The New Mastersounds are one of the most dynamic touring acts in funk music today. Their music calls to mind the bygone era of the late 60’s and 70’s when funk was pure & raw driven emotion. Live or on stage, The New Mastersounds easily captures a time of splendor, when acts like The Meters and James Brown first shook the stage.
When this event was confirmed for Blue 5 Restaurant in Roanoke, VA, I decided to thumb through the stack of old National Geographic magazines I have in my library, seeking vintage inspiration for the promotional poster. The ads from that time period – even those in black and white – were so vibrant and loud with texture and eye candy. I was in heaven.
After drafting some rough sketches, what began to emerge was a kind of Pam Grier, Super Fly, Spy Movie poster vibe, which I relish. Instead of redrafting finals and scanning the hard copies, I created this piece entirely in Adobe Illustrator utilizing my Wacom Bamboo Graphics Pen Tablet. This was my first official venture with the tablet and I was excited to see how the product would ultimately turn out.
The final result hit the mark with the band as well as the fans. The original pressing of the promotional poster billed Salvador Santana as the opening act. However, Santana’s last minute schedule change put up and coming Chicago power funk act Lubriphonic on the bill instead, the result of which left us with an abundance of spoilage from the initial run. So, as an incentive perk to the ticket buyer, we handed out signed copies of the print at the door.
This show poster harkens to the glorious, now legendary time when I was booking live shows in Blacksburg and Roanoke, VA. Ooah of the Glitch Mob was the semester wrap party and I created this poster to commemorate our final show of the semester.
The artwork itself was crafted in essentially three parts. I drafted the foreground in pen and ink and added color via premium Prisma-tone markers. These are amazing markers that allow one to blend various shades to get a smooth color transition. The mushroom huts were inspired by Roger Dean’s album cover work in the early seventies. I grew up staring long hours at his album cover work for the band Yes.
Once I completed the foreground, I found a suitable sky/cloud photo from a stock photo site and tweaked out the colors. I was looking for something dreary with thick stratocumulus cloud cover. I placed the background graphic and then pen tooled the flying, black, gargoyle-looking arial crafts coming through the clouds. The overall feel I was going for was one of impending doom, for the sole purpose that Ooah was our last show and ultimately one of the last ever events at the Lantern before it closed for good.
The show raged epic that night. DJ RahBee and Savoy crushed the opening slots. One for the books. Ooah really enjoyed the artwork and I had him sign several copies for the archive.
This piece was created as 6 different inked and scanned images. At that time, I was heavily utilizing the Prisma-tone marker collection because I love the vibrance of the colors and these particular markers allow you to blend tones so it has a buttery transition on heavy stock. I did little to boost the colors in Photoshop. Each Klown is based on a different member of the band with the tour manager piloting the lofty hot rod.
The band loved the graphic due to being fans of the movie. We had to publish 2 runs of the poster because people kept taking them off the bulletin boards around Virginia Tech campus – though pesky, it’s one of the truest compliments I suppose.
Title: Funk Invincible
Medium: Acrylic / Mixed
Completed August 2007
Dreamin’ on in the Temple of the Chameleon
Album Art for Electric Chameleon’s Debut album
12×12 Inch Acrylic – Completed September 2008
“Down the Winding Road the Booty Bumps”
The moment I heard the band name I knew I wanted to work with these guys. Coming straight from Asheville, NC, them cats bring the stank funk. Big horns, in the pocket grooves, fur, fuzzy dice and plenty of booty shake – that’s a Booty Band party.
Our paths first crossed at Camp Barefoot 2, in Gore VA back in 2007. I bum rushed the green room next to the main stage during their performance. I was carrying a stack of prints in a tube on my back donning a furry leopard beret Zicka-Funk style. After a brief conversation over some incense, J.P. Miller bought a print and commissioned me to create the show poster you see here.
This was created at size, 12×18, on heavy weight stock with acrylic and pen and ink. The inspiration came via the band’s mascot, a faceless afro-haired femme, well endowed with serious hiney. I coined the phrase, “Down the winding road the booty bumps” with the band in mind riding down the road in their tour van and then applied it to Yo Mama, changed the street into a golden brick road and called in a funky caterpillar to the foreground.
The painting debuted to the public at the farewell Thanksgathering held at the legendary Ziggy’s in Winston-Salem, NC in 2007. I had framed up the original painting and placed it on display behind the band’s merch booth where it caught the attention of Ziggy’s co-owner Bernard. He offered me a handsome ransom for the artwork and I packed it in paper wrap at the end of the night and said good by.