Jake Larsen is the winner of the 2016 Savannah Stopover Poster Competition. His poster for the band Yuck featuring some very ripped aquatic creatures swept the votes and won the hearts of this year’s judges. After his big win, Larsen chatted with SAI about his inspiration for the poster and his unique artistic style.
Larsen is a SCAD sequential art student set to graduate in 2016. You can see more of his work at http://invertedstupidity.tumblr.com/.
SAI: Congratulations on winning the 2016 Savannah Stopover Poster Competition! Your poster for the band Yuck (featuring some very muscular fish) swept the polls. What inspired the design? Why fish with abs? And what made you choose the band Yuck?
Jake Larsen: When listening to Yuck’s music, I always get kind of an undersea vibe for whatever reason. This definitely inspired me to go a more character- driven route with my poster. I always enjoy designing characters and exaggerating features (like human anatomy), which is how I ended up with this design for my poster. Yuck’s music has quite a bit of variance in it, so I liked the idea of combining two things that don’t usually go together when I designed the characters. Specifically, giving undersea creatures elements of the human form. I chose the band Yuck because their music really inspired me in terms of color palette for this design. In particular, the distortion and loud instrumentals in several of their songs led me to a louder color palette for my poster.
SAI: How would you describe your style as an artist?
Larsen: I think my style as an artist definitely comes across as very clean, but also very aggressive. I rely a lot on having really clean linework and heavy use of spot blacks, which I think gives my work a lot of impact.
SAI: Your work generally has a sense of humor about it — sometimes dark humor. Is art an outlet for you to talk about the things that get under your skin?
Larsen: I feel like I rarely try to address specific issues with my art. That being said, I do think I have a bit of a dry, dark sense of humor, which comes through in my work from time to time. There’s plenty of things in this world that get under my skin, but in general I try to keep that out of my work.
SAI: You’ve described yourself as a “basement athlete, alpha cyberbully, meme connoisseur”. Do you find yourself influenced by your strong online presence or by the internet and online gaming in general? How so?
Larsen: I’ve always loved the culture of the Internet, both good and bad. The irreverent, meta- humor of many communities on the web has definitely had an impact on who I am as both a person and an artist, and I definitely play into that a bit both in my art as well as in my online presence. I think it’s quite fun to cause some trouble and to have some attitude in the way you do things. Whether that attitude manifests itself in a variety of made up titles, or in art that might stray into darker waters and make people a bit uncomfortable, I think it’s all in good fun and I enjoy doing it.
SAI: You’re currently a SCAD sequential art student and are set to graduate this year. What are your plans for after graduation?
Larsen: No plans so far, definitely hoping my final quarter at SCAD will give me some clarity as far as what I want to do and where I want to go. Until then, I’ll be keeping up with my usual amount of freelance work.