Monday, March 10, 2008

negative approach

found a couple amusing/irritating comments people had posted in response to a couple of recent posts on this blog. somehow felt compelled to respond....

here's the first comment in reference to the sxsw poster:

"As an artworks its nice, but as a poster its horrible. Text is hard to read hence the poster does not serve its purpose to inform about the event. Nicely chosen typography would do better in this case."

well, the poster isn't really intended to "inform" folks about the show - these posters are made to commemorate the event and will be made available the day of the show with that intent in mind. on a broader scale, i also generally reject the idea that posters and album sleeves and t shirts have to be marketing tools with overly obvious type/graphics, as opposed to more artistically oriented pieces that invoke the true spirit of the music they are intended to represent. if the bands being represented aren't writing 3 minute pop songs with inane choruses that beat the listener into submission, why should the representative graphics serve that purpose? i like to think the audience that follows these bands isn't the type of audience that requirers overly simplified/commercial imagery and type in order to draw their attention to the "product". it is precisely the type of corporate design mentality as exemplified by the statement above that i have striven to avoid with what i do in the realm of music related graphics. we're not trying to sell our music to wal-mart shoppers, so if you expect our graphic personality to fall in line with what you were taught in design school about corporate branding and "truly effective" type and illustration techniques you shall be continually disappointed. clean type has its time and place, but this poster which is meant to showcase the personality of our label and by extension the show itself isn't it. music related design can be art simply beyond the idea of selling something.... so, as far as this poster being "horrible", you are certainly entitled to your option, but please understand that it was my intent that the text be personable and artistically rendered, rather than a typeface created by someone else which has little or nothing to do with the music to which the poster is connected - but thanks for the advice.


...and that brings me to the next one - "anonymous" posted this in response to my brief explanation about the cancellation of the old man gloom tour (see last post if you are interested in the comment i made that prompted this response):

"Sounds so typical and moralistic - sorry."

listen, i wasn't trying to promote a family values agenda with my explanation, or come off as some moralistic enforcer. my explanation was vague because i was respecting the privacy of the member of OMG to which this situation pertains. if i felt i could explain the specifics and the gravity of the situation which caused us to cancel the tour i would have, but i thought what i wrote should've been sufficient for anyone with half a heart and/or loved ones of their own, family or otherwise. perhaps "anonymous" hasn't experienced anything sufficiently traumatic with someone dear to them in order to enable them empathize with the situation, and if that's the case they should consider themselves lucky. in the face of the threat that faced one of our members, the tour seemed vastly unimportant. if "anonymous" can't wrap their head around that, and instead feels the need to spout off rather than offer up some sort supportive comment they need to find some some fucking empathy in themselves, if not for humanity at the very least for those that matter most to them...

i don't generally feel the need to respond to negative feedback, but i just couldn't let these 2 go - guess i'm feeling sort of petty at the moment though i'm not sure what to attribute that to....

AT - 03/10/08

28 comments:

Sir Lord Desmond von Hellstrom said...

I've actually found that posters and visuals with a more abstract style have made me pause and look with more intent than usual - for one, to appreciate the art; and for the other, to find out who or what it is promoting. Otherwise, a poster is just a poster.

But you know, just in case that one dude is right, I'll make sure to print out a bunch of generic leaflets advertising the show and hand them out in front of the local TJ Maxx. Perhaps I could even give them to the girl scouts to hand out with their cookies...?

Michal Popielnicki said...

Then I apologise as it was my mistake and simply misinterpreting the idea behind the poster. I did mentioned that as an artwork I really like it. I was not aware of its final purpose and I just thought that my critics (I've hoped it was constructive) would in some extend help.

As for whole "marketing tools"
I really admire your attitude and probably because of that I pay your projects well deserved respect (I hate the "sound" of this sentence, sounds like a "toady" opinion).

However I would take information and marketing as two different goals for printed materials, hence my opinion.

By word "horrible" I meant not the general aesthetic impression but the endeavour you have to go through to read the message. Since English is not my native language my words might have been to sharp in this context.

