meet jeff boozer, the oakland-based illustrator that can make your band look good. the graphic designer/print maker specializes in creating t-shirts and concert posters for everyone from exene to aerosmith. if your band sounds bad though, you’re on your own…
hey everyone- i’m jeff boozer, an artist and graphic designer living in oakland, california. i grew up in southern california near san diego and attended art center college of design in pasadena, california.
for the past two years, i have been drawing and silk screening posters for concerts in the bay area, maintaining an online store to sell my prints and participating in local craft sales sustained by the growing interest in diy crafting and handmade merchandise.
what do you make or do?
i am a self-taught print maker, and i silk screen my original art on posters and t-shirts. most of my prints are for actual live concerts, and i sell a small run of posters at the merchandise table on the night of the show (keeping the leftover prints to stock my store and satisfy a few faithful collectors of my work).
i have recently started doing some fine art prints, and hope to have a complete collection (including monoprints and originals) available soon.
where can we find your creations?
my store on etsy is the best place to find prints. i also maintain a blog (with short verbal and visual updates on the projects i am working on) and a facebook fan page where people can stay up-to-date with the shows i have scheduled.
how long have you been creating and is it your full-time job?
drawing comes to me naturally. i was first particularly inspired to draw by the movie “star wars” when i was seven years old… and continued to draw as a teen, eventually copying logotypes and imagery from heavy metal and punk rock bands that i followed as a fan.
currently, i have a freelance design/illustration career working for large and small companies, primarily in the apparel market. i like to call my print making my “recovery” from day to day assignments… i work in two distinct styles to keep the hand-drawn feel of my posters unique and distinct from the images i create for apparel or action sports manufacturers.
i enjoy working with bands i admire, and creating images that reflect the feel and visual component of their music. i feel this resembles the “regular” work i do, in that i am collaborating with an art director or brand manager to create work that supports/builds a particular brand.
when you’re not making things, what do you do?
i’m currently teaching my 15 year old daughter, sera, how to drive and helping my 11 year old son, sean, prepare his own visual art portfolio for the local arts charter junior/high school.
when i do have a spare moment– i collect vinyl records, enjoy reading and hanging out with my beautiful girlfriend, jeannine (and our two exemplary cats, arlo and otis).
what obstacles have you had to overcome to lead a creative life?
money is always the problem– as free as creating stuff is, it takes finances to accomplish…and juggling the prospect of creating new things while paying the bills is a huge learning experience.
the community of diy folks is great, though, and there is a lot of help out there.
did someone in your family, a friend or teacher introduce you to your creative side or have they helped you along the way?
my parents always encouraged my art, and still do.
i also had a very influential high school art teacher, who noticed my ability and encouraged it with individual assignments.
later, i found many like-minded students at a junior college and eventually, at the art center. i’m still in contact with many of those friends now, and we are always encouraging each other in our careers or projects.
where do you find inspiration?
i find most of my inspiration from other poster artists and print makers, and i’m really lucky to live in a community that is rich in street art.
i keep a photo album of street art on my iphone and the freshness of these stickers, stencils and graffiti is very inspiring, on a daily basis!
what’s on the horizon for you and what you do?
currently, there are some rough plans to build a larger press with a vacuum table so i can do larger prints.
i have a show coming up in june that will feature original art and screen prints.
before all that, i am doing a poster for one of my favorite current singer/songwriters (and amateur moonshiner) jolie holland.
if money wasn’t an issue, how would your life change with regards to your art?
finding a way to do stuff with a built-in community would be an exciting avenue– provided money was not an issue. i don’t participate in the burning man festival, but i truly admire the art and barter community that it was founded upon.
what would be your perfect day off?
sleep. just more sleep. anywhere and anyhow…
what inspiring advice would you give to other creatives?
focus! figure out what you do well and get with it. so many things can keep you from creating, a lot of them self-imposed. the most important thing is to make stuff and hopefully, get it in front of appreciative people.