Arts » Visual Arts

(Poster) Artist Profile: David Woodruff

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David Woodruff, in his own words
Age: 25
Day job: veterinary receptionist, video store clerk
Home life: Bloomington resident
Other work: print work for In Case of Emergency Press, musician in The Delicious, Sleeping Bag, Smedley Jergins
Further info: davidjwoodruff.com

Poster-making is the sole reason I've had any design experience.

I started playing in rock bands in high school, and half the fun was (and continues to be) making the artwork. The stuff — posters, album art, t-shirt. I want to say constructing an image, but that sounds pretty contrived! My design work was spurred by my music connections.

And until recently, my music community was my only source of design work.

There's certainly a community for poster makers, just look at gigposters.com. Bands and collectors love screen-printed posters: the scale, the tactile quality of the inks, the fancy paper. As a genre it's respected, but locally, poster printing is not financially sustainable.

That's what I lament. Most folks aren't willing to pay for nice posters. There's only one promoter in Bloomington who regularly commissions screened posters. And even then we're working minimum wage for a specialized craft. Ultimately, artful posters are labors of love!

I try to make things with an absurdist bent, that have some kind of contrasting quirk. I like hand-drawn elements mixed with photographic stuff. I have a tendency to make very flat drawings, so lately I try to have some dimension or perspective trickery.

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Case study: Joyful Noise Recordings showcase

With the recent JNR show poster, I really just wanted to make some huge doodles. The new Abner Trio album cover is an abstract painting, so I thought some formalist shape-play was in order. I really like line work, and screen-printing is an awesome medium for it. Plus, I figured for that number of excellent, big-name bands, the image was kind of arbitrary!

Occasionally I try to be clever or tailor the image to the bands on the bill; I included a hermit crab checking out some shells on a poster for the band Real Estate. I think of Lightning Bolt's intense noise music as the aural equivalent of fractal imagery, so I made a pattern out of Romanesco broccoli for that poster. Otherwise, I try to make things that suit my taste.

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