As for the responses to yours reader's feedback I'd suggest using comments to reply. Hence we stick to the topic of a current post and add some contextual informations regarding it.

Best regards

Anonymous said...

Aaron, in regards to your comments, I've got to say brother...I've just gained an additional reason to respect you, your art, and your ideals.

Take care! I'll see your crew in Austin.

Toby V.
myspace.com/erosandeschaton

John said...

The poster looks killer. And I'm just glad that with every member of OMG being in a million other bands, you guys would take the time to try and tour in the first place. It goes without saying (I think), but I hope whatever family troubles grounded you guys are resolved in the positive, and I'll be at every show I can whenever the Gentleman's Club for Apes is back up and running.

Some people might call that sycophantic or bootlicking, but I just call it being reasonable. And don't let the shitheads get you down. The opportunity to blindly criticize art and music on the same site is kind of like the perfect storm for internet douchelords, just the cost of doing business.

Tony said...

Unbeleivably put. Couldn't agree with you more on all the statements you made there.

leeharvey43 said...

Please don't listen to people like that.

As much as I would love to finally see OMG live, I don't for a second believe that my wishes would overrule a band member going through a troubling time, and thank you for respecting that member's privacy.

Psyched to hear new OMG and Isis material, whenever it comes out.

Cheers.

Jon

Anonymous said...

Good post!

I don't believe that you should feel petty - the comments made initially were the only thing that contained any negativity.

I really enjoy reading your posts, and think it's really cool to be able to see past, current, and upcoming works by yourself, and even the methodology or impetus behind said works...

Just remember that not everyone who reads your blog has either mindset in which YOUR creations are "missing something, but nice try", or family emergencies are not a valid reason to cancel/postpone a tour.

Keep up the great posts!

With that said, what do you think of all this Marvel skrull business?!?

dead said...

i must agree on both points senor turner.

art for arts sake. i myself have experienced the moronic comment about a poster design not being clearly legible. however since it is in fact a piece of art to commemorate an event i didnt feel it was necessary. anyway just tossing in my 2cents of agreement.

fuck em if they dont appreciate art.

ahimsa said...

That's pretty cool of you to post thought-out responses to negative comments. I just wanted to chime in with the fact that it's totally the characteristic nature of your artwork that helps Hydra Head stand out in rock music. A big reason I enjoy your art is that it DOESN'T look like the standard marketing fare. That goes a long way with me, and I appreciate it.

R.J.P. said...

The negative comment about the SXSW poster doesn't necessarily surprise me.

You have to remember, Aaron, that you're contributing to one of the most touchy fields of art out there, and because of that, EVERYONE thinks they have an invested ability to say how they think a poster should appear, how an ad should be presented, etc. The people that complain about your style of work are the ones that maintain old conventions and refuse to believe that there is anything outside of that box.

Personally, I liked the poster. It was different and its presentation lured me into staring and observing it for a few moments.

XHTZK said...

Hey Aaron,

I can't believe the nerve of the posters of those two comments. Firstly, if you can't gauge the intended purpose and/or style for a piece then you have no business commenting on graphic design. I work in the industry myself, and could easily understand and appreciate the artistic direction taken over an overt information-formatted pop-poster.

The second comment you noted is fairly tragic. What kind of a prick would actually write something like that - show a little respect, or piss off. You have no dignity or balls posting anonymously. Unfortunately, even if you used your real name we probably wouldn't know who you are. Cowards love the internet.

I don't care how kiss-arse this sounds: it's a privilege to be able to read your blog, for any of us. You (and ISIS) are the reason I got back into music. If people can't appreciate the fact that we, the readers, get a personal insight into your work, written by you, then they really need to quite simply fuck off.


Regards from Perth,

Christian

Anonymous said...

I don’t think you should feel petty at all. This blog isn’t about “people having their chance to shit on Aaron.” Anyone who reads this blog should be grateful he even keeps one for the fans that really care and appreciate his work

1. The poster is amazing; I hope T. Neely and you will do more collaborative works in the near future.

2. I still say my best wishes go out to the member and their family.

Anonymous said...

