"Oh to be FREE!"

  • The Maha Music Festival is a day-long event in Omaha, Nebraska bringing together national, regional and local indie and rock artists for a day of food, community and music. Area designers are asked to make a poster for each of the main stage acts. For me, it was Thao and The Get Down Stay Down.
  • PROCESS NOTES: In short, I love this band. So I was extra stoked on this particular poster project. I picked up the new album "We the Common" on vinyl and started learning more about the meaning behind the record. The "Shorts" were, of course, very helpful. What them all HERE.
    A side note on albums: damn right I still buy vinyl. Digital download only, ha!
    The story behind "We the Common" is quite compelling and the lyrics themselves are easy to latch on to. For the story, Thao settling down in San Francisco, participating in her community, advocating for those incarcerated in the state prison system. Being motivated toward citizenship, as a community member and writing songs to capture the resiliency of people. To collect the energy of those around her and give it back to them. 
    Those themes and phrases in the songs led to my primitive sketches and doodles. And words, always lots of words. Pulling those out and holding them up usually drives the early parts of the design process.
  • DESIGN NOTES: In the lyrics, that feeling of a revival. Amidst all the pain and loss of life, there's the celebration and hope and joy. The song "Move" became a focus for the design. In all its sounds and movement, the beat and the build up to the lyrical explosion of "Oh to be FREE!" screamed out in a powerful grasp of some kind of truth.
    "Oh, how we, the common must cry!" Bursts of life behind the bars, real or metaphorical, reflection and teardrops, rain drops, however you see it. Signed off with the now iconic Maha bird in the lower left. 
    Specs: 18 x 24" 3-Color screen print on Roland White 100lb Cover. Hand pulled by Ink Tank in Omaha, NE.