Poster children for success

Art and design have long lived harmoniously in popular musical culture, and these CCAD graduates have found ways to infuse their own creative voice into the scene—from illustrating and screenprinting one-of-a-kind posters for big-name bands on tour, to creating customized guitar straps for Los Angeles stars, to adding to an axe until it takes on a new life all its own.


jesse hughes of eagles of death metal

Jesse Hughes of Eagles of Death Metal wearing custom guitar strap made by Brittany Matyas of Brittany Matyas Leather Goods. Photo taken by Lexi Bonin.  

 


 

artic minkeys music poster

Clinton Reno (Illustration, 1995)

 

“I try to be cognizant of the record on which the band is touring. The prints generally are pretty whimsical, and I try to make them fantastical in some way—some out of the ordinary image, be it an anthropomorphized bear or an astronaut returning to earth in a pink Cadillac.”

 

Clinton Reno designs and hand prints limited-edition posters for national bands that tour around the globe, including Weezer, Flaming Lips, Iggy Pop, and Arctic Monkeys, to name just a few. His now iconic work first caught the attention of acts touring at Columbus’ PromoWest. My Morning Jacket even used his art on the sides and top of its One Big Holiday stage.

 


See his posters below.


 

the wombats poster
band of horses
mmj poster
ween poster

 

m83 poster

M83. At Osheaga Music and Arts Festival, Montreal Canada, July 31, 2016. Poster art by Graham Erwin of Delicious Design League. Image courtesy of Delicious Design League. 

Graham Erwin (Illustration, 2011)

 

“Posters allow me to associate with larger bands and audiences while maintaining a strong personal style.”

 

When the blog OMGPosters featured Graham Erwin’s screen-printed posters for friends’ bands, “the commissions started to snowball,” he says, including for M83, MGMT, OAR, TAUK, Dave Matthews Band, Frank Turner, and Allen Stone. He teamed up with Delicious Design League for a recent SXSW interactive mural, where different segments of the design were rigged to produce different sounds. Passersby could tap on the mural to make their own song.

 


See his posters below.


 

mgmt poster

MGMT. At Osheaga Music and Arts Festival, Montreal Canada, August 4, 2017. Poster art by Graham Erwin of Delicious Design League. Image courtesy of Delicious Design League.

 

frank turner poster

Frank Turner and the Sleeping Souls. At the Royale, Boston MA. June 26,27,29,30. July 1,2. 2018. Poster art by Graham Erwin of Delicious Design League. Image courtesy of Delicious Design League.  

oar may poster

OAR. At Sleep Train Amphitheatre. San Diego, CA. May 14, 2017. Poster art by Graham Erwin of Delicious Design League. Image courtesy of Delicious Design League.  

 

oar june poster

OAR. At Jiffy Lube Live, Bristow, VA. June 10, 2017. Poster art by Graham Erwin of Delicious Design League. Image courtesy of Delicious Design League.  


 

ray lamontagne poster

Poster for Ray LaMontagne, Illustrated by Logan Schmitt, Printed at Upright Press. Image courtesy of Logan Schmitt. 

Logan Schmitt (Illustration, 2016)

 

“When I went to CCAD, I saw a pattern in a lot of the illustrators that I really liked, in that they all made screen-printed gig posters. I got into the first screen-printing class I could and just kept taking other classes and independent studies that allowed me to keep printing.”

 

Logan Schmitt’s nature and wildlife aesthetic attracts commissions from singer-songwriter, folk and Americana musicians such as Old Crow Medicine Show, Greensky Bluegrass, Caamp, Ray LaMontagne, Van Morrison, Parker Millsap, and Charlie Parr. Schmitt began by reaching out to bands coming through Columbus and offering to make posters for their shows. His first screen-printed band poster was for If These Trees Could Talk.

 


See Schmitt's posters below.


 

norma jean poster

Poster for Norma Jean, Illustrated by Logan Schmitt, Printed at Upright Press. Image courtesy of Logan Schmitt.  

red kross poster

Poster for Redd Kross, Illustrated by Logan Schmitt, Printed at Upright Press. Image courtesy of Logan Schmitt.  

son volt poster

Poster for Son Volt, Illustrated by Logan Schmitt, Printed at Upright Press. Image courtesy of Logan Schmitt.  

van morrison poster

Poster for Van Morrison, Illustrated by Logan Schmitt, Printed at Upright Press. Image courtesy of Logan Schmitt. 


 

dave matthews band

Dave Matthews Band poster (2018), illustrated by Methane Studios. Provided by Methane Studios. 

