Anatomy of a Coachella Poster!

I was asked by the fine folks at Coachella to produce an exclusive print for the even this weekend! Here’s how I did it!

Outside of the direction to draw- ‘no skulls, no drugs, no alcohol’ and to ‘maybe make it look like the mountains you see when you go to Coachella’ it was pretty wide open, which suited me fine! 

I went through older Coachella posters I saw on line, and made sure I wasn’t going to accidentally do an idea that had come before, and then I got to work!

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1- I did this little BW doodle at about 4″x6″ and sent it over to Jon Halperin, and he approved it without any problems! Awesome.

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2- Started Drawing on an 18×24 sheet of Bristol Board in pencil, ink and brush. I really like this part, because outside of that rough doodle, I really have NO idea where this is going. The cats and laundry and Chinese lanterns are just stuff that popped into my head. The book next to the panda is titled ‘Guitar for Pandas’ because…you know. Pandas.

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3- Drawing is now done! Scan that sucker in!

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4- I started laying out the colors for this thing- I went back and forth a few times, but I finally settled on something that I felt was fun and different color-wise than what I’d normally do.  This one ended up being a 6 color print, I normally try to stay around 4-6 colors for budgetary reasons, but I also like the challenge of doing the most I can with overlays and other tricks to make a lush print with just a few screens!

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5- All done with the coloring in photoshop! You’ll see from the printing, that the actual colors came out more vibrant than they did on screen. Sometimes you just have to take that leap- inks don’t mix like they do on screen all the time, which is part of the thrill for me, but can really frustrate artists who don’t actually get their hands dirty in the printing process!  (Please note- some of the colors look more deep here than I want on the final print- but this IS a photo of a screen…)

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6- The physical printing is underway! You can see here that on the right, we’ve printed the split fountain (color blend) in the sky, and the red. And on the left, you’ll see a really nice transparent blue being thrown down on top of that, which made the ground purple, and the leaves green/blueish!  I was REALLY happy with this.

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7- This is the finished actual print!

Only 100 of these were printed for sale at the festival this weekend, and only 50 are available each weekend.

This was a lot of fun, and I’m super-happy to have been a part of it!

-tim doyle