Monday, October 22, 2012

David Moreira Talks About the Art of SkatRadioh

Poster art has been part of our culture for more than a century, but in recent years it has come into its own as an art form worthy of museums. This past year the Tweed Museum at UMD hosted a traveling art exhibition of psychedelic poster art. And earlier this summer the Duluth Art Institute presented the poster art of David Moreira, better known in local Duluth circles as SkatRadioh.

EN: How did you first become interested in art? 
DM: I had grown up learning a variety of arts and crafts from my mother and seeing my father's work as an architect. Those two factors really developed my initial reasoning and understanding as a visual person.

EN: You've established quite a reputation and history in poster making. How did that come about?
DM: Printing posters has been something that I enjoy doing as part of my contribution to the music culture of Duluth for the last couple of years. The greater community of rock poster art found on GigPosters.com was very inspiring for me. It started for me with poster art for basement punk shows while I was in college. More venues and clients or bands have asked me for help in making some artwork for their cause since then. It's continuously been a way to memorialize an event and have a physically tangible artifact to supplement a greater experience for everyone. More recently, doing the Duluth Homegrown Music Festival poster was a big honor for me.

EN: What medium(s) do you work in? What is the process in making poster art?
DM: I focus on producing artwork to be screenprinted, especially my poster designs. Sometimes I'll do pencil and ink drawing, but more often than not I primarily work in a digital environment. I use a tablet to illustrate directly on the computer. I start most of my drawings with just black line art and try to incorporate hand drawn typography into them somehow. Then I'll add layers of color that I considered as I was drawing the line art. Screenprinting my own art and designs let's me play with the layers of color and how they overlap one another to make secondary colors.

EN: What other kinds of art do you explore?
DM: My main practice is printmaking and I've been thinking about a lot of concepts and means of production. Food is a really exciting thing and I enjoy detailed illustrations of food. Really disgustingly detailed. My burger art has been printed on shirts, jackets, magnets, and stickers. I'm looking to expand my menu soon. I've been interested in science fiction adventures involving dinosaurs and humans and illustrating some kind of loose graphic narrative. Otherwise, I've recently been making prints of art spaces and galleries to explore my relationship to them as an artist.

EN: Do you make your entire living doing posters and art? How do you balance work and art?
DM: Some days I feel like it, others not so much. I do have a part time job, but also maintain my own studio with some of the work I cut out for myself when I want to. Part of the reason I have a studio is that one of my biggest clients, Chaperone Records, helped me get a space in order to have an in-house print shop. So a good chunk of my work is doing print production of all their vinyl release record jackets, posters and some art and design. I'll do my own art when I have free time or want to show people something I think is awesome.

EN: What's the biggest thing that keeps you awake at night?
DM: Life.

EN: How do you come up with ideas? Where is your reservoir for new material?
DM: I think most of my illustrations are directly representational. Otherwise I just play with things I've kind of obsessed over or want people to think about a bit more. It's all over the place and I like to be surprised with the feedback or response.

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