10 for 10: Denton Made Show Posters
Your gig is booked. The mixer is scheduled. Now what is the plan for marketing your event? A flyer with visual flair goes a long way in attracting a crowd. A talented designer should be trusted to help get the word out about that mind-blowing show you're planning. Here are 10 local artists who are the go-to designers for poster art.
If you’re remotely familiar with the Denton metal scene, you’ve likely seen Cameron Hinojosa’s work. In addition to performing as guitarist and vocalist for Orcanaut, he designs all of the posters as well as the album artwork on their debut LP, Voyager. Cameron is a full-time graphic designer now, but he started out by simply doodling. As early as the second grade he drew on every blank surface he could find. Sufficiently hooked, he enrolled in as many art classes throughout school as he could and eventually he made it official by obtaining a degree from UNT with a focus on watercolor.
For Hinojosa, the connection between art and music has always been a natural one. “I’ve always gotten into music or other bands because they have really cool album art or a really cool t-shirt… I’ll buy it, listen to it and end up really liking it. Art has always turned me on to different kinds of music and vice versa.” he says.
He found his way into poster design when he started hosting shows at Mooney Manor, a prominent but now-defunct house show venue known for hosting bands like Heavy Baby Sea Slugs, Vicious Furs and Eerily Similar Beings. Creating posters for these shows gave him the opportunity to develop his distinct style and gain exposure to an audience that has increasingly appreciated his work. For Hinojosa, that has afforded him the opportunity to make a living pursuing two lifelong passions. “I’m trying to combine art and music into one thing because I’ve always wanted to be in a band professionally and be a professional artist. So I’m trying to mesh them together and make a living that way and... it’s working.” - Emily Cline
Michael Harper was the guy in class always drawing in his notebook when he should have been paying attention to the teacher (that seems to be a common thread among most of these featured designers). It's a habit that continues to this day, and Harper has built a professional career in graphic design for the past 8 years. Harper takes inspiration from various activities. "I am passionate about creating. Whether that is creating a poster or a logo or a staircase, I want to do it, I want to try it. If I knew where I could take up glassblowing I'd be there tomorrow," Harper says.
In college, Harper studied sculpture and pottery. In graphic design he found something he could make a career out of while also doing something that he loved. Harper says, "One of the main reasons why I got into graphic design was because you take your skill and use it to help someone convey their message to the world. There are a lot of people out there and a lot of messages. Every project is a new challenge and a new chance to create something that wasn't there before."
Harper is a designer who truly loves the process of creating. By continuing to work through projects, he is flooded with new ideas to try out for future designs. Despite the bountiful amount of ideas he has in his head, when it comes to his work he tries to eliminate any unnecessary elements. Leave behind what is vital and what remains should be a cool looking image that capably conveys the desired message. While Harper's website is under construction he can be contacted via email at email@example.com - Mateo Granados
Claire Morales is one of the hardest working musicians in Denton and is as loved for her sweet and easygoing personality as she is for her powerful voice. When she’s not playing music or cooking vegetarian fare she supports herself doing graphic design. It was a natural fit for Morales - performing as a singer-songwriter since age 13 - although not without it’s sacrifices. Morales had to put her music on hold while she obtained her degree in Communication Design at UNT. She admits that it was a very stressful time, “It was very intense and competitive and a lot of … ‘I hope they don’t kick me out this year.’ … I didn’t do much music for about three or four years.”
Ultimately, however, it’s given her the flexibility to pursue music full-time so it ended up working out well for the girl who started out commissioning her art and making friends by offering to draw pictures for the popular kids. She says that design is less about being inspired than it is about doing research and giving the client what they want.
She draws inspiration from other designers such as graphic designer Marian Bantjes. Of Bantjes work, she says, “[Bantjes does these] letters but they’re like forms. They’re really pretty and they look just like crazy line work and then you sink into it and read it and it just demands a lot of attention to really see what’s there. I love art like that, that really makes you stop and get to know it. I think with show posters you really have a luxury that you can really like do that kind of thing...It’s a real chance to connect with people in a way that you can see.” -EC
Katie Montgomery is an image wizard and budding entrepreneur who started up 1124 clothing company and works as a freelance web designer. On top of that, she's taken thousands of lifestyle photos in Denton and frequently creates india ink paintings that often become one of her shirt designs. "All of my passions keep me constantly creating and drive me to grow in both art and life. I mean, if I want to do all these things, I've got to keep up the hustle to achieve my goals," she says.
She got into poster art when her behance portfolio was spotted by Adobe Students and they asked her to create a poster for J. Cole's Forest Hill Drive Tour. The poster is indicative of Montgomery's personal style, and she received feedback that it was one of the most unique entries they received for that tour.
Montgomery is inspired by Peter Deltondo, a UI/UX designer who launched Design vs. Cancer. His charitable work inspires Montgomery to also use her work to help people out. In the near future she plans to launch a non-profit organization. -MG
You’ve probably seen Matthew Sallack’s work if you’ve wandered into The Bearded Monk on McKinney St. or if you subscribe to the Denton Community Market’s events. Sallack’s bright, fun and colorful work is effective at drawing attention and evoking a lighthearted feeling that perfectly suits the events he’s channeling. Sallack began drawing at a very young age and has learned a wide variety of art forms over the course of his formal education, which culminated in a Masters Degree in Fine Art from The Academy of Art University in San Francisco.
