sketches of poster work for Savage Umbrella

custom work, design process

Savage Umbrella is a kick ass theater company located in Minneapolis, MN.

Savage Umbrella makes theatre; we can’t help or stop ourselves. We lust for the uncharted and the unknown; we embrace and dissect the familiar. We actively embody all the contradictions we are as individuals- that’s the savage part. Raw, lyrical, dumb, intellectual, muscular, fragile, inspiring, fierce, compassionate. We foster projects from inception to performance; we are talking talking making making making doing, and that challenge is both the process and the result. Being a multi-faceted and multi-talented group helps us amplify and strengthen our conversations so that we can tease out the strongest and most challenging ideas to share in our work.

Blake Bolan, an alumna of the Manhattan Experimental Theater Workshop (She was my director two of the three years I was in the workshop, and it was awesome), is company member of Savage Umbrella and she offered me this unique and awesome project. Which is as follows: make a piece of art for each of the 4 shows in the 2013-2014 season and have them be cohesive. Two other artist/designers are also making work. There will be an art auction and vote in early August and the ones that are liked the best will be the posters for the upcoming season. May the best lady/dude win!

Originally I was thinking these 4 posters would be photographs digitally manipulated with text. Then I changed directions completely and decided I wanted to hand draw EVERYTHING, text included.

LEAVES: Based on Walt Whitman’s poetry collection, Leaves of Grass.

RAPTURE: A tenth of the world’s population suddenly disappears. This isn’t a biblical event. It is pieced together that all those who vanished were, in some fashion, artists.

THESE ARE THE MEN: A reimagining of the Oedipus mythology.

JUNE: Set in 1950s America, JUNE centers around a young woman–the picture of a freshly married housewife. By way of a strange and exotic acquaintance, she is unwittingly thrust into to the lesbian subculture of the time.

Luckily for me the 4 plays are all so image rich that coming up with my final concept was simple, except Leaves. Fucking Walt Whitman and his epic poetry giving me a hard time, ugh! Since it deals with what is means to be an American now, I’m definitely keeping the eagle. I’ll probably also use the lilacs since they figure prominently in the play. The guitar draped with a flag, like a soldier’s coffin is a little too blatant and complex compared with the other 3 posters.