Ryan Duggan -- Mi Ami

Poster Art: Ryan Duggan’s punchy minimalism

Screen-printing poster artist Ryan Duggan grew up in Northern Illinois in a small town that Tom Waits wrote a song about.  “There I spent all my time drawing and forming shitty bands with my friends,” he says.  For reasons still unbeknownst to him, Duggan then relocated to Chicago to study advertising.  Maps & Atlases was formed by friends shortly after, and Duggan has been screen-printing since.

“Many posters these days are meaningless collages made in Photoshop and distressed to look ‘rock and roll,’” he says. “It comes off looking very fake to me.  I feel that music is a dirty, stupid ordeal and that this should come across in the imagery — it’s how you know everyone’s still having fun.”

Poster Art: Dan Grzeca’s paint-inspired screen prints

Fifteen years ago, Chicago artist Dan Grzeca (pronounced Jet-sah) was painting.  It was the ’90s, and Bob Hartzell and Steve Walters of Screwball Press introduced him and a slew of other artists, including Jay Ryan, to screen printing — specifically, poster making.  “That’s one of the reasons Chicago has such a rich pool of talent,” Grzeca says.  “It’s very self-perpetuating with older artists inspiring and encouraging new, younger artists.”

Poster Art: Garrett Karol’s tactile style

Texture and muted color schemes create the gritty but expensive feel of Garrett Karol’s work. “I really like to print on cream paper and off-white paper too,” the Missouri-based designer says. “It looks nice.”

Whether intentional or not, Karol’s use of subdued color palettes paired with dark overlays has become his brand and can largely be attributed to his success.

Poster Art: Nels “Jagmo” Jacobson’s fortuitous relocation

“It was a move to Austin, Texas in 1978 that touched off my fascination with poster art,” says Nels Jacobson, better known as psychedelic-poster artist Jagmo. “That move changed my life.”

In Texas at Club Foot as a bar manager and promotions director, Jacobson was able to mingle with music legends such as B.B. King, James Brown, and Stevie Ray Vaughan and also artists that he commissioned for concert posters.

Poster Art: Joanna Wecht’s Womanly World

By using vintage images of women and by hand printing her own work because printing “tastes like ribs and chicken,” Joanna Wecht creates raw, multi-dimensional posters.

But she maintains that the imagery is not used to be an activist or prove a point; Wecht just enjoys being a “girl, a young lady, a woman,” and utilizes images that portray her disposition.

Poster Art: Mara Piccione’s Anthropomorphism

Netherlands-based artist Mara Piccione explores love, childhood, nightmares, sadness, mental illness, and the “beauty of it all” in her silk-screened, music-centered work.

In addition to her themes of of human/animal hybrids, this blend of features depicts expressions that “make is possible for a character to be sweet, sad, and weird at the same time.”