Plus One Live II poster for Kevin Smith

Here is my second poster for that film juggernaut, Kevin Smith. Him and his wife Jen Schwalbach are coming for you London. Plus One Live II on February 16, get those tickets!

This poster was 100% official right from the start and I worked with the big man himself on it. Kevin and the troupe really liked the style of my previous Jay and Silent Bob Get Old Canadian Tour poster and they immediately got me on this new one. Things moved real fast last week, talking with wonderful people on a really fun project. Just how I like it.

You know how I’m always preaching about personal projects, and chasing what you truly want to do? Well, I created the Canadian tour poster on my own time and posted it to see what would happen. Next thing I know it’s being used by Kevin, and he contacts me to create this new one. Working with a guy who I’ve been a fan of for well over a decade. And lets just say, this isn’t the end …

Hard evidence, man. Build your own reality. Take no prisoners.

FITC Toronto 2012: Creative

Things are moving pretty fast around the Signalnoise Studio these days. I’m proud to be able to show the creative I put together for my friends over at FITC for the Toronto 2012 event happening this coming April. I worked with Shawn Pucknell, the director of FITC on this one, where his biggest feedback was always “Make it epic!” Great guy. So out came the lasers.

The team just launched FITC Toronto 2012 over on their website, and I’m proud to be speaking for a 3rd year in a row. Go check out the amazing roster. Be there, Toronto!

80′s Skateboard Art: Vision

I’ve never spent too much time on a skateboard, aside from a few brief stints in the late 80s (all of which ended in complete and total failure). Geography certainly played a role, as Western New York has never been confused with Southern California as a skateboarding hotbed, but at it’s peak in the 80′s almost every kid in my neighborhood owned a skateboard. I was a year or two behind the curve when it came to the “scene”, but the older kids relentlessly rocked those neon-colored boards up and down my street all summer long.

Recently, I watched Stoked: The Rise and Fall of Gator, a documentary about the roller coaster life of former Vision frontman Mark “Gator” Rogowski. His Vision Gator series was everywhere when I was a kid and almost everyone I knew had one of his signature boards with that distinct spiral pattern on it. It’s amazing how someone can go from so high to so low in such a dramatic fashion, definitely worth watching if you’re at all interested in 80′s subculture.

Watching ‘Stoked’ got me reminiscing about those old board designs and I began scanning the web for imagery from back then, especially the Vision gear which I remember most clearly. Ads, decks, etc., there was just so much that it actually defined skateboarding for a short period.

As Vision grew, they branched out into other sports and started an infamous street wear clothing line. Predictably, once the company became too mainstream and commercialized, the skateboard subculture rejected it. The backlash was quick and lethal to the Vision brand. Some kids were turned off by the corporate image and stopped skating altogether, others went underground, those who still wore Vision gear were simply cast off as sell-outs. Vision became a parody of itself.

It’s a cautionary tale for independent brands whose audience has a distinct counterculture base: don’t alienate your core audience, don’t betray their loyalty and devotion, don’t forget your roots. It seems like simple formula, but the corporate landscape is littered with these kinds of examples.

Vision still exists to this day, but as a mere ghost of its former identity. Just like the once great “Gator” himself, Vision’s heydays have passed them by, the height of their success forever shackled to the decade that originally made them.

Images via Skately.com

Prince

At the last minute I was offered a ticket to see Prince perform live in Halifax. Most of my friends were already going and I was on the fence long enough to assume I wouldn’t be going. Really happy that wasn’t the case. I’m familiar with some of Prince’s material, but not nearly enough as I should be. I do like how Prince goes about his work very differently then other musicians, really cares about his craft and it shows. And for what it’s worth, I always liked that symbol of his … great ideas wrapped in there.

His show last night was one of the best I’d ever seen. He makes the standard stage/audience set-up look really lazy. He and his performers danced around his giant logo, lights galore. Amazing spectacle to see. I snapped the photo seen above during the show (which I wasn’t allowed to do), a fluke moment that captured some beautiful colours right when that orange spotlight hit me. Liked it so much, I aped the colours to make a Prince design, seen above.

If you have the chance to see him live, highly recommend it.