I completely agree with the poster, I'd rather see some personality/artistic work than some boring machine type. Machine type has no depth! Don't feel petty, you have the right to say what you want.

I'm looking forward to more posts!
Best wishes.

Anonymous said...

fucked up. no one should have to justify their actions after explanations like that.

Aaron Turner should not have to give you clowns a detailed explanation on why the OMG tour was cancelled after a post stating "family probelms" or whatever. show some class.

Jacob said...

Nothing I can add that hasn't been covered. I like your thoughts on the art being commemorative to the event, thats an excellent way of putting it.

Maybe you don't want this blog to take on this form, but could you give any insight as to how this poster was created? Obviously it's all hand drawn, but I struggle with figuring out how enlarge a scanned drawing while retaining quality.

The folks at burlesque seem to do this all the time with Aaron Horkey's small drawings, care to share your process?

Thanks for everything so far, I check the blog quite often... probably too often!

Moody030 said...

Give 'em hell Aaron!

nigelbalce said...

When I saw the SXSW poster, I enjoyed how much the text drew me into the experience of the poster.

If it had just been sweet old helvetica, yes I would have known who was playing more quickly, but I would not have had the exchange with the the poster the root system of letters creates.

Bong hits.

tek said...

Art is Art and promotion...well that's another story. Show/band posters representing, for lack of a better term, the underground have always been artistic. Good on you for your talent and effort. I can grasp the point of your detractor, as all are entitled to opinion, but as a collector of posters for the past decade, these are pretty darn good. take care

william fowler collins said...

h aaron, a tangent on the musc nforming the visual - you might know of cornelius cardew, composer. anyway, he was also a graphic designer/visual artist and his famous graphical score "Treatise" is a really interesting way for players to engage in how a visual language directly informs music. thought you might dig him if you aren't already.

cheers from new mexico, william.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cornelius_Cardew

Anthony Vaticalos said...

Aaron, wow..i'm really into Isis/Old Man Gloom, and am always excited to hear new things from these two groups.sorry to hear about the cancellation of the tour with OMG. With that being said, I just wanted to say that my respect for you and your aesthetic work have greatly influenced me. You take on quite a bit, and still manage to deliver. I always look forward to seeing the Austin and Philadelphia shows man.Much love and be easy!

5B said...

please do not care such comments.
there're many kinds of expressions, so if you wanted to use expression like that, it's okay even if others disagree with you. art is now multifold. the most important thing is to express what you want to say as you like, i think.
remember there're lots of your fans, and all of them must love your arts, musics, and thinking. i'm the one of them.
anyway, your poster is very fascinating. i love it! and i always enjoy reading your blog posts.
please take care.

Sam said...

It's generally the case that most people who don't like what you're doing post to complain about it, and most that do like it don't bother. The sheer volume of positive posts compared to negative you get here is highly impressive - that so many people care enough to post supportively. You must be doing something right..
Shine on.

Chomachi said...

Aaron, in light of what you've written, you have inspired me to express my appreciation to you and ISIS as artists, and as laid back people. i briefly met you and Jeff, each on separate occasions, and both of you were really cool with me, even though i sort of had to bother you guys in order to get your attention.

i went to the most recent show you guys did at Slims in San Francisco, and i went up to you and handed you a cd with extremely rough recordings that my friend and i made. to be honest when i first approached you, i was a little intimidated, not because i view you as some higher being, but because i didnt want to be an annoying fan. but when did approach you to give you the cd you shook my hand and said, "thank you." you probably lost the cd(i don't blame you) before you even heard it, but it was cool that you weren't a jerk about it and just blow me off or anything.

i met Jeff randomly about a month ago in LA at some Mexican restaurant (i live in the bay area and was visiting a friend for a weekend), and again, i had to sort of bother him. but when i said that i really like your guys' music, he seemed genuinely happy to have met me.

anyway, i guess i just want to say thanks for being cool with your fans, and for not taking crap from them if they say something that pisses you off.

keep the shizz comin.

