Ever notice the lanky hatted dude in the cut at the local show drawing calmly in his sketchbook as a mosh pit churns and swirls around him? Probably not. Brian Butler somehow manages to draw in public without drawing attention to himself. At the end of the night, he has an illustrated account of the show more nuanced than most written reviews, brimming with more life than your average photo slideshow.
Everything’s grounds for competition these days. Cupcake baking. Weight losing. Runway walking. So why not character designing? That’s the premise of the Characterized tour, produced by Cut&Paste, a New York-born organization that tries to make designers better understood through performance, video, and conversation.
Today, on its eighth birthday, Sweat Records announced the lineup for Sweatstock, its annual all-day, multi-stage music fest. Set for Record Store Day on April 20, Sweatstock will feature performances by more than 30 acts, including Otto Von Schirach, who will headline the main stage outside, ANR, Holly Hunt, This Heart Electric, and many other bands we’ve spotlighted on Beached Miami in the past. There will also be several food trucks and and cheap beer courtesy of Grolsch. To learn more about Sweatstock 2013, including how you can help fund the free event, visit the official event page after checking out this sweet flyer illustration by Beached Miami bud Brian Butler.
On Saturday night, artist Brian Butler was on hand at The Stage to live sketch the Beached Bash, a celebration of Beached Miami’s two-year exploration of Miami culture with live performances by Krisp and Palette Town, a set by DJ Lolo, and good eats by Ms. Cheezious. Here’s what ended up in his notepad (click image to see full size).
Sunday was the Miami Beach Gay Pride parade, and, despite the sporadic drizzle and the serious threat of runny mascara, queens, bears, and curious tourists made their way to Ocean Drive in droves. Sketchy Miami all-star Brian Butler, the inimitable hand behind The Upper Hand Art, was on hand to illustrate the “extraordinary day out” in real time. Thank God. To view the illustration in full size, click the cowboy’s nipple.
As I mentioned last week, we are throwing a party on June 30 at Lester’s cafe in Wynwood to celebrate the launch of Sketchy Miami, a project with a simple and impossible mission: to create a portrait of every person in Miami. (To get all the details about the party, visit the Facebook event page.)
In addition to live music by Sam Friend and free pizza from Joey’s, we are also going to have a handful of amazing local artists on hand to sketch flash portraits. In last week’s post, we introduced you to the wonderful Annie Blazejack, who has already done three Sketchys.
Today I want to introduce two more artists who will be gracing the party with their uniquely awesome talents. First up is Brian Butler, whose work you can view in abundance at theupperhandart.com. Butler’s name first came to my attention after I saw the drawing he did of — and at — the Bruise Cruise kickoff party, a seemingly chaotic composition that captured the energy of that long night of great music as well as words or photos could have. Later I found out I’d been seeing Butler’s work on a nearly weekly basis in the form of flyers for many of the shows we’d covered on Beached. (Here’s a great one for a show we didn’t cover.)
For his rare talent for (and even rarer habit of) live sketching, I’m thrilled Butler we will be on hand at our Sketchy Party. Since he may be doing your portrait at Lester’s, we figured we’d give him a chance to introduce himself. Here goes.
Who are you?
BB: Brian Butler, professional mini golfer and cryptozoologist, intermediate bowler.
What’s your Miami Connection?
BB: I moved to the beach from Boston last year. I’ve been making flyers for Sweat [Records], Discosoma, and Roofless [Records] for a while. Last December I helped Primary Flight take over Wynwood, then installed my Ice Cream People show at Kidrobot on South Beach.
How did you get into live sketching at shows?
BB: I have to draw. I don’t know if there’s a medical term for it, but like I get anxiety if I can’t be drawing. The concert drawings began as a way of documenting shows that I organized in Boston. Then the pen started coming out at other shows, and I haven’t really stopped. Occasionally I share the drawings with my pals at imposemagazine.com.
A sketch Butler did live at the Mary Anne Hobbs show at Vagabond on April 22.
Do you have a favorite portrait in the history of art?
BB: That’s a loaded question. I guess my favorite portrait ever in the history of art is Shepard Fairey’s original portrait of Andre The Giant for the “has a posse” stickers. Professional wrestling trumps art any day.
What is your favorite feature of the human face? Why?
BB: I like drawing extra little marks everywhere, to give them a lot character. It ends up making them look kinda grotesque.
You have done some really good show flyers. What is your approach when creating art work for a flyer?
BB: The illustrations are usually an extension of the band’s genera or a play on a good band name. On that note, when are Jacuzzi Boys and Gorilla Pussy going to play together?
I know, I know. I promised you two introductions. Our interview with Bakehouse Art Complex artist Carrie Sieh will post this afternoon.
For those of you still coming down and/or off of a hangover after last night’s Bruise Cruise Kick-Off Party, here is an illustration that Miami-based artist Brian Butler drew at the show to help you relive a night of stellar music. You see, some people go to music fests and just passively listen. Others recreate the event itself in another medium in real time with incredible results. You can see more of Butler’s work HERE.