Pretty as a Poster is a new column about art we can actually afford: posters. BYT will shine a light on a designer we enjoy and that designer will highlight someone they enjoy. Now go buy some art.
Jourdan Betette is Magickbat Designs, an artist + graphic design witch planted in DC from her native Californian homeland. Since 2012 she’s created show posters in collaboration with Sasha Lord Presents at Comet Ping Pong; Sasha is a booker and promoter with a good ear and eye, working with emerging to legendary bands in the District of Columbia. Together these women have amassed a pretty incredible collection of visual work, and highlights from their last few years are on display now at Wild Hand Workspace in POST(ER) APOCALYPSE.
Join Jourdan this Saturday, October 25th from 2PM-4PM at the Wild Hand for a free, DIY flyer-making workshop; until then, a look at her and Sasha’s work, and the process + practice behind creating visuals that both promote music and stand alone as artwork.
Ladies – walk us through the making of a Magickbat x Sasha Lord Presents flyer – how collaborative is the process? How does it start and end?
Jourdan: By the time I get to making the poster, there is already much energy behind me. I’m sure countless emails and arrangements have been made. Sasha works super hard to get these shows together. She really trusts me to make the right poster for each show. She and [her intern/assistant] Lisa [Larson] both give me some words to work with – “ethereal,” “witch psych,” or “dreamy”. It’s a very positive experience and I look forward to making each poster.
Sasha: I give Jourdan 100% artistic license on the all the imagery for the posters…sometimes I give her a color palette or direction with the colors such as “bold,” “bright,” or “shiny,” depending on how impactful I want the colors to be for the image or wording. I feel colors are almost as important an element of the posters as the image. I found a blog that had color palettes from Wes Anderson movies/particular scenes and Jourdan did a series of posters including those palettes (all posters available under Poster Art on SashaLordPresents.com, and at POST(ER) APOCALYPSE):
May 27th, 2014: The Flatmates, Foul Swoops and Expert Altercations – The Life Aquatic
May 10th, 2014: Protect U, Peaking Lights Sound System – Moonrise Kingdom
June 18th 2014: Sales and Go Cozy – The Royal Tenenbaums
October 5th, 2013: Twin Peaks, Southern Problems and Tycho Brahe – The Darjeeling Limited
Jourdan, where/how do you seek visual inspiration?
Jourdan: Everything starts with the music of the bands themselves. I give each band on the bill a heavy listen before and during poster making. I am usually mentally drafting ideas all week. I would consider this my creative form of PMA.
Posters by nature must be super high impact- they are usually tacked up among a mess of other flyers, so I have to keep that in mind. Anything that requires more than a few seconds to “get it” usually is draining on the audience. It is for me, at least. I try to make it a pleasurable experience for everyone. The art is second to who’s playing on the bill. They are the primary artists in this arrangement. People love the bands Sasha bring and I must do them the honor they deserve. From my perspective, each piece must be a one of a kind.
Sasha, can you talk about how the flyer impacts a show?
Sasha: Jourdan’s posters add a artistic element to my shows and help merge music and art into being one strong element. I feel since there are so many promoters and venues in DC, my posters help set Comet Ping Pong apart from others and people recognize the artwork as a show of mine/ Comet Ping Pong. The artistic element also adds a positive and creative vibe and energy to my shows. I feel shows at Comet Ping Pong are a happening and a event rather then just a show, and the posters help set each show apart from another and make each show a memorable moment in energy.
Jourdan! Turn us on to another poster designer – and why do you dig their work?
Jourdan: My fav poster artist is Ben Lyon. He’s a total weirdo. Low brow, retro rat fink-ish illustrations with great layouts and hilarious concepts AND he works with all my fav bands. He does mostly punk, garage and rock and roll shows. All hail, Ben Lyon!