If the name Drew Binkley
is not familiar to you, please take a moment to familiarize yourself with the works of Monkey Ink Design
and Grand Palace
; two endeavors that the Tennessee resident is heavily involved in that both churn out an absurd amount of incredible work. Check the man's Instagram
to see the latest goods he's been working on - some should look very familiar
I really can't gush enough about the work he does so I was rather pleased when I heard he would be putting together the artwork for Jasmin Kaset's
latest, Quiet Machine
. I recently interviewed him to get a bit more insight into his history, his amazing technique
and his process for creating Quiet Machine
Greetings! Thanks for doing this. Can you give a broad overview of your personal history? Where are you from, your school history, life highlights, etc?
I was born and raised in Pigeon Forge, TN (yes, people are actually born there) and moved to Murfreesboro in 2004 to attend college at MTSU to study music production. While living in the dorms I met a solid group of friends and we formed The Ascent of Everest
in 2005 with which I still play in today. Our drummer Michael Thurmon ran a small print shop out of his basement called Static Labs where he printed all of the band's merchandise and this was my introduction to screen printing. After the first year of college, I quickly realized that music production may not be the best career path for me so I dropped out with the intention to go back once I had a better grasp on what I wanted to do. I have yet to go back to school and as of now, it's the best thing I've ever done for myself. No student loans!
You do great work at Grand Palace and Monkey Ink Design - how did you fall into both of those? What draws you to screen printing over purely digital design? Continue Reading...
Why thank you Sir! My fiancé' Alicia Waters
and I started M.I.D. just as a small time hobby in 2008 designing flyers for local shows which then branched into doing flyers for our friend's bands along with a few album artwork projects here and there. I met Bingham and Chuck of Grand Palace sometime in 2009 at a show they were hosting in Murfreesboro. I remember being blown away when I walked into the print shop for the first time and saw all the posters adorning the walls. I know it may seem cliche, but I had this feeling in my bones that this is what I wanted to do. I was a cook at Marina's on the square at the time so I started helping them around the shop on my days off and even on my hour long breaks the days I worked a double. In exchange for helping them, they allowed me to print my own designs and take the long road of learning via trial by error through my own work. I did that for a good year or more, going into the shop pretty much every chance I got, while they slowly started to let me print jobs for them. Eventually they asked me if I wanted to join the team and help run the shop full time.
I do enjoy designing on a computer but in all honesty, it's the actual printing of the design that is my favorite part of the whole process. Your options are limitless when working solely in digital design but in screen printing, there are limitations to what can actually "translate to print" as we say. For me the most challenging and fun part about printing is the process of studying these limitations and knowing how to work around and through them in a way that the line of what is possible is blurred. Screening printing takes a lot of patience and attention to detail but also readiness to think on your feet when something goes a rye is very key. There are so many variables you have to constantly be aware of and most times plan ahead for. To this day, I am still learning new tricks of the trade and constantly pushing myself to be better at both designing and printing.
Much of your poster work has a great deal of very intricate design and linework. What's that process like?
It kind of depends on the job/subject matter but I usually always start by researching reference photos to help spark ideas. Once i have a strong idea, I start drawing. I then scan the illustration(s) then build and color the design using Photoshop and Illustrator.
The Flickr Commons
is probably one of my spring boards for inspiration. It is a nearly endless collection of archived photos from various libraries and colleges from around the world dating all the back to the late 1800s. You can easily burn hours searching through the site.
The Quiet Machine design is very clean but the little details - the popping silver color, spot gloss, etc. are great. How was the design process for the record?
Honestly, working on that record was bit of a challenge for me at first because of it's simplicity. I naturally spend a lot of time working on small details and texture in my work but Jasmine wanted the artwork to be very simple and clean. I share an office with Jasmine's husband, Luke (of Side Show Sign Co.) and really owe a lot to him on this one as we worked together in the concept of the artwork. The cover photo was taken by Luke's sister, Jacqui Stockdale
, who is a very brilliant artist/photographer. From the beginning we decided the photo needed to be the focal point and anything else within the artwork needed to compliment it. The album being entitled "Quite Machine" also influenced the look and feel of the layout i.e. thin type, metallic background, etc. Given those that were involved and the album being released through Yewknee records, working on this project was truly an honor of mine. Fingers crossed it isn't the last YK release I get to work on!
For the record, the vinyl labels were done by Mr. Eades himself. Their simplistic layout and tone fit the overall package perfectly if you ask me.
How can people keep up with you and stalk you all over the Internets?
We are currently in the process of rehauling the brand of M.I.D. so the website has not be updated in a long while. People are still welcome to view though.