I'm a freelance graphic designer, illustrator, writer and the founder of Sand Web Design. Graphic artist at News Corp. Father and husband. Pop culture addict.

Musical Influence

June 10, 2019

Dealing with major life change can be quite discombobulating when a fairly significant event sneaks right up on you. Case in point; I discovered that my position at the News Corp paper I worked for up here in the Far North, The Cairns Post, no longer needed my services. My position was made redundant by a corporate decision, and me finding myself suddenly jobless was the result.

It is a shame. I really enjoyed working at the Post, and I met some terrific people there, and I wish them all nothing but the best.

In the cold light of the new day, however, the sudden loss of income, especially for someone with a family to provide for, was a big shock. Emotions ranged from panic and anxiety to hopeless despair. It didn't take me long to come to my senses though, and I always try to find the silver lining in situations such as this.

I've been using my new-found free time to get right back into something that I love, but often neglected due to business or sheer lack of energy. I've been getting back into illustration. No brief. No client. Just a pencil, some paper and a Wacom tablet. The panic of being jobless, it seems, has lit are fire under my arse. I've produced more good, marketable art in the last week than I have in the last couple of years. The main result of this you can see below; a series of band/musician posters drawn as vintage/pulp comic book covers.

Nick Cave Muder Ballads music poster
Nick Cave's 'Murder Ballads'.

I would count each of the artists rendered in these posters as the biggest pillars of musical influence on me there is. These are musicians that changed my perception of what music and art can be. Just listening to these album compels me to get to work and create something myself, be it a sketch, a drawing or full fledged design project. These artists explore darkness and emotion in ways that make their work eternal.

I've enjoyed creating these posters so much, that I plan to expand the collection into a full series of prints, available for purchase only via my Etsy store (a link is at the bottom of the page).

David Bowie Blackstar music poster
David Bowie's final album before his death, 'Blackstar'.

The framing device for these illustrated portraits are a design reminiscent of a vintage/classic pulp comic book covers. Simple black and white line-art is created with a Photoshop brush that simulates a traditional quill pen, and a halftone pattern effect is applied to the shading layers. A final distressed/sepia texture effect is added as a final step, and the posters are complete. I think this high contrast, black and white style will print beautifully and look great on some nice stock.

Keep an eye on my Facebook (@hamishoatesart) and Instagram (@hamwize) pages for more of these posters as I create them.

NIN Nine Inch Nails Downward Spiral poster
My all time favourite album 'The Downward Spiral' by Nine Inch Nails.

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