Wattle & Daub

Freelance design and illustration



Cake at the Bottle Rock - Napa Valley May 12th


I have admired Cake for a long time ever since I was a young kid and my dad and I rocked out to "The Distance" whenever we were together. Drenched in irony and looking at the world with a skeptic eye, Cake helped define the 90's alternative sound and feel. Conceptual driven, politicaly motivated at times, Cake uses their lead singers deadpan voice to emphasize the fact that they just don't take things all too seriously.


  • I want to make sure I am exploring a myriad of ideas and not jumping into one prematurely. 
  • I want to explore various styles of illustration being careful not to fall into one style because of familiarity or ease.
  • Stay true to the artist and ideas they value
  • Look at the problem from multiple angles, include history, venue, etc, if necessary


Environment and Sarcasm

Basic research has shown that Cake is a pretty laid back, passionate group. They believe greatly in the environment and in trying to protect and restore it. They even pass out trees to some of their fans at shows and encourage them to take photos of them as they grow and send them the photos. 

Cake also uses irony and sarcasm in their song writing, generally pointing out flaws in society or things they find a little silly. They enjoy play on words, using strange instruments at times, and mashing various styles together to create a unique sound.

Visual Research

Cake has a very minimal presence both on the web and through their album/gig poster artwork. It's folksy at times, eclectic, and carries a sense of time. Generally refering back to etchings, pop art, or other retro imagery and colors. Their name is usually prominent at some location.


Album Art

As you will notice much of Cake's presence is very minimal and simple.

Other Gig Posters

The gig posters offer a much deeper look into how others view Cake and how they view themselves. I see muted colors, etching like imagery, and a strong typographical presence at times. The imagery usually reflects retro themes as well.


Though I find a lot of inspiration from the previous gig posters I have pulled together some visuals that I think will help me as I move forward. I will be using these images/posters/illustrations to help me as i develop my concept. Style considerations have been made as well as color. Just because some images have been chosen doesn't mean the final will turn out to lok that way.


These sketches demonstrate different directions I have decided to go in since starting the project. The concepts vary but I wanted to use irony in some way. Not all of them do, some are more abstract than others as well.

Beginning the sketching process i generally like to write out a word list based off the material that I've researched. I also try to include phrases or sayings that stick out to me. Then I just continue to draw, sketch or ideate until I can't anymore.


I began exploring some different ideas. Mashing the venue's winery background and theme, with Cakes environmental passion and minimal style. Though Cake has a minimal presence they do tend to enjoy the decorated fluff of the victorian era, probably because its a little ironic.

You'll see here that I began playing with The Bottle Rock's iconic barrel of wine with another image representing Cake's presence there. One funny aside, I've never seen a Cake used in a Cake album or poster probably because its ironic not to...but it would almost be as ironic and funny to include one now...oh well.

Barrel Show

I sort of like the idea of having a giant barrel as the venue. Maybe having lights and such on the top, windows with light coming out. I'm not sure, its kind of fun. I had a hole in the side with wine leaking out and a ship sailing on it but I really don't know why. Perhaps having the wine drip and bottles scattered about might be a better approach without going into the surreal, which doesn't say Cake to me.

2nd Round Sketch

For the second round of sketches I focused on the ideas that I was most excited about. Narrowing it down to the final idea which I like. I played around with the wine barrel, one hosting the actual show and the second as part of a more conceptual idea.

Chosen Sketch

I like this final direction the most because I think it embodies not only the artist but the venue as well. It makes for a unique experience, something people would like to have because of its uniqueness.

 Going into Illustrator

I've finally gone into illustrator and started creating a lot of the assets I will need for the poster and the band setup in the barrel. I'll post some shots of where I'm at.

As you can see I haven't gotten too far into the exploration phase and the deadline is approaching! I'll have plenty of time these next upcoming days to explore color, texture, and finish putting together all the poster.

Finished Poster


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