[This Article Was Cross-Posted From The Good Folks At WeShotJr.com!]

Tyler Stout is a graphic artist based in Oregon. He’s created gig posters for bands including Flights of the Conchords, Blackalicious, and The Books. He recently sat down with WeShotJr for some bone-crushing art opinions.

Richardson Heights: What’s it like doing posters for bands you might not exactly be a big fan of?

Tyler Stout: it’s not a huge problem for me, i’m a freelance illustrator that does stuff for lots of things that i’m not personally into, so most projects i just approach like that, try to make the client happy. i usually look up their previous material, albums, website etc, if i’m not familiar with their work, and try to get a feel for their style and how they want to present themselves. then i go from there. while at the same time trying to do something that is fun for me stylistically and whatnot. i’m not a big fan of being art directed into the ground, those projects always turn out much weaker than ones where you’re given some creative freedom. but the best bands to work for are the ones that trust you to do something cool on your own.

RH: How did your style evolve? It’s very realistic but completely graphic at the same time.

TS: i suppose it just evolved through my changing likes and dislikes, influences and interests etc. i used to be much more into graffiti and my work had more elements influenced by that style. now that i’m less interested in that, my work tends towards things that i am interested in. as for why i draw the way i draw, i have no idea. feedback and people’s response, mixed with what i personally preferred doing probably had a hand in shaping where my style is at this moment in time.

RH: When did you know it was time to go full on into art, and take that jump to self-employment?

TS: i probably knew when i was getting enough freelance work that it was keeping me from doing my day job adequately. when i had enough work booked 4 or 5 months in advance that i felt like at the very least, i was just taking a 4-5 month break from my day job. i wasn’t a huge fan of waking up early and being to work at 8:30 every day, plus the 45 minute commute was killing me, so i eventually just figured i’d try it out. worse comes to worse, i’ll just start applying for jobs.

RH: You’ve recently had a studio built – what is it like? Basically, I’d like to know if you put anything in there that’s MTV cribs-worthy.

TS: ha. well no, its just my garage that i converted into a studio. its nice because i have kids and my wife works from home as well, and this way i can have my own space while i work, instead of being interrupted. i’m easily distracted, so people coming and going makes it easy for me to not work. now that i can shut myself into a space, its easier to concentrate. as for what my studio has, not much, a couch and my xbox, bookshelves, all my posters/flatfiles/shipping material. and a computer. easy enough.

RH: What is the process required for a band to get a poster out of you?

TS: well, they usually have to contact me, if i’m doing the poster through the band and not through the promoter or the venue. and if i have a hole in my schedule, i’ll check out the bands stuff and see if i’m into it. if i am and have time, then i’ll do something. its a pretty big investment of time on my part, so i have to make sure i’ll have time to do it, if i can’t and flake out, then the band is stuck without a poster for a show. if i can do it, i see what their budget is, both for getting the poster screenprinted and if they have any sort of design budget. its a bit of a checklist i guess, availability, budget, deadline, interest etc. my main thing isn’t music posters, its just kinda a hobby since i have bills to pay and music posters don’t pay super well. so if it seems like fun i’ll probably do it.

RH: Can you talk about any particularly interesting/exciting work you have lined up for 2009?

TS: hmm…not really? i don’t plan that far in advance. i have some snowboard stuff which is pretty reliable, some new prints for the alamo drafthouse theatre in austin. i might try to put together a book or something. really hard to say since i don’t want to jinx it and have everyone be like ‘what happened?’ i guess we’ll see, here’s hoping 2009 is a good year.

A lot of Mr. Stout’s work can be found at tstout.com. His most recent limited edition poster and t-shirt are being released this week by Austin’s own Nakatomi Inc. Image courtesy of Tyler Stout.

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