Robert Lee & Mark McDevitt (Illustration, 1989)

                   

“With the domination of digital music, there isn’t that cool album cover art to obsess over anymore. The poster is a great outlet for a visual representation of a band to hold in your hands and hang on your wall.” —Robert Lee

 

Former CCAD classmates Robert Lee and Mark McDevitt formed Methane Studios in 1998. Their company designs screen-printed gig posters for touring bands, and, following their entry in the book The Art of Modern Rock, Methane’s award-winning style has been employed by Wilco, Pearl Jam, Dave Matthews Band, Jack White, The Black Keys, Rilo Kiley, and more. “The coolest experience would easily be just hanging with other poster artists at various shows. It’s a great community and very supportive,” Lee says. “And we did close down a hotel bar with Steve Cropper of Booker T. and the M.G.s.”

Methane Studios is also on exhibition at The Narrows Center for the Arts

 


See posters from Methane Studios.


 

music midtown poster

Music Midtown poster (2017), illustrated by Methane Studios. Provided by Methane Studios.  

jack white lady

Jack White poster (2018), illustrated by Methane Studios. Provided by Methane Studios.  

ray lamontagne poster

Ray LaMontagne poster (2018), illustrated by Methane Studios. Provided by Methane Studios.   

st paul poster

St. Paul & the Broken Bones poster (2018), illustrated by Methane Studios. Provided by Methane Studios.    

"Performance" art

Brittany Matyas (Fashion Design, 2011)

Brittany Matyas' handmade custom guitar straps were spawned from her success with Brittany Matyas Leather Goods, for which Matyas was making handcrafted bags and camera straps. Today she runs the business out of her home in Los Angeles’ Atwater Village.

Her first big break was via Instagram, which Matyas used to reach out to Jennie Vee, bassist for Eagles of Death Metal (EODM), and Courtney Love, which led to her making custom straps for Vee and her band. EODM front man, Jesse Hughes, wears his custom Boots Electric strap during every performance.

 

eagles of death metal member

Jennie Vee of Eagles of Death Metal wearing strap made by Brittany Matyas Leather Goods. Photo by Ryan Hunter photography.

Other musicians quickly came calling. Guitarist Andrew Watt ordered straps for his 2017 American Music Awards performances with Selena Gomez and Florida Georgia Line. Other high-profile clients include Kiefer Sutherland, Rita Ora, and James Iha of the Smashing Pumpkins / A Perfect Circle, among others.

I'm actually working on custom guitar straps for Billy Corgan of the Smashing Pumpkins and Peter Hook of Joy Division / New Order—both dreams come true, Matyas says. It never gets old making things for people you admire and seeing your work in real life at concerts or on TV.

marshmellow, selena gomez, and watt

Watt (with Marshmello and Selena Gomez) wearing strap made by Brittany Matyas Leather Goods. Photo from @thisiswatt.  

lauren ruth ward

Lauren Ruth Ward wearing strap made by Brittany Matyas Leather Goods. Photo from Michelle Shiers Photography.   

guitar with strap

 Cobra guitar strap made by Brittany Matyas Leather Goods. Photo by Brittany Matyas.

Matyas credits her CCAD education as essential to her success because it taught her how to make every aspect of her brand’s output—from building her website to taking photographs to selling her pieces.


A musical canvas

Tony Cochran (Fine Arts)

Tony Cochran’s cartoon Agnes is internationally syndicated, but, in his home studio, there’s evidence of his other successful creative work: custom electric art guitars.

“A guitar's only purpose is to respond to human touch,” Cochran says. “I like the elements of how an electric guitar looks. I like the wear humans inflict by playing them. Their shape is an interesting canvas.”

As he reimagines the guitar’s surface with leather, metal, rivets, paints, nails, and more, he ensures they remain completely functional as musical instruments.

 

art guitars

“I use it as a diversion when I’m working on the comic strips,” says Cochran, who studied Fine Arts at CCAD. “Comics are restrictive. I’ve done the same characters for almost 20 years now. Drawing them is like signing your name. It’s not an adventure anymore, which is great because it speeds it up, but making the guitars is like doing paintings.”

close up art guitar
tony cochrans workspace
work on art guitar

Though, he says, working in both mediums asks him to tap into a similar source—adding his creative energy to something that could exist on its own.

“Agnes is a little girl who I add words to, conversations to. I give her history that exists when she has gone on. She's just another anonymous character until then,” he says. “If I see a guitar, fall in love with its intrinsic shape, feel, and aura, I actually see it finished in all its Cochranized glory. The story that comes with an object can only enhance the perception of how it looks. Only humans appreciate art. Only humans relate to things in terms of their history. History seasons the art.”