Words by Evan La Ruffa
Tyler Stout has risen to the top of the screen print scene in the last few years, and with good reason. His iconic photorealistic pieces have paid homage to films such as The Big Lebowski, Kill Bill, and Bladerunner, and he’s done concert posters for everyone from Phish to Blackalicious. Whether a gigposter, film print, or art print, Tyler’s style is making an indelible mark on the surging scene of rock poster art. His illustrations are incredible depictions of characters we’re often familiar with, yet he imparts his own style and perspective, which casts these notable faces in a new and fascinating light.
Up next, we ask Tyler about his affinity for film, whether or not he’s biased towards illustrators, and his productive relationship with Alamo Drafthouse.
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EL: How you doin’ brother? You always seem to keep busy…
TS: I am well, doing well. I try to stay busy. My wife beats me if I do not.
EL: The Kill Bill print you just created led to a bit of online hysteria. It also follows in the footsteps of other photorealism-type prints you’ve done for films, and for which you’ve received much acclaim. Do you prefer it to your gigposter work?
TS: I enjoy mixing it up, its fun to do different types of jobs for different clients, fun to approach things differently. I think I would get burned out if I just did movie prints.
EL: How do prints about films differ from prints you’d do for a rock band?
TS: Music posters are usually much more ‘do what you think suits the band’, so a bit more freedom, you can kinda stray a bit more outside the lines. its less about illustrating a poster and more about illustrating how you feel listening to someone’s music. though not always, sometimes music posters can be art directed and feel more like illustrations, which is fine, its the job.
EL: What’s the process of creating the types of pieces you’ve done for Star Wars, The Big Lebowski, Kill Bill, Bladerunner, and others (as far as incorporating illustrating this photo-realistic adaptations)?
TS: I guess I just research what the movie looks like and base my stuff on that. I associate movie posters with imagery of the actors faces, so I guess I go more towards that, representing them well.
EL: Describe your work with Alamo Drafthouse in Austin, TX… You seem to have a unique relationship with them…
TS: Well, they’ve always been very good to me, and give me lots of freedom and are just all around fun fellows, so its always a pleasure to work with them. They’re big into movies, and I’m big into movies, so it is a nice fit.
EL: Were you always inclined to create prints for movie’s, or how did that combination come about? Is it fair to assume that you’ve been doing more of that work lately? It sure seems like it!
TS: Rob Jones from the Alamo Drafthouse contacted me about 5 years ago and said ‘how’d you like to do a poster for this movie thing’ and I said yes and it went from there. There seems to be a bit more of a demand as of late, which is good, work pays the bills.
EL: As a site that’s interested in screen prints, films, and music – we consider your work a bit of a jackpot. What artists are you into that combine your own interests in a similarly intriguing way?
TS: Too many to list. I probably am a bit more into comic book artists at the moment, since I read comics a lot, but people like Tony Moore, Kevin O’Neill, Bernie Wrightson. Too many to list. Joe Mad is coming out with some new stuff that looks amazing. Spiderman I believe?
EL: What poster that you’ve done in the last few years is your favorite? You’ve had some prints do (beyond) extremely well…
TS: Well shoot, that’s probably too hard to tell. I rarely dig my own stuff that much. Ha ha! It grows on me…or sometimes not. But my dad says my Black Keys poster from last year was ‘one of your best’, so maybe that one.
EL: As an illustrator, do you tend to value illustrators more, as opposed to graphic designers, etc? Although I definitely value the skill involved with some of the scene’s best illustrators, I also tend to level the playing field in my head, as far as segmenting those crafts and appreciating the artists’ vision or mental outlook, regardless of the mode, method, or utencil used in creating the art…
TS: Whew, I am not that smart. I am one of those people that sees something and either instantly likes it or just forgets it. But I do admire anything that is visually interesting, it doesn’t have to be drawn or anything, I just admire stuff that’s well executed.
EL: Lol, right, I guess that’s what I meant on some level – that good art is good art regardless of method. Just that I’ve also heard folks get pretty divisive as far as validating certain methods as opposed to others…
And for you personally, what would be one creative experience, interaction, or moment that made you sure you wanted to pursue working as an artist?
TS: Man, tough questions. ‘search your heart…’ i’ve always drawn for fun and wasn’t great at most other things, sports or book smarts, so this is what i ended up gravitating towards, for fun. and now its a job. and that is good. but not quite as fun, once you start getting paid for it. well fun to have the opportunity to do something full time, not as fun getting asked to change a piece you feel is the best solution to a problem. but that’s probably with any job.
EL: Name one artist or musician that IPMM readers should check out.
TS: Well I’ve been thinking a lot about Dan Grzeca’s work lately, have some of his prints and they are just amazing, so I recommend people check him out.
EL: Awesome… Dan is a friend of IPMM… we couldn’t agree more…
Search through Tyler’s incredible archive of past works at TStout.com