SLIDE SHOW AND BOOK SIGNING TONIGHT - READING FRENZY PDX

Hey everyone, I'm doing a little thing at Reading Frenzy on Mississippi tonight at 7pm. The last event of my book tour. I'll be giving a slide show of things I've learned over 20 years of going from broke-ass artist to not quite as broke-ass artist.

BLACK METAL KITTEH T's ARE HERE

Hail Satan! My corpse paint Maneki-neko design is now available as a Tshirt for your summer wearing pleasure. 

from 25.00

White, red, and yellow
on a BLACK SHIRT

High quality fitted T with a 3 color design on the chest.

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INTERVIEW WITH THE WILD MAGAZINE

Dan Stiles Talks Art in the Digital Age

It’s not uncommon to see creative minds coming together to combine different forms of art. However, musicians would not be where they are today without the artists who’ve created the visual representations of their sounds. Here at the WILD, we were lucky enough to chat with graphic artist Dan Stiles, who, in addition to writing and illustrating multiple books and developing a substantial portfolio of non-music-related art, has also become known for creating tour posters for bands like Of Monsters and Men, Tame Impala, ODESZA, and more...

See the rest of the article HERE

PIMPIN' FOR WACOM

I have an ongoing relationship with the folks at Wacom. I started using a tablet about 15 years ago, and it had a  profound effect on my work. A year or two ago Wacom approached me to test and review some of their new products. Here is a short video they did of me using the Cintiq Hybrid Companion.

Deathburger Tshirts back in stock

After selling out the entire first run at SXSW I have a new box of Deathburger shirts ready for your hot sweaty summer bod. Lots of people have asked where the idea came from, and to be honest I don't remember. I've been drawing this thing in various forms in my sketchbook for months and months. I finally got it to a place where I think it works in the spring.

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NEW SITE LAUNCHES

Finally got around to getting a new site. It's bigger, brighter, and easier to find the latest posters and events I'm speaking at. Oh it also has an archive!  The Vault is the collection of posters I've designed over the years, there's even a search feature which is pretty cool.

Thanks to The Study for helping to make this happen.

Design as Art

An excerpt from my new book One Thing Leads to Another

There are two kinds of design. Design as a service and design as art. Design as a service is just like being a plumber or working any other trade. Someone calls you fix their pipes and you fix them as best you can, then you collect your money and move on. No matter how you slice it, you’re fixing pipes not building the Sistine Chapel. The client doesn’t want the Sistine Chapel; they just want their toilet to flush.

Service design is 99 percent of the paying work that’s out there. Don’t expect deep creative satisfaction from design as a service. Expect a good job and a paycheck. And be very thankful you’re in a nice soft chair pushing around 12 point Helvetica instead of out in the hot sun pushing around dirt. I’ve done that before. It sucks.

 
 

Design as art is a different beast. It’s the reason most people got into design in the first place. To make “cool” stuff. The problem is there is a rare sort of client who needs this type of work, and they come to you, you don’t go to them. You have to have a body of really great work, and then they’ll show up and say “give me a piece of that.” But you’ll never create that body of work doing service design. You need your own avenue, one where you have 100 percent control over the creative. Keep your day job, pay your bills, and make something else at night. An awesome blog, posters for your friend’s band, a screen printed ‘zine. But whatever it is, make sure people see it. Don’t make one and then put it in the closet. Get it out into the world and onto the internet. If people like it, then it will take flight. Make another one, and then another one, and another one. Work on your chops, develop your style, push your limits. Once you have 20 of something good people might start to take notice. But you might have to make 100 before you have 20 good ones.

If you want to start your own service design firm, start it at night as well. Expect to do a lot of selling. You’ll spend as much time talking to clients as you do designing, and you’ll still have to take their direction, just like you do when you work at a firm. When I started out on my own I had this notion that every single thing I was going to produce was going to be worthy of the design annuals. My first job was a brochure for a small nonprofit. I designed the hell out it. I threw in free illustrations to make it great. Slowly but surely they chipped away at it until the final result was a complete embarrassment. All I can say is that no matter where you work, if you’re doing service design your work will most likely get compromised. That is simply the nature of  the process.

If you want real satisfaction, get your own thing going that is actually your own thing. Start out for the love of it and make excellent work. The clichéd truth is that it’s a long road, but the money and clients will follow.