We're excited to bring you a series of profiles to introduce you to a few of our artisans coming to the 8th Annual Crafty Mart Holiday Show on Saturday and Sunday, November 26th-27th. This is just one in a series of Vendor Spotlights in which we let those who will be sharing their wares shine a light on what it is they do. The following profile is Keith of Eleven X Seventeen Poster Co. and his response to a mini-questionnaire.
1). What's your name and what is it that you make?
My parents named me Keith Ten Eyck after my father, which I believe my mother debated and lost. So now I'm stuck with the stupid suffix "Jr." at the end of my name. Normal kids would be proud. Not me. I design movie prints based-on cult classics, international cinema, and pop-iconic American favorites. I also enjoy designing gig posters without the content limitations of movies.
2). How did you acquire the unique skill set to do what it is you do?
I acquired my skill set in the early 21st century by simply being in a metalcore band and designing all of our promotional art. I had no idea what I was doing, but with practice and always having
an autodidact perseverance, putting in the time finally paid off in Photoshop. In fact, I didn't switch over to Adobe Illustrator until about 3 years ago. All my designer friends would look at me bewilderedly when they found out I was designing everything in Photoshop and ask "Why are you doing this to yourself? Illustrator will make your life so much easier." So finally I sucked it up and started dabbling, learned Illustrator's interface (not much different than Photoshop) and now it's all I use. It definitely helped to have a roommate at the time who is a designer with a degree, when I ran into issues. Other wise, Youtube is naturally my muse.
I've always loved posters since I was a little kid. As I got older I discovered Polish movie posters and their interpretive, fine-art approach to film print. I love international movie posters of English movies. I draw inspiration from that but with a graphic designer background. I grew up big into art. My father, my uncle and my mother were artistic. However, I became frustrated because my style was always "cartoony" and I wanted to be more anatomically, hyper-realistic or spectacular like Gustave Doré . So I kind of gave up and got into writing, music and skateboarding for a few years before stumbling into the digital age of design.
3). What is your best seller?
Big sellers are all my Wes Anderson stuff, specifically The Life Aquatic. Other best sellers include Harry Potter, Mrs. Doubtfire, Jurassic Park, Ghostbusters, Beetlejuice, 2001: A Space Odyssey, and Fear & Loathing In Las Vegas. It's always different, but I've seen a pattern in the aforementioned list.
4). How long have you been vending? Have you done a Crafty Mart show before?
I've been vending for 3 years now. Originally, I was just designing posters for fun. The files would just sit on my hard drive until I entered an art show just for the heck of it. The reception of the crowd was overwhelmingly positive. So, I decided to roll with it. I'm still figuring it out, but so far so good –it's been a very organic transition.
5). The Beatles or The Rolling Stones?
Simply an unfair question. I'm a late bloomer on both bands... I know more Beatles songs, but I think the Rolling Stones have a slight edge. They have some genuine rippers and I admire their machismo-tinged themes. It's endearing.
Thank you for answering our questions, Keith. And, thanks for coming to the 8th Annual Crafty Mart Holiday Show. We'll see everyone on Sat. & Sun. Nov. 26th-27th at Musica, Akron Art Museum, and Summit Artspace. You'll be able to find Eleven X Seventeen Poster Co. at Musica.