Final (For Now) Seasick Steve in Oakland

Final (For Now) Seasick Steve in Oakland - student project

Here is what I have created. I'm calling it final for now. I still want to work on some details and then halftone it. I'm pretty happy with it. Thanks DKNG and all of the students, whether you commented on my project or not, very inspiring. Anyway here it is.

If you want to keep track of it follow me on Twitter @RideTheLlama

Final (For Now) Seasick Steve in Oakland - image 1 - student project

I've chosen Seasick Steve for my project. He's one of my favourite blues artists. His rawness and character really appeal to me on both a musical and visual level, so for me there was no one better for this project. He isn't currently touring so I decided that this concert will be happening in Oakland, his birthplace. I also like the visuals of the port cranes and shipping containers so it should work well.

My initial thought is to have a row of box cars riding down a railway line broken up by an old boat being transported. Seasick Steve will be laying in the back of the boat with his guitar hanging over the side. The background will contain some cranes and shipping containers.

I am drawing some inspiration from the Dave Mathews South Beach posters from our incredible teachers at DKNG in that I want this to be very textural and even though it will use a different colour pallet I really like the vibrancy of the colours. In saying that I can also see this poster as a very bare bones hand-drawn black ink style printed on brown cardboard box stock. Who knows where I'll take it.

Here's my initial rough sketch of the main element:

Final (For Now) Seasick Steve in Oakland - image 2 - student project

+ More to be added soon. 

Here are some reference images

Final (For Now) Seasick Steve in Oakland - image 3 - student project


Final (For Now) Seasick Steve in Oakland - image 4 - student project

Final (For Now) Seasick Steve in Oakland - image 5 - student project

I am really looking forward to the challenge of executing this poster as I don't get a chance to use Illustrator as often as I would like. My work is mostly web design and editorial design. I use photoshop quite a bit but would really like to keep it to a minimum on this project.


I had a dream last night of another concept, yet to be sketched. It's a ship in a bottle, but the bottle is Jack Daniels. Total seed of an idea still, but I will work on it and see how it feels.


Thanks for the feedback. As much as I like the Jack Daniels bottle idea I couldnt get the first concept out of my head so I went ahead and sketeched it out with more detail. I really feel like I can give the poster a better sense of location with this design. Plus I wanted to get this up here for critique and ran out of time. I still might go ahead and sketch out the JD image just to see where it goes.

As you will see drawing isnt my strongest point but you can see what i'm going for. Those black figures on the right are dogs, Steve tells a great story of when he went to prison for 6 months and his dog turned up when he got out, the dog was pregnant and gave birth to 12 pups the day after he got out. Then she left him with "the 12 dog blues".

I am yet to add in the type but will wait until I get into illustrator before I add that. Here is my second more detailed sketch of my first concept.

Final (For Now) Seasick Steve in Oakland - image 6 - student project


For the most part I like earthy tones for this poster broken up with some brighter elements like the 2 box cars, which are that deep red in the photo above, I like blue for the boat and differing colours for the shipping contatiners. I plan on putting it together as a screen print and only use 4 colours.

I'm getting my style and colour inspiration from these designs:

Final (For Now) Seasick Steve in Oakland - image 7 - student project

Final (For Now) Seasick Steve in Oakland - image 8 - student project

I would like to mimic the second one in the shipping containers. 


I'm not as far along as I would have liked but I have started work in illustrator and created the train and shipping container. They still need alot of work, the colours aren't right and no textures have been added yet. I will be spelling out the name of the venue and date of the gig on the containers as shown in this update. I have alot of work to go and will keep updating here as I go.

Final (For Now) Seasick Steve in Oakland - image 9 - student project

Final (For Now) Seasick Steve in Oakland - image 10 - student project


I have roughly put together a few more elements to help get a better handle on the scale and composition of my poster. I still haven't played around too much with colours and you can take the colours used here as placeholder colours I guess. As an example, I plan to make the stack of conatiners different colours, some blue some orange.

I'm also yet to finalise a spot for the Seasick Steve title. A was thinking of having 2 containers hanging from cranes from the top of the poster, hanging on a diagonal angle and having Seasick on one and Steve on the other. These containers will be larger and almost in the foreground. What do you think?

Final (For Now) Seasick Steve in Oakland - image 11 - student project  


I have pretty much decided on the composition of the poster and have almost all of my elements where I want them. There is still alot of work to do on details and texture. I have chosen the colours I am going to run with, I will be using 5 colours in total.


Final (For Now) Seasick Steve in Oakland - image 12 - student project

Latest progress

Final (For Now) Seasick Steve in Oakland - image 13 - student project

I'm having alot of fun putting this together and would love to hear some feedback.