As I continue to not find gainful employment through the usual channels, I’m going to start focusing on the longer term. Step one is to get better as an artist. I’ve been making a lot of posters for Nighthawk lately, and that will be my jumping off point. I have New Masters of Poster Design out from the library and my ambitious plan is to focus on one of the thirty artists in the book every day and try to make a poster in the style of that artist.
Day 1: The Killings at Badger’s Drift, inspired by Aesthetic Apparatus
The first designer in the book is Aesthetic Apparatus, out of Minneapolis. They started out with an interest in screen printing and, as of the 2008 publication of the book, worked entirely by hand. They have a vintage inspiration that appeals to me, and specifically mention the Works Progress Administration as an influence.
With a very few exceptions, the posters shown have a lot of white space and very limited color palettes. Many have a deliberate color separation that highlights their hand printed nature. I also notice a willingness to obscure details. That’s something that doesn’t come naturally to me, so I’m keeping that in mind especially. Text is typically kept to a minimum, which is particularly surprising as most of these are concert posters.
My inspiration for the content of my poster came from a conversation on Slack, the closest I really get to social media these days. Midsomer Murders is a ridiculous and enjoyable British mystery show and the first episode is a great representation, including a disturbingly over the top mother and son who chew the scenery as they blackmail their neighbors over tea.
After making notes on the look I want to emulate, I rewatched the episode and screen-capped potentially useful images. I may have done too many. I lost my goal of having white space. I think it’s also a confidence thing. I’m trying to cram too much in. Anyway, I did okay with overlapping and some of the color-separation stuff. I’m feeling good about that. And I managed to isolate the little plant (relevant to the murder that opens the show) by whiting out the large photo of the blackmailing mother.
I’d love your comments!