George Hage is a visual artist living in Raleigh, NC. He creates beautiful posters, logos, and merch for brands, events, and concerts. He is a perfect example of how to live an alternative-lifestyle, defying the norm, and staying true to what he loves. Read our interview with him to learn more about his process and inspiration.
Describe your creative process to us.
Generally I will sketch out some concepts in a small format based on the project criteria. This is allows me to see what translates from my head to paper and see what’s working best. Once the concept is finalized I will draw tighter pencil piece in a larger format and then tighten things up in ink. Final steps to the design are scanning and adding color digitally. Once the color is finalized I create the digital separations for the screen printing process.
Next transparencies are made, screens burned and prepped, paper and ink prepped, and then each poster is hand printed color by color. The screen printing process is challenging and rewarding and I’ve been fortunate enough to learn from Adam Peele (Ahpeele Studios) over the years. I still have a lot to learn.
Are you from NC? If not, where? And do you feel that it has an influence on how you operate as a content creator?
I was born and raised in NC. I grew up in the Concord/Charlotte area and came to Raleigh for school. Additionally my dad moved around a lot so I was able to spend a lot of time all over the east coast and some time in the UK and Spain when he was overseas.
Living in NC, specifically in the Triangle, has definitely guided my artistic endeavors. Being in a band I was able to cut my teeth with concert posters for my own band. That led to doing posters for friends’ bands and getting to connect with a great community of local artists and screen printers at Hopscotch Music Festival. We are also very fortunate to live in a community where we see lots of bands and small businesses thrive. That’s given someone like me the opportunity to connect with local businesses, clothing brands, breweries, and bands.
I hear a lot of artists claim to be either early birds or night owls. During which part of the day do you find yourself most inspired?
I tend to be a night owl. I find the most inspiration late night when I’m left alone without distractions and I can reflect and process things that may have happened that day or that are to come.
Your posters are extremely eye catching! Any secrets to that? Do you have favorite colors that you like to use?
Starting with a dynamic or bold image can set you up for success. For posters you want it to be eye-catching from 50 feet away and then draw folks in for a closer look.
Color choices can also make or break a poster. I tend to lean toward the classic red, white and blue, or a more vibrant look with purple, orange, bright green, and a yellow or gold. For a long time I avoided using black for my outlines in my posters. Also in recent years I’ve started using more pink after seeing my buddy Rico Renzi use pink successfully when he colors comic books.
How long have you been designing posters? How do you feel you’ve improved since then? Did you go to school for graphic design?
The first screen printed poster I ever did was for a Hopscotch show my band played in 2011. That year I did two posters, 4 the next, and so on. I’ve done around 6 posters in the past two months, which is a little crazy to think about.
When I started it was just to see if I could do it. I didn’t go to school for graphic design so I try learn something with each project. It’s good to look back at my older designs and see what worked and what didn’t and take that forward into the next piece.
As far as improvements, I think my illustrations have gotten tighter over the past 5 years and I’m slowly getting better at hand-lettering.
Do you work for yourself or are you contracted with another company?
Short answer is for myself.
For the past 5 years I have been doing a couple illustration/design projects a year to stretch my creative-muscles. It’s just been in the past few months that I decided to push my art even further. I’ve taken on a lot more projects including album artwork, t-shirt designs, logo designs, and creating my own brand of enamel pins, hats, t-shirts, postcards, and my first sketchbook. I have some exciting new projects lined up in the next two months with local businesses, bands, and sports teams I can’t wait to share.
Twitter: @thegeorgehage – www.twitter.com/thegeorgehage
Instagram: @thegeorgehage – www.instagram.com/thegeorgehage
See a time lapse of his process HERE