my projects and printing them on an etching press or on a litho stone. Knowing I’d still want to print after school, but also quickly realizing I wasn’t going to get an etching press in my parents’ basement, I decided to teach myself how to screen print. I’d heard it was relatively cheap, didn’t take up much space, and I had fallen in love with the posters I was collecting, so it seemed like a good idea. I had some really supportive/encouraging professors and they let me teach myself how to screen print in what was basically a spare closet in the printmaking department. I learned pretty much everything by reading forums on gigposters.com and loads of trial and error. I also pestered Dan and Michael at AA, Jay Ryan, the kind gents of Delicious, Guy Burwell, Dan Stiles, among a few others. I was fortunate enough to have them pity me with some knowledge and great advice. The first print I made was for my senior BFA show, using a light box I swiped from the painting department. It’s a terrible print, I think I properly registered 1 to every 37 that were off, but I was pretty pleased at the time I guess. I made a couple shirts too, but I can’t find them in my stacks of bologna right now — heres the print:
Favorite Poster / Art Print You’ve Done: I would like to think its yet-to-be-spawned, but, I suppose I was pretty pleased with how my Mogwai poster came out. I made that one right after my first Flatstock in Austin and I was feeling uber-motivated about making better work after seeing so many talented folks. The poster is loosely based off of some drawings I was doing several years ago when i was fortunate enough to get to study abroad in Brisbane, Australia. Also, I am a pretty big Mogwai fan, and I was really excited to make the print, so I guess circumstances congealed well. I’m not always the best at putting visuals into words, but everything about that one seems to “fit” to me — its feels like their music sounds to me.
Describe Your Creative Process a Bit: I rely heavily on coffee to get my ideas going. Lots and lots of coffee. I have a special blend that helps:
but usually I find my best ideas once I’ve stepped away from a project for a bit. I’ll get some initial thoughts down and thumbnail some ideas out, but I usually find that my better concepts arrive when I’ve set the project down and moved it to the back of my mind, like when I’m about to go to sleep or I’m in the shower:
After that, its pretty straight forward. I like to draw everything by hand, in pieces, and most often use the computer just to arrange different elements and bit in a composition. I use the computer probably more than it shows in some of my posters, but it’s a great tool to check composition, to quickly try a variety of colors, and to make my separations. I tried cutting rubylith once, really early on, when I had no idea what I was doing. I cut everything out only to realize after I burned the screen I had cut the complete inverse of what I needed. I immediately decided that my mental capacity was lacking and that maybe I shouldn’t do everything by hand and give the computer a whirl.
All-time Favorite Poster / Art Print that Someone Else Did: That’s way too tough, so I’ll weiner-out and do a top 5 in no particular order:
Jay Ryan: Shellac (Squirrels)
AA: Explosions in the Sky (check the “art on walls” pictures)
Delicious: 1900’s (Record Release Show at Metro)
AA: New Pornographers (w/ Destroyer at Metro)
Music Currently In Rotation: Whatever those smelly/adorable indie kids tell me to listen to. I’m really enjoying the new Sunset Rubdown (Dragonslayer), St. Vincent (Actor), and that Dangermouse + Sparklehorse (Dark Night of the Soul) and my friends in Capybara have just come out with a nice lil’ gem. Whenever I’m struggling to find anything new though, I tend to pop on some DJ Shadow (Entroducing), or the Roots (Things Fall Apart) or Andrew Bird (Any album where he whistles) or Broken Social Scene. I dunno, I tend to wriggle and writhe to music when I’m drawing and pretend it’s some form of dancing and not actually as pathetic or painfully awkward as it may in fact look.
Last Print, Poster, or Toy Bought: I just got Dan Stiles’ Grizzly Bear print (Eyeballs). I am really happy with it — it’s he first I’ve bought from Dan, which is dumb, cause I’ve been a fan of his for quite some time. So many talented artists with great prints, so little money…
Art Hanging On Your Walls: Mostly posters — and I tend to rock the binder clips and buy more prints as opposed to dropping money on frames. I rent a house with a couple, and we’ve got loads of wall space, and that tends to be a plus.
These hang above my bed, Jay Ryan is my dreamcatcher.
I don’t think Brady (Hammerpress) can get enough credit. I used to work in a letterpress shop for a brief spell, and his work always blows me away.
And this one that I’ve yet to hang is by my friend and fellow St. Louisian, Dan Zettwoch. His stuff is hilarious and simultaneously awesome.
Upcoming Stuff: I am working on some illustrations for a Purina website, some of which are going to be animated, so sort of stoked to see those come together. I’ve got prints in progress for Screens n’ Spokes, ArtCrank, and a few art prints I’ve been putting off. More scarves and t shirts for the summer are on the way, but it’s actually pretty quiet on the gig poster front at the moment (sad trombone).
Words of Wisdom: I had a professor in school that would often tell everyone, “Good work will always win out.” I don’t know if it’s entirely true or not, but it’s always served me well and kept me motivated to continually try to improve and to stick it out when this game gets frustrating. So, my advice would be to listen to him, he sure was a hell of a lot smarter than me.
See more and buy some stuff from John at TheBungaloo.com.