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Luke Drozd – human man, artist & public speaker

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Hey Luke Drozd, who are you and what do you do?

I am a human man who lives in London and makes lots of things.

Luke, you’re a fine artist and we really appreciate that. Tell us who you’ve been creating artwork for recently?

In terms of commissioned pieces I have recently been working for a range of folk. These have included the V&A Museum, folk balladeer Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy, Little White Lies Magazine and the comedian Stewart Lee. All very different projects which keeps me on my toes. I’ve also made a host of self-initiated work, including a collaborative screen-printed book with the amazing Palefroi and a new performance/story-telling thing with Andy Abbott called Reet Maff’l.

As a non-artist it’s hard for me to understand how you go about starting a poster… is it a case of pencil and paper to sketch out some ideas? Tell us a little about the process (sorry for the generic question).

Yes, that’s spot on. I am a pencil and paper person. All my work starts with pencil sketches to work through ideas. These are then fleshed out to more cohesive pieces that are sent to the client to look over and make sure things are working for all involved. Once one idea is settled on, it’s then cleaned and tightened up a little in pencil before inking in by hand begins on layers of tracing paper. These get scanned into a computer box and coloured, then it’s off to the printer. I try and minimize the computer time. It’s a tool within the process, but not the focus of it. Plus I like sitting on the sofa and drawing pictures.

Can you tell us a little bit about your 38b project?

38b Projects is a series of ongoing exhibitions and events in my flat in South London run by myself and my girlfriend, Eva Rowson. They mainly take place in our living room but recently we have ended up doing talks, shows and presentations outside it’s walls in places like the ICA and Matt’s Gallery. It’s a small idea that has sort of run away with itself. You can see what we have been up to at 38bprojects.com

We’ve seen you on a panel speaking at SXSW (you even had one of those cool official name things)..  is this something you do a lot? Talk about art etc? 

It’s something I do reasonably regularly, yes. I have done a couple of panel discussions and presentations at SXSW, as well as at other music festivals like Primavera Sound and Sound City. These tend to be gig poster focused but I also get asked to go and talk about my other work quite a bit, and do occasional teaching. It’s fun, I enjoy it. It gives you time to reflect on what you do and why you do it.

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What events have you got coming up in the next few months?

We will hopefully be rehanging the poster show I help look after with the UK Poster Association at The Black Heart, Camden beginning of next year, and then a few other shows are in the pipeline, but not yet confirmed.

We know you for your excellent gig posters but what % of work do they make up for you? What other sectors are you involved in?

It varies for month to month, and year to year. This year they have been maybe 1/3 of my work, maybe slightly more. On top of this, the years output has included a new book of comic strips, sculptures, record sleeves, magazine illustrations, lectures, performances, t-shirts and greeting cards. Anything to keep me busy and my mind occupied.

Hopefully a lot of people who follow AM will be Stewart Lee fans.. can you tell us how that poster came about?

There have been two prints and a limited slipcase for Stewart now. It came about following me reading his book ‘How I Escaped My Certain Fate’. There’s a bit about never quite working out merchandising, and I thought ‘I would love to do a Stewart Lee print and think his fans would be into it too’. I emailed his manager, something I never normally do, not expecting a response really…and Stewart emailed back saying he thought it was a great idea. Following the success of the first one, I made a second one based on loads of the ideas in the 3rd series of his BBC show Stewart Lee’s Comedy Vehicle, which was also turned into a limited edition slipcase for the DVD launch shows. As a huge fan of his work, I feel massively privileged to have been able to work with him. Hopefully there will be more opportunities to do so further down the line.

Outside the creative art world, what floats your boat?

I listen to a lot of music, I enjoy that beer they have in pubs, I like running about, and I also like sitting down. I also quite like biscuits.

Would you rather get a large tattoo of Simon Cowell across your chest or wake up to find that you could only draw stick men?

Stick peoples. I love a good stick lad or lass. Plus I could go down the Harvey Pekar route and get others to illustrate my prattle.

5 artists we should check out…

Palefroi – Berlin based art and design duo. As generous as they are talented:

Nous Vous – an excellent art collective of three good humans

Eleanor Davis – A US artist and illustrator whose recent book by Fantagraphics ‘How To Be Happy’ is really stunning

Sarah Bowker-Jones – An incredible sculptor with an interesting eye for form and colour

Going to cheat with the last one and say the UKposterart.com website as it’s brimming with great British poster talent like WeThreeClub, Drew Millward, Graham Pilling and Telegramme.

3 bands we should check out…

Kogumaza – Nottingham riff kings

Gum Takes Tooth – They have a new record out called Mirrors Fold that is sweet beans.

Sound of Yell – Beautiful and surprising acoustic folk compositions from the minds of Stevie Jones and friends.

Anything else you’d like to promote?

I have lots of beautiful nonsense to buy in my webstore so have a little peep inside and see what you think . I have my first ever series of sew on patches in there, as well as my recent Stewart Lee print (or you can grab a cheap one at his London shows if you are going). All money will mean I can afford to turn the heating on when winter finally comes knocking…

You can find out more about Luke via his site, Tumblr or Twitter.

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