Sunday, February 5, 2012

Interview with Mark McDevitt of Methane Studios, Inc.


Methane Studios gotits start in 1998 when Mark McDevitt and Robert Lee formed apartnership to produce silk screen posters for the East Atlanta clubThe Echo Lounge that featured some of the best independent bands inthe late 1990s.

The roots of thispartnership started in the mid 1980s at Columbus College of Art andDesign located in Columbus, Ohio. Robert and Mark, both from smallOhio towns, majored in Illustration and bonded over bad '80shaircuts, corndogs, good music and creating art to form a friendshipthat would transcend into creating award-winning artwork recognizedworldwide. Our status as well-known designers has led us to winawards in design competitions in How, Print magazine, and the Graphisposter annual.

In college we learnedin a more traditional way, which allowed us to explore techniquesthat we use today. We never let our posters "look"computerized. We use the computer like a pencil or paintbrush. Thecomputer has allowed us to speed things up and to explore moreoptions for sure, but we still belly up to the drafting table often.We draw inspiration from many artists, be it musical or visual, and ourwork tends to have a vintage influence and is shipped from oursecret, haunted (true story) studio located in East Point, GA.

Why do you like to print?

I like to silkscreen because the imageslowly comes alive right before your eyes color by color. I like theboldness of the medium, the imperfections and happy accidents thatcome along with it, plus its long history in the art world.

What is your favorite print medium andwhy?

Silkscreen is my fave. I took classeswhen I was in college and later on in my career experimented in mygarage for fun, which turned into Methane Studios. We’re producingsome letterpress cards that we’re excited about and hope tocontinue with more letterpress prints in the future.

How long have you been printing andhow has your work evolved?

We started printing in 1997 and at thetime we didn’t have any expectations for the work since it was moreexperimental, but now we strive for quality and good design. We arealways trying new solutions and growing as artists every year. Thelast thing we want to do is grow stale.

What inspires you?

A lot of the artists from the1940s-1960s inspire me, and I’m always discovering new old artworkposted on design blogs. We’re both music junkies and probably haveenough music that if I dropped dead at my computer it would continueto play music well after I have been mummified.

My family and Robert (my partner andbest bud) always inspire me to work hard, not to mention my boys seemto eat and grow out of everything quickly.

How do your promote your work?

We promote our work through ourwebsite, facebook, blogs and enter a lot of design competitions. Wehave also started to have booths at a lot of different craft fairsaround the country, which are fun. So if you see us, stop by and sayhowdy!

Are you working on any particularprojects now?

We are putting together work for ourFebruary gallery show in Raleigh, NC. In March we have a show inSavannah, GA, at the Bandwagon event, and then we’ll be at SXSW inAustin. In addition to all of that we are busy creating our firstgreeting card line, creating gig posters and getting ready for thebusy summer tour season, which could mean we might create and print more than 50 posters over a four-month period. 

We also get random projects from timeto time, so it’s always interesting to see what comes up on a dailybasis.

Tell us one random fact about yourself.

I used to collect beer cans back in thelate 1970s. I would cruise around Lancaster, Ohio, on my moped anddig in old dumps looking for rusty cone top cans, which were andstill are the most collectible. I can still remember how exciting itwas to make a big find and think about this every time I watchAmerican Pickers. Those cans reside in my man cave today!

Check out Methane Studios' Etsy shop, website and facebook page.