For the first interview this week, I sat down with Scott Campbell. No, not the one that draws the little cartooney looking guys, and not the one that did stuff for Phish, I’m talking about guy from Tennessee that is quietly pumping out some of the best rock concert posters you’ll see. Hope you guys like it, cheers!
Age/Location: 31 / Chattanooga, TN
How You Got Into Doing Posters / First Poster / Years Doing Posters: I’ve been making posters for about 5 or 6 years. Like a lot of poster artists, I started by doing posters for my bands and friends bands. I wanted to do some posters for bigger bands, so I got in touch with a promoter in New Orleans and started doing occasional posters for touring bands. That helped to spread my work locally which led to my current relationship with the Spanish Moon in Baton Rouge. After Hurricane Katrina, the Spanish Moon became the biggest club hosting touring bands in Louisiana, which worked out great for me because it gave me a constant influx of great bands to do posters for. I can’t really remember the first poster I ever made, I’m sure it was for one of my bands. The first poster I did for a national act (which was also my first screen printed poster) was Do Make Say Think at the Mermaid Lounge in New Orleans (2004).
Favorite Poster / Art Print You’ve Done: Hmm, its hard to pick a favorite. I’m usually happiest with the most recent work I’ve of done. If I had to pick I guess it’d be the last poster I did for Health.
Describe Your Creative Process a Bit: I don’t necessarily have a formula that I use every time I sit down to design a poster, but I always try to match the band’s vibe in some way. I’m usually happiest with the result when I come up with some sort of concept before I start working. Then I’ll just play around with found images, mix in my own illustrations, or whatever I think might work. I also love to incorporate a lot of found and handmade type. Everything gets scanned into the computer and then I use Photoshop and/or Illustrator to work on layout and color.
All-time Favorite Poster / Art Print that Someone Else Did: That’s another tough one. I guess it’d be between Little Friends of Printmaking’s Dan Sartain poster, which was one of the first posters that really got me excited, or Sonnenzimmer’s Canyons of Static tour poster, which is amazing on a totally different end of the spectrum.
Music Currently In Rotation: Grizzly Bear: Veckatimest, Black Moth Super Rainbow: Eating Us, Beach Boys: Pet Sounds, Department of Eagles: In Ear Park, Generationals: Con Law.
Last Print, Poster, or Toy Bought: I don’t buy nearly as many prints and posters as I should. I’m planning to pick up some stuff from Zach Hobbs in the very near future.
Art Hanging On Your Walls: I just moved, so my walls are bare at the moment. Some things that I plan to hang really soon: a painting by my good friend John Norris, an Aesthetic Apparatus Grizzly Bear tour poster, some test prints that we made at Young Monster, some photographs taken by a friend, and an art print that i made several years ago.
Upcoming Stuff: I’m leaving for vacation this week, so I don’t have a lot of poster work in the immediate future, but I did just finish posters for Yourself and the Air and The Legendary Shack Shakers. I’ll have some stuff in an upcoming poster show at 52.5 Records in Charleston, SC on Aug 29, and a couple of my illustrations will be part of a book of illustrations/stories/photos to be included with Young Governor’s latest 7″. A few of my posters are also going to be featured in John Foster’s new book “Dirty Fingernails”.
Words of Wisdom: An ounce of action is worth a ton of theory.