Archive for July, 2009

BAND BEAST Official Launch

Friday, July 24th, 2009

Ok. This is apparently the week of huge announcements for MidwestLove. I’ve been working on this particular project in various forms for over 2 years and today is the culmination of way too many hours to count. I couldn’t be prouder of the results.

BAND BEAST Official Launch

Here’s the quick explanation – Band Beast is a system built specifically for bands and musicians to be able to have a fully customized website that they can edit, modify and add content to from any online computer on their own, without needing any HTML knowledge. So, instead of relying on clunky myspace accounts laden with ads and spam messages, artists can have their own unique website with the familiar ability to add and update their own content keeping fans informed in real time. It’s nothing ground breaking, but the way we’ve structured it allows us to offer it at incredibly low prices for this sort of website development so working bands can afford it.

The “sales pitch” website probably does a better job of explaining it. Check that out here.

BAND BEAST Official Launch

Working with me in tandem on this project in the capacity of lead developer was Milwaukee based Flash programmer, Brad Manderscheid. He took care of 100% of the actual back end programming and a lot of the fine tuning of the design as well and our mutual friend Zach Nelson did most of the HTML and Javascript mark up. Here’s a look at the actual administration that bands will use to add and edit their content-

BAND BEAST Official Launch

The branding on this was super fun to do and it actually went through a few iterations before landing where we did. Brad and I initially wanted something with a rounded, bubbly, illustrated web 2.0 feel, but when implemented it didn’t seem to fit. It seemed a little too “cutesy” for bands and serious musical artists. We’re probably still pushing it as it is for those bands that take themselves too seriously. Ha… oh well.

This little Beast guy did come out of it though, and he’ll probably be making random appearances as I’d hate to see him go unused and unloved.

BAND BEAST Official Launch

I’m super excited to finally see this get off the ground and I really hope that this will allow us the opportunity to help out bands who wouldn’t usually be able to afford this type of service. Check out the website and let me know what you think.

-marky

PARAMORE – Hot Topic Shirt

Thursday, July 23rd, 2009

PARAMORE - Apparel Design

My good friends Nabeel and Stephanie saw this at a Hot Topic and sent me a picture. Rad!

-marky

MIDWESTLOVE PRINTS NOW FOR SALE!

Tuesday, July 21st, 2009

Big Announcement Time!

www.MidwestLove.Etsy.com

MIDWESTLOVE STORE LAUNCH!

Today marks the official launch of the MidwestLove Etsy store where you can purchase beautiful silk screen prints of my some of my artwork. Now, this store is just in it’s infancy, currently offering only three prints, but the plan is to try and add a new print every month or so. I may also be offering other items in the future, but for now I’m focusing primarily on silk screen posters. Needless to say, I’m incredibly excited to finally be able to offer some of my work to the general public.

The prints that are currently available are the Cursive @ DeKalb, IL poster, the Byronfest 09 poster, and a very, very small number of the remaining Alkaline Trio/The Felix Culpa @ Poplar Grove posters. But fear not, there are more coming, including the Hey Mercedes Reunion Show poster, the David Bazan @ The House Cafe poster that was done back in December as well as some plans for a really cool Venna print and some other huge stuff.

MIDWESTLOVE STORE LAUNCH!

All of the prints are 19×12.5″, printed to frame on heavy stock French paper and all are in VERY limited quantities. Once they are gone, they are gone. They were all lovingly screened by hand by the fine fellows at Orchard Street Press in Milwaukee with all environmentally friendly inks and materials, so it’s all homegrown stuff. Feel free to use this as an excuse to spruce up your living room, college dormer, submarine quarters or whatever. And please let any of your friends who would be interested in this kind of stuff know about it.

Thanks so much for your support and enthusiasm for this latest endeavor. It totally means the world (and rent/grocery money) to us!

-marky

HEY MERCEDES – Event Poster

Friday, July 17th, 2009

 HEY MERCEDES - Event Poster

Ah, Hey Mercedes. I once saw these guys open up for Jimmy Eat World at the Metro on one of my first dates ever with the girl I ended up marrying. Now we drive our kids around in their old tour van. Weird how life works.

This was an awesome opportunity to do a poster for the Hey Mercedes reunion shows at the Double Door in Chicago, which is coincidentally celebrating it’s 15th anniversary this year. Needless to say, I was more than excited about the opportunity to design for these guys and especially for such a cool show. They were musical heroes of mine (seems like I’ve been saying that of the artists I work with a lot lately, but it’s really true). I saw them play at every venue from Chicago to Milwaukee and even at a little college in Rockford, IL during the years of their existence. At a point in 2002, they were my most frequented show experience. I can’t help but remember the first time I heard the song Bells, still lamenting the loss of Braid, but then realizing that things were gonna be just fine.

I’ve since got to know lead singer/songwriter Bob Nanna and wound up playing guitar in his post-Hey Mercedes project The City On Film for a stint. He’s an incredibly prolific songwriter and knows more about good music than I ever will. He now works as a full time shirt model for Threadless.

This is (hopefully) going to get a 3 color silk screen print on French Steel Blue paper. I’m still working out the details with the promoter, but the design is set in stone anyway. I love this turtle… he was so much fun to draw. I might bring him back for more stuff. Let me know what you guys think.

-marky

KID, YOU’LL MOVE MOUNTAINS – Tshirt Illustration

Wednesday, July 15th, 2009

KID, YOU’LL MOVE MOUNTAINS - Tshirt Illustration

Super fun t-shirt illustration for Kid, You’ll Move Mountains based on my wife’s recent, awesome thrift store find. This idea was initially pitched to Butch Walker, but ultimately rejected. Kid was cool enough to find some merit in it enough to want to buy it as their own. They requested the first few lines of the immortal Moby Dick to be what appears on the floating page as a tie in to their recent full length, Loomings, which shares it’s title with the first chapter of the big whale book.

KID, YOU’LL MOVE MOUNTAINS - Tshirt Illustration

This was initially designed as a three color with some nice cream and yellow offsetting the blues, but Kid requested we take it down to a single color as they’re planning on screening them all themselves and one color is much easier to wrangle.

Let me know what you guys think. Also, keep your ears to the ground, as there is some big news coming up. What’s that? A MidwestLove store that sells limited edition prints, perchance…? We shall see.

-marky

Wish List…

Monday, July 13th, 2009

I saw these a while ago in a great article on some of last year’s best typefaces and figured I’d share them just in case anyone was perusing my blog with credit card in hand, wondering what to get me for Christmas.

Estilo, Scout, Spills, Historical Pens

I’m a fairly large geek. The article is old news, but still worth a read if you’re into awesome typefaces.

-marky

PARAMORE – Apparel Design

Thursday, July 9th, 2009

 PARAMORE - Apparel Design

One more for Paramore… This one will be sold internationally. He’s called Mr. Banjo. Let me know if you see any of these being sold anywhere.

-marky