This is the third artist interview in a five-part interview series by artist and instructor Lisa L. Cyr. Each interview features a Q&A with a student in the University of Hartford’s Hartford Art School MFA program and the promotional materials that the student made in Cyr’s promotional strategies course. This interview features illustrator and designer Brad Albright and his album art inspired promotional materials. Enjoy!
Interview with illustrator and designer Brad Albright
Q: Can you talk about your brand and how you were able to incorporate that vision into your promotional materials?
A: My artwork is heavily music inspired, so it was a natural decision to explore promotional formats that alluded to album art, music packaging and band merchandising trends. As I developed my TEXAN GOTHIC illustration series, an iconography emerged that felt well suited to bold one-color silkscreen printing on shirts, turntable mats, scarves and posters. Combining hand-printed merchandise with the more elaborate full-color and 3D print imagery of the main series, I grew excited to represent myself as a one-stop shop for clients, especially those in the music industry. As for incorporating 3D glasses, I was guided simply by a personal curiosity for the format which then helped me to develop the imagery itself. Overall, the 3D experience is a fun and engaging promotional format to share with others.
Q: What advice can you give other illustrators/artists when it comes to self-promotion?
A: Every artist needs to find the approach that works best for their personality and brand. I think it’s best to first imagine how you yourself would like to see your artwork displayed. What’s unique about your voice, and what platforms might best communicate that to your audience? Also, consider making promotional items that you are confident could actually sell and not be just given away for free. That will help guide you to produce a quality product that clients can’t help but raise their eyebrows to.
Q: How has the Hartford Art School low-residency MFA Program in Illustration helped you in further realizing your career goals as an artist?
A: In addition to teaching me core business concepts that are essential to a successful career in the arts, the Hartford Art School program provided an unrivaled sense of purpose and momentum which enabled me to attack an ambitious amount of side projects and extracurricular involvements outside of the program. The low-residency format gave me the unique opportunity to work fulltime, while traveling for graduate sessions and simultaneously pursuing creative outlets in my home market. In my two years with the program, I became an active gallery artist, community arts proponent and volunteer, private drawing instructor, freelance illustrator and an established up-and-coming name in the Dallas market. That’s all in addition to the leaps and bounds made in my full-time design career and personal work. All of that said, the relationships made among the students and faculty are the core of the program, and I truly can’t say enough about how amazingly inspirational and supportive the community is.
The Hartford Art School at the University of Hartford has designed an elite low-residency MFA program for seasoned illustrators who seek to move their careers to the next level, while earning a master’s degree for college-level teaching. Dr. Murray Tinkelman, Hall-of-Fame illustrator, historian and the 1999 Society of Illustrators’ Distinguished Educator in the Arts award recipient, is the director of this cutting-edge program. Tinkelman’s years of experience in the field are an asset, attracting internationally-recognized artists eager to teach under his directorship. “It is taught by professional illustrators who are also dedicated and talented educators,” comments Tinkelman. “The students who enter this program are equally committed to the field of illustration. They come from all over the world, courageously checking their egos at the door and ready to plunge right into the learning process.”
This online workshop will explore alternative, innovative ways of conceptualizing and creating content-driven mixed-media art that is on the cutting-edge. Throughout the workshop, insightful and thought-provoking profiles of leading artists and illustrators accompany exciting in-depth, step-by-step demonstrations, shedding light on signature processes and techniques. The workshop also provides insight into the historical influences behind contemporary thinking and approaches, investigating the origins of alternative, unconventional picture making throughout the decades. Offering a wide range of possibilities for exploration and experimentation, this workshop will reveal how alternative, mixed media aesthetics is uniting the disciplines of two-dimensional, three-dimensional, digital and new media art in inventive combinations. For those wanting to venture outside the norm, this workshop will be a valuable resource and an ongoing source for creative inspiration. Course registration comes with a digital download of Art Revolution by artist and author Lisa L. Cyr.