Anonymous said...

man, fuck em.................somebody is alwalys crying and complainin about something anyway----------keep doing your thing----------real fans are here, bro

let us know about the omg shit

HOPE
ST.EVEN=

Angryblue said...

it's not really worth addressing. either people "get" it, or they don't.

that said, i'm going to rant anyway. people who collect posters much prefer hand-drawn lettering.

my favorite poster artist of the moment is aaron horkey. that guy is nuts. i've probably collected about 20 of his posters and art prints over the past few years and have a few in my cramped studio. oddly enough, one of his is the only poster in my collection i think is totally jacked as a promotional piece (which was partially the point as it was promoting that show). it's his racebannon/gospel poster where you're supposed to somehow see the lettering even though there's no way in hell you could do it without spending a few hours of guesswork.

http://www.gigposters.com/poster/62999_Racebannon.html

but... that's because it was *actually* illegible. that's me as an illustrator who also makes and prints gigposters (that both commemorate and promote). that function should be there. i don't see it as a problem with yours whatsoever.

i am, however, highly disappointed that it doesn't look like the cover of this month's "Teen Beat" magazine with additional sponsorship logos crammed at the bottom.

Anonymous said...

-Nudity is fine (we shouldn't even wear clothes when it's hot weather)
-Killing someone is fine
-9/11 is funny
-Natural disasters are funny
-The death penalty is fucking worthless (no one deserves it, AT ALL!)
-Terrorists, murderists, and molesters are innocent as everyone else, it's not their fault they are mental
-Swearing is fine
-Hitler is not evil, nor are murderists, terrorists or molesters
-Jail is fucking worthless; it's a fucking horrible idea (no one deserves it)
-There should be no censoring of any kind
-You should be able to say whatever you want, regardless of the situation
-Porn is fine
-Prostitution should not be illegal
-All drugs should be legalized (it's your choice if you want to use them)
-No grades within school, just passing or failing
-Movies and video games shouldn't have to conform to some level set by politicians, everything should be open
-Considered offensive programs shouldn't be withheld until later by parents
-Nothing is wrong
-Nothing is right
-You should be able to have sex or masturbate in public
-Nothing should be illegal
-The medical field is so fucking obsessed with money
-The government is full of lies
-You should be able to protest, start riots or anything

Anonymous said...

"...and that brings me to the next one - "anonymous" posted this in response to my brief explanation about the cancellation of the old man gloom tour (see last post if you are interested in the comment i made that prompted this response):

"Sounds so typical and moralistic - sorry."

listen, i wasn't trying to promote a family values agenda with my explanation, or come off as some moralistic enforcer. my explanation was vague because i was respecting the privacy of the member of OMG to which this situation pertains. if i felt i could explain the specifics and the gravity of the situation which caused us to cancel the tour i would have, but i thought what i wrote should've been sufficient for anyone with half a heart and/or loved ones of their own, family or otherwise. perhaps "anonymous" hasn't experienced anything sufficiently traumatic with someone dear to them in order to enable them empathize with the situation, and if that's the case they should consider themselves lucky. in the face of the threat that faced one of our members, the tour seemed vastly unimportant. if "anonymous" can't wrap their head around that, and instead feels the need to spout off rather than offer up some sort supportive comment they need to find some some fucking empathy in themselves, if not for humanity at the very least for those that matter most to them...

i don't generally feel the need to respond to negative feedback, but i just couldn't let these 2 go - guess i'm feeling sort of petty at the moment though i'm not sure what to attribute that to....

AT - 03/10/08"

Stupid dumb nigger assuming closed-minded anus-fucking piece of cockshit, rot motherfucker. ROT... There's my sympathy, and try blowing your ugly face off too dumbshit.

Anonymous said...

Hey Aaron. R.G Collingwood. Check him out.

ps: Fuck all imbeciles (provided they're hot)