To make this site more appealing to a larger audience it is important that we try to promote all aspects of the music world. Last month we did a feature on our boy Ein of Second Combat but instead of focusing on his legendary band, we centered the article around the amazing work he does promoting his Drug Free Youth organization in Malaysia.
This month we take a look behind an immensely vital part of band life – graphics.
If you have been following Asian hardcore over the past few years, there are many talented and creative graphic artists on this continent who provide work for countless bands not just in Asia but all over the world. One name in particular stands out from that almighty pack IMMEDIATELY – Bangkok’s own Chun One.
Homie has been KILLING it providing artwork for bands everywhere from: Monument X, Bad Times Crew, Cruel Hand, The Mongoloids, The Rival Mob, Wolf Down, Backtrack, Relentless, iconic punk rock zines like Maximum Rock N’ Roll, and even festivals such as China’s very own CNHC Hardcore Fest.
When I hit him up for this interview – his immediate response showed just how humble this dude’s DNA is…he replied “Nah man – why don’t you interview some bands and help give them some exposure?” Hell yeah – we will always be promoting bands for sure, but how often do we get to talk about those important elements/people that work hard BEHIND the scenes? Without great artwork what do bands/promoters have to grab an audience’s attention with? Nothing.
It is with great pleasure and a huge honor that I introduce you all to the graphic stylings of a certain Mr. Chun One!
Be sure to check out his tumbler page for a complete archive of all his artwork and always read his captions…my man likes to drop that knowledge!: http://chunsworld.tumblr.com
I cannot recommend this artist enough! If you’re into what you see below and in his tumblr then get in touch with Chun through email: [email protected]
Here’s his facbeook page as well: https://www.facebook.com/ChunOneStudio?pnref=story
How did you get into designing logos for bands around the world?
I did my first ever band design for this Hong Kong hardcore punk band called King Ly Chee fronted by a smooth playboy named Riz Farooqi (read that with a Ekin Chengs Chan Ho-Nam voice) when I was a freshman in university, circa 2001. After that I did not do anything official due to my study and my work, but I decided to start again around 2012 after I came up with the style that I am using right now.
(Editor’s note: I can’t believe I can’t find that design that he did for me! It was for a zine that I was doing in Hong Kong called Start From Scratch – a bilingual zine about punk/hardcore presented in both English and Chinese.)
What is the process you go through before you and the artist finalizes the design they’re going to use? I presume a design go through several changes and edits along the way.
Usually it starts with a discussion around the concept, how the characters will look, and the lettering style of their logo. Then I would estimate and provide a quotation and if they agree and pay me then I start on my sketch which is where the changes and edits are all done before I commence on the artwork. The post-finalized artwork edit sometimes happens, but not so often.
So your designs are open for revisions and edits. Is there a certain amount of times you allow for revisions to happen? I can imagine a design is very similar to creating a song, it’s never actually done! You can always go back and fix something etc…but at some point you gotta say “That’s it! We gotta wrap this up”. Have you had an experience where the process was overly drawn out?
Yes, but not as much as revising during the sketch process, luckily I never have to revise more than twice for my actual artwork. Often times it’s usually, edit the appearance of a character, move the position of the logo or something simple like that.
You certainly have a very unique design element that you use in a lot of designs that you’ve made for bands and events incorporating images of cartoonish hardcore kids. Where did you get the inspiration for this?
Thank you. I always doodled around drawing people doing crooked grinds or whatever, after a while I settled on a flow and the elements that I use in my style. I think the inspiration is from looking at those 90s skateboard adverts and board graphics, reading manga, and also by observing the dance moves of people at shows.
Do you remember what those early graphics were that still stand the test of time? The ones that to this day you look back and go “Man – those were DOPE!” What was it about those designs that connected with you? (I’ll search online and put those images in the interview as well)
It would be all those Hook-Ups Skateboards artwork that referenced anime/manga, and those classic World Industries/101/Blind board graphics by Sean Cliver and Marc Mckee…. the whole Blind shorts and small wheels era. Those guys are so good!
What has been one of your fondest memories of designing for bands or events?
The fondest memories would be the times that I get my payment for design work and spend it.
Get a concept, select your format (hand drawn, or Illustrator) and get ya wallet, fans and groupies ready baby. Its goin down!
I would either swing my pens & markers the analog way, or go digital with Adobe Illustrator. Those formats are easy for the clients to use for printing, as well as easy and fast to send via emails as 99% of my clientele are from overseas. I would love to try painting on walls and canvas or other odd objects as well such as a DVD box of some bomb ass porno flicks, a brick of cocaine, or a 12 Subway Steak and Cheese with extra bacon the possibilities are endless!
Are there are any artists from around the world whose work inspires you? Or that you reference…
I am inspired by the late great Charles M. Schulz who did Peanuts/Snoopy, Patrick Hynes who did the inner sleeve artworks for Green Days Dookie and countless other Lookout! Records artworks, Erik Ohlsson from Millencolin who did a lot of his bands album artwork and merch, as well as a lot of graffiti writers like Doves, Keo, Dondi, Haze, and those early 90s Mr. Cartoon pen art style on his Sucker Brand shirts etc.
In terms of music, what type of bands/music do you love creating for?
Most of my clients are hardcore bands because thats the type of music I listen to the most. But then again I dont really have a restriction on the genre as long as its not some racist, homophobic or other stupid hateful stuff.
What do you think it is about your designs that connect so well in the world of hardcore?
I dare not say so, just trying my best. Still got a lot to go for.
What types of music do you listen to or headspace do you get into when you are creating?
Depend on what I got on my iTunes at the moment. A little mix from RZL DZL to The Temptations to Dog Eat Dog to Basement to the Notorious B.I.G. to John Coltrane to Megadeth to Jack Johnson Or I would just throw on my Seinfeld DVDs or a Thai-dubbed version of Kato-chan Ken-chan Gokigen TV and listen to the dialogue.
10. Any advice tips for designers around the world as they start out
Study a lot, draw a lot and develop your own style and always practice. Dont be frustrated if people dont like your work because you cannot satisfy everyone. Talk to your favorite bands and ask to do designs for them. Again, draw as much as you can, get your name out there and, dont forget to have fun doing it.
CNHC Hardcore Fest 2013 – on stage handing this poster out as a giveaway!