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  • Writer's pictureElijah Felix

The Vine Showroom: Gig Posters

After working at the casino for a few months, I was approached with the idea of doing a gig poster by one of my bosses. I mentioned that I do graphic design and illustration and it lead us to have a discussion about doing the poster for one of our upcoming shows, specifically one of my favorite artists, Ludacris. This took me back because I’ve been making designs seriously for about three years to that point. Prior to my job as a marketing coordinator, I worked at the college I graduated from where I was a communications coordinator, it wasn’t until I got that job did I really utilized my skills in a way that I would get paid for it. Sure, I’ve done some album art covers and flyers for people but it wasn’t consistent and to the degree in which it was on the list of job responsibilities. Needless to say, I wasn’t that confident in what I made but luckily I kept designing, and allowed me to get the chance to make a design for a Ludacris show.

Below are a few of the drafts that I came up with, being that this is my first commission from a large business, I didn’t know how exactly to maneuver my way through it.

What exactly were they looking for? What colors did they want me to use? How many drafts do I have to make? I had so many questions and interestingly enough, they just wanted to make it however many I wanted to and design it how I would want it to be. I was slightly confused as in everything I’ve read for freelance artists they always talk about how they have lists of what to do and what not to do and rigorous hoops to jump through. I had the freedom to just make some of the designs how I wanted, of course, they had things they wanted to tweak and things they want to be changed, etc. but I had more free range than a constraint to do what I wanted to do. I believe it’s because of this I have even more want to express myself creatively and take on commissions more often but in a way that replicates that same strategy.

After sifting through the drafts and making a few changes here and there, I reached one that we thought was best which you can see below..

We ordered the gig posters and waited for them to arrive, I couldn’t be more excited. Once they arrived, I stared at them for at least an hour, took pictures of them from various angles, and waited for the night of the show. I place the gig posters in the green room in anticipation of getting them signed and we got on with the workday. Ludacris puts on an incredible show to a full house, I go backstage to grab the posters and there they are. My art has the signature of one of my favorite artists on there. The moment was surreal, I couldn’t believe how far I’d come, I couldn’t believe that all the hours I’d put in have lead me to be able to do this. This moment clicked for me, it gave me the confidence I needed to get to where I am today, having done over 10 posters in total so far.

As I’m writing this I have said posters framed and on display behind me, along with many of the other projects I’ve come to complete. I will forever be grateful for having the opportunity to make the gig posters I’ve made and the many more I’ll do in the future.

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