David Byrd is an iconic artist.
But–that term barely does him justice.
As a working artist since the 1960s, his landmark poster art chronicled the rise of the best bands of the rock era. (Among his creations: the original poster for the 1969 Woodstock music festival!) When Janis Joplin and Jimi Hendrix were among the first artists to perform at New York’s Fillmore East, their performances were among the ones his posters chronicled.
David’s work was the foundation of a whole new genre: rock art!
But that was only the beginning of his career.
Even if David’s name isn’t familiar to you, you’ve almost certainly seen his art. He designed the posters for classic Broadway shows such as Godspell and Follies.
David uses a wide range of styles, including the art deco with which he grew up, to create his work. More often than not, the result is something everyone remembers.
In 2013, Prince asked David to create a commemorative poster, based on an earlier work. The result, following the star’s untimely passing, is one of the artist’s most popular works today.
David talked about his background, his experiences working with performers at the Fillmore East (and creating Prince’s poster!) and the advice he would give aspiring artists, on maintaining a career.
In this edition of Over Coffee®, you’ll hear:
How David first became interested in becoming an artist;
His recollections of his early years as a working artist in New York:
His experiences creating rock posters during the emergence of the rock-art scene;
The realities of creating commercial graphics;
The story behind his poster of Janis Joplin, for the Fillmore East;
His recollections of updating one of his works to Prince’s specifications, for a San Francisco show;
What David’s creative process is like, as he begins a new project;
The ways the realities of being a working artist have changed, during David’s career;
What David, as a mentor, would tell a young artist today.
His recommendations for fellow artists, on developing their skills.