This year for our SMASH Benefit, we tapped local graphic artist and musician Andrew Martinez to create our poster. We love his unique illustrative style, which is simple and engaging while also being bold and eye-catching. We caught up with Andrew to talk about art, music, his Bowie fandom, and more.
To begin, tell a bit about what inspired the poster art direction.
There was a pretty straightforward plan for this project from the start. From when I first started collaborating with SMASH, we knew that we wanted the designs to be based on specific iconic eras of his career. I was given a choice to decide which. The save the date I created was based on his Aladdin Sane persona, with the themes of “space” and “neon” in my head. The main poster design is fully inspired by …Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars. The text, colors, and mood, were all born from that album.
Do you consider yourself a Bowie fan? What is your first memory of experiencing Bowie?
Because of my age, I’m pretty certain my first introduction to Bowie was the movie Labyrinth. My brother Esteban and I watched the hell out of that movie when we were children, and “As the World Falls Down” remains one of my all-time favorite Bowie tracks to this day. As I’ve gotten older I’ve come to realize more and more just how much there is to unpack from his career. I feel like, even to this day, I’m discovering new amazing stuff I’ve never known before. It’s only the most special artists that have that.
What is your favorite Bowie record and song?
Tough question, but I will say that I’ve always thought that The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars is a perfect album front to back. Lately, though, I’ve come to really appreciate the album Scary Monsters (And Super Creeps.) So many amazing musicians worked on that record, and the production is just insane. There’s a lot of really creative guitar work on that one that I dig.
As for my favorite David Bowie song, it’s definitely Heroes. It’s just an immensely beautiful and powerful song. It literally makes me cry when I hear it.
What artist are you most excited to see at the show?
It was low-key blowing my mind putting together this poster and typing out names like Mike McCready, Peter Buck, and Ben Gibbard. True legends that we all grew up listening to. I have to say though, that I’m equally excited to see some of our friends on the bill too, like Shaina Shepherd and Jessica Dobson, cause I know they’re gonna bring it. It’s a truly special lineup, it really is.
What are 3 songs you want to see covered in the show?
Ashes to Ashes, Sound and Vision, and Modern Love.
You are a musician yourself, tell us about that.
Music was originally the main catalyst for my wanting to move out to Seattle from the Southwest. I spent most of my time during the pandemic writing material for my project called Dark Denim. I hope to start performing some of that music soon, and one day I’ll fully record the album I wrote and put it out. I’m in no hurry.
What music are you loving right now?
Some current rotation tracks for me are: Stereo Driver by Q, Slide by Plastic Picnic, and We Had A Good Time by Bullion.
I’ve also been really digging this band called Adored. They’re two brothers who make excellent new wave/synth pop, and they recently dropped a great little album.
I listen to Heaven or Las Vegas by Cocteau Twins almost daily.
Any upcoming exhibits or campaigns?
I just started on a press journey for Pabst. I’m one of the winners of their Art Can Contest for 2022 and my can is in stores now, so I’ll be working on promoting that for a bit. Other than that, just plugging away on more show posters and branding projects for bands mostly!
Be sure to keep an eye out for Andrew's Pabst Cans in a store near you and stay up to date with him by visiting his website at https://andrewmartinez.design. You can also find Andrew on Instagram at @andrewrawrtinez.