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New Work: Phish On The Boardwalk

Wrapping up lasts year’s successful run with my sold out New Year’s Eve print for Madison Square Garden was truly a highlight for me. I am thankful to those who have supported me since starting this little venture. I have to give thanks to my friend Doug Whitworth who is my idea guy and introduced me to the world of Phish fan art. I have had amazing help getting the word out about my designs thanks to Pete over at Phanart.net and Pauly at Coventrymusic.com. Two really stand up guys with sites that every Phish fan should be checking out regularly.

It’s hard to believe it’s been a little over a year since I kicked this whole thing off with my print for Bethel, New York. I am proud that it went on to become the official poster of the venue and also sold out its run of 100 prints in a little over two months. I still get emails about it at least once a month. Since then, I’ve had a lot of fun injecting my design whims into Phish lore and doing the whole fan art movement proud by sticking to the rules and trying to make some truly unique pieces.

My original poster for Bethel, New York from last summer's tour.

Unfortunately, it hasn’t all been roses. Recently I have had the misfortune of seeing the small negative side of the fan community. They are a very, very small but vocal group that doesn’t seem to understand that it’s all in fun. The amount of time I spend concepting an idea then turning it into a finished poster probably doesn’t even come close to equaling the amount of money I make on it once it’s for sale. The fact is, I do very small runs to keep them unique and try to charge fair prices for the fans. I do this because I love design and the tradition of the concert poster. I am not under the delusion that I will become rich.

My plan moving forward is to shake out of my head a few more ideas that I have floating around and then look into new creative avenues. I have mentioned before in this blog that my intention for this year’s Phish summer tour was to create fewer posters but at a high-level of quality and creativity. That won’t change, but as far as next summer’s run of dates, I may be only be doing one or two posters. Now, I don’t want to give the detractors any more of my time so I think I am going to just go ahead and introduce my latest print for Phish’s show in Atlantic City.

Atlantic City - Limit 30 - $15 + S&H - Click on image to buy!

The robot destroyer concept was inspired by a couple of different sources. One area of inspiration was Japanese Godzilla posters from the 60’s and 70’s. I really liked the use of bold, 3D-like typography that almost takes over the poster’s entire composition. It just really makes the text pop and I feel it is unique to that style of movie poster.

My inspiration for Phish's Atlantic City dates came from monster movies and a vacuum cleaner.

The more obvious source of inspiration for Phish fans was the Electrolux vacuum. Of course this is meant as a shout out to Fishman and his “unique” musical talents. To those not in the know, Jon Fishman is Phish’s drummer and actually plays an Electrolux vacuum as an instrument. No joke. The vintage feel of the Electrolux vacuum made me instantly think of those cool 50’s era toy robots. And Electrobolux was born.

That is one Scary Vacuum Robot Man!

The pink and yellow color combo was something I have been looking to do for sometime. I came across a great cover for Paper Science, which I believe is an indie magazine, that used a similar combo. I thought it looked pretty sweet. So, I figured the sci-fi feel of this piece would definitely support the pink and yellow combo. I should go ahead and apologize for the Japanese text because it may be a really horrible translation. I ended up using Google translator to get the wording and I have no idea if it makes any sense. I figure it didn’t need to be perfect to get the idea across. This leads to my next bit of news. The contest.

I will be giving away a free Atlantic City poster to the first person to give me a roughly correct translation of the title text and small side scroll text. You have to have both translations to win. I will be hiding clues in web posts about the poster that I find online. I already gave hints to two such places that might have information earlier in this post. Just to give a little more of a tease, the side scroll text actually reveals a very tiny easter egg in the poster. Think of it as special guest appearances. If you think you have a translation then leave it as a comment in this post. I will contact you as the winner through the comments.

To the Phans, thank you again for your support and look for new posters shortly.

Cheers, Ben.

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Reader Comments (3)

no winners yet?

June 5, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterdoug

Amazing work !

Here's my attempt for the translation :
"The attack of Atlantic City. Robotman in the sky"
"Four men stand against (vs) terrorists keep contact"

Please take note that it's a japanese to french t english translation ;-)

Thanks for the contest !

June 7, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterYome NetSan

Yome! Congrats you are the winner! You were really close to my original English. I used Google Translator and wasn't sure how accurate it was so I figure your's was pretty close to perfect.

What I translated was - "The Attack of the Scary Vacuum Robot Man" as the title and "Four Men Stand Against the Terror to Save Us" as the side scroll text.

The Four Men reference being a "tiny" easter egg. Literally. Break out your magnifying glass and look directly below the Atlantic City sign. You'll see four familiar looking silhouettes facing the robot.

I'll reach out to you for details on getting you your free poster!



June 7, 2012 | Registered CommenterBen Whitesell

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