Sallack is heavily involved in the Denton Community Market, volunteering 10 to 15 hours a week, serving on their board of directors and creating the art for events like Backyard Market at Eastside Drafthouse and the Sunday Funday Market at Mulberry Street Cantina.
While Sallack donates some of his time, he has also been working full-time as an illustrator for the last two years. He says, “It’s kind of funny when I’m writing puns… so something like Let’s Give Em Something to Taco Bout and... it’s a taco and it’s like when someone buys that card, they’re giving me money for a taco card which I then will use to go buy dinner which is often tacos. It’s like I’m drawing tacos and somehow that turns into an actual taco It’s kind of like magic, I guess, in that way.” -EC
More than a few artists begin their sketching career in the back of a classroom drawing 'nerd stuff' such as video game and anime characters. Kevin Edger is one such artist who also liked to play around with designing text just for the fun of it. For a while Edger was something of a nomad artist. He learned the basics of design while bouncing between New Media and Communication Design majors at UNT. He didn't finish school, but he developed art for some indie video games. Then he took up an internship at Swash Labs that led him down the path of making designs and managing media for advertising clients. Now he primarily works as a freelancer.
Edger's continues to be a video gamer. He credits his gaming interests as a child for laying the foundation of his art skills. "I still remember copying characters I liked out of video game instruction manuals as a kid. I spent a lot of time just so into that stuff, especially drawing my own ideas. I feel like all that crazy 16-bit style just lives right in my brain sometimes," Edger says. Now Edger has been taking jobs as a designer for the past 7 years. -MG
Tony Ferraro is another familiar name around the Denton music scene and similarly got his start in art young. “I started with crayons, probably something safer earlier on. We’re talking paper, we’re talking walls, tabletops, chairs”, he says. He graduated to making posters with his friends for his various musical efforts starting in middle school and continues in that vein to this day. Unlike some of the other graphic designers, Ferraro has taken a more DIY approach to his art education. “I do not hold any legitimate degree for graphic design or any real artform,” he says.
The impression one gets from Ferraro’s art is much like one gets from the man himself: Funny, playful, charming and tinged with just a bit of sarcasm. He’s nearly as prolific graphically as he is musically, regularly producing show posters and album art for himself and other local artists. He appreciates the ability that a well-designed poster can have on show, grabbing people’s attention and perhaps turning out those that might otherwise have not shown up. If you’d like to check out his work further, his t-shirt designs are featured on Shirtalog and his tumblr is regularly updated with his graphic endeavors. -EC
Unlike most of the previous names, Matt Burgess hasn't had any formal training in design. Burgess says, "I've always been interested in drawing or creating because it's a distraction from everything else, like work or alimony payments. Most of my school career I spent drawing or writing music. That probably put me behind 2 years in college , but it's not like a degree in sociology is going to get you anywhere cool."
Burgess surrounds himself with creativity. He's currently in five bands (one of which is a cover band of his band, Eat Avery's Bones). He started creating poster art after getting tired of playing shows with an unsatisfactory poster. Burgess says, "I don't need to see a jpeg of NSync with a pentagram on their foreheads, and the band names scribbled randomly throughout. I just thought anything else could be better , so why not do it on my own?"
For Burgess art is about having fun. If he wasn't having fun writing music or drawing then he would just quit. He doesn't try too hard to come up with a complex concept for his designs. " I just let it happen. If I want to draw a banana smoking a pipe on a rainbow, that's what's gonna happen," Burgess says. Free from the constraint of trying to aspire to an elite vision, his artwork displays his reckless but admirable ability to draw whatever the fuck he wants. -MG
Musicians and event planners have to make sure they're putting out the best marketing content, but so do local filmmakers. Local student, Holden Foster, has been the go-to designer for local short films, particularly of those produced by the Short Film Club. Foster's education in the arts started as a child when he received tutelage from a sweet woman who took care of 2 baby goats and filled every space of her house (with exception to the living room) with art. Foster then took up interests in Band, Newspaper, and Multimedia in addition to drawing classes. "I felt like art was better understood through multiple mediums so I pursued anything under the sun that gratified that feeling. During my senior year I interned with a friend's design group based in Arlington and we worked for small businesses around the area. I didn't get to produce a whole lot of work while I was there but I was deeply inspired by my coworkers and they motivated me to take my work much more seriously."
Foster first began designing posters for his own films. At times he'd be more proud of his poster then his own film. Then in 2014, he joined the Short Film Club and things began to snowball. The current SFC logo is his work, and Dentonite readers have seen his work if they checked out the album review of Noah Legrand's You Sound So Gross Right Now.
Foster's sense for visual flair is supported by his deep appreciation for photography as seen on his instagram. "Not a minute goes by when I don't look at a setting as though I'm looking through a camera lens and I love carrying my camera around when I go out and about." -MG
"I am my work. I am my life's work. I'll never quit doing this." says Cameron Cox. Truly Cox immerses herself within a blanket of art as if in a constant state of free-falling/floating through her personal expression. This artist grew up in a creative household in rural Alaska before arriving in North Texas. Cox was drawing with crayons before she knew how how to walk. She came to Denton with a BFA she earned from Murry State of Kentucky.
In describing her experience moving away from home she says, "I was fortunate enough to have been inserted into several art collectives very early upon my arrival -thus growing closer to other artists, musicians, etc and in the process creating these symbiotic relationships with other artists."
Her works in progress can be viewed on instagram @camcocasati. Be warned that some of her images are not safe for work.