2014 "Give Me Liberty" Tour Poster
I was approached by Justin of the Zilis to do a poster for their upcoming tour. I was stoked that they wanted to go with the hand drawn style and even more stoked when they brought up the idea of a bald eagle. I love birds of prey. I also love American pop art, so I was excited to get going! I sketched out the eagle and the lettering for "the Zilis" (I used Rush's 2112 album cover as inspiration.)
And then... major creative block. I just couldn't get myself to put the pen to paper. I hit a wall, and couldn't climb out of it. I would look at the sketch, and then look at the ink and I just couldn't produce. It was horrifying.
Finally, I just decided not to think about it for a few days. I went out to see some shows, I got drunk, I danced, I laughed and completely put it out of my mind. I went back to it without any expectation. Even as I worked, I didn't think I liked it. I wasn't happy with it, but I kept going anyway. I finished it. I walked away and didn't look at it for two days. Then I came back to it and realized that it was just all in my head. It was a good drawing! The letters are cool, the position of the eagle is cool.... I scanned it, added the dates and the stars, tweaked some of the colours and then I loved it.
So... lesson to be learned from this: When negative thoughts start eating away at your brain, just walk away. Go do something that inspires you, come back and don't try. Just do. There is no try. There is no spoon. Your work is probably better than you think! Just stop thinking. Draw (or paint, play, sing, dance) like you're a kid again. Do it for the love of it, and nothing else. Even if it's crap, you will get the feeling back and that's what it's all about. That's where good work comes from. Not from overanalyzing.
Anyway! Enough of that rant. You want to hear about the Zilis, right? Well, if you think young folks these days don't know what good music is, the Zilis are here to prove you wrong!! These guys are tight, talented and their sound is classic. And if you want to support young musicians who are true to the roots of rock n roll, you should totally come out for the tour kick off show at This Ain't Hollywood on August 8th! I will be there, so come say hi and have a beer with me!!