About this shitty website:
I bought this fucking thing (TempeArt.com) from a payphone in 1999 or 2000, I forget which one exactly. I made the call downstairs from my apartment just north of the auto parts store on Hardy and University. I bought it because I wasn’t ready to give up on Tempe just yet. This was during that awkward phase, when Tempe had jettisoned everything remotely fun about it and replaced it with a bunch of chain restaurants. My friends and I were still doing events, and we were going to maintain a community if it killed us. I finally said “Fuck this shit” around 2005, when our little house on Wilson (which was a studio for me and a venue for my housemates), just south of The Sail Inn, was bulldozed to make room for a bunch of luxury apartments that were never built. To this day, it’s a parking lot.
This site has been through twenty or thirty redesigns. There were times when I had it redirecting to my own website. Then every few years, I’d feel nostalgic about my old haunts and try to get something going again.
Anyway, I’m over it. I don’t live in Tempe anymore. I live in Phoenix. And while I do happen to own DTPHXArt.com, I feel like TempeArt.com is a more appropriate place to host my poster archive, not just because so many of them have the URL listed at the bottom, but because both this site and the posters have so much to do with my personal history. TempeArt.com is twenty years old. It’s kind of a trip that I’ve held onto it for this long. So fuck it, let’s turn it into a history museum.
About the posters:
I started getting serious about working professionally as an artist in 1989, when I was seventeen years old. I had just dropped out of high school and was all about being a working artist in underground comics. The oldest things you’ll see here will be the promotional flyers I used to pin up at Trails, Headquarters, The Graffiti shop, and around ASU. I billed myself as an “Illustrator and cartoonist”, because I didn’t know how else to describe me. I also sent those out to places like Projekt Records and Cleopatra, and to some indie publishers I liked. I probably sent one to Fantagraphics. I rarely heard back. The ones at the very bottom are from 1989. The footer cuts the dates off for some reason and I can’t figure out how to get it to stop doing that.
The vast majority of these are drawn and lettered by hand in sketchbooks, with a few exceptions. There was a point in my life, around 1997-2000, when I found myself enchanted by the fact that I could just type shit into a computer and make a poster in a fraction of the time it normally took to ink something out from start to finish. So you’ll notice I went a little crazy with the free fonts and the color photos of my work around that time, and that I very naively printed out at 72 DPI (that’s why they’re blurry). And there was another period between 2011 and 2013, when I had a ton of shows and no patience whatsoever, so I went back to the editing software and basically shat them out. I’m generally against doing it like that, though there are still times to this day when somebody’s like, “We need this in twenty minutes,” and I’ll find myself opening up a program and hitting keys again. You’ll see some of those.
I might need your help with this. The posters on this site are literally only a third of the ones I’ve done. There are a ton of them that I can’t find, or I just never bothered holding onto, and that’s only the ones I remember doing. I’m sure there are a ton of them I completely forgot about. If you’ve got one that you don’t see here, please take a picture of it and send it to me.