Sitting in my living room in the spring of 2013, I was sketching ideas for what would be my first gig poster for Melvins. Nearby, a 24x36" framed print of Ken Taylor's Gremlins poster was looming over me, staring down and reminding me how much I wished I had an Australian accent... or was at least half as talented of an illustrator as Ken.
At the start of a project, as I scrawl out crude thumbnails, there are always a few clever concepts that don't meet the criteria for an Anonymous Ink & Idea poster. Swapping the word "Gremlins" for "Melvins" was among these initial ideas. Beyond the similar assonance and consonance of these two words, I liked the idea of Melvins' fans being portrayed as an audience of tiny, destructive monsters. Or perhaps the band members themselves as strange creatures, that if fed after midnight, might turn into unruly troublemakers.
The idea seemed fun, clever and appropriate given other artists well established trend of using pop culture references in an unexpected or twisted manner. Yet, at the time, I wasn't at all comfortable with Anonymous Ink & Idea having a sense of humor. I wanted Anonymous to be the gloomy introspective side of my artistic personality and nothing else.
I won't go into detail about what transpired in my personal life between 2013 and 2015, but I will say that I've become much more comfortable with allowing other parts of my personality to be associated with my pseudonym. So... as I approached my third Melvin's poster, I decided to resurrect my Gremlins idea, and do my best to make it feel like it belonged in the Anonymous repertoire. My hope is that the concept resonates with both Melvins fans and with Anonymous Ink & Idea followers.
Sharing my process (flaws and all) has been a liberating experience for me as an artist and I look forward to doing more of it. If you enjoyed this peak behind the proverbial curtain, leave me a comment and/or follow me on Instagram @richknepprath.
Process summary: This poster had a very tight deadline and I had already made up my mind that I would stipple the entire peice, so I decided to keep the size of the original around 8x10" to save time . This meant that the final dot sizes would be significantly larger on the final poster, but after a quick sanity test, I felt they looked okay. I was able to complete the entire illustration in five days from start to finish... leaving me one day to scan, color and prepare files for the printer. From the start, I knew I wanted to utilize a minimal color palette, something that would distinguish this print from all other Gremlins related artwork and keep it wholly, a Melvins gig poster. So I opted for a predominantly greyscale look, with spot colors for the 3D glasses. The false margin technique (of the ears and hand extending past the margin) is something that I've been doing for over a decade now, and feels nice in this piece. A big thanks to Lady Lazarus printing in Houston, TX for a masterful job on this print.