Having worked in the UK for over a decade illustrating for advertising, design and publishing, I'd wanted to take my antique nibs and black ink off the client meter and into the unknowns of this highly personal and experimental project for a long time. I've created a brutally honest collection of pieces which surprised me, made me laugh and tested me.
Sage was largely unaware of the show until a few weeks prior, when he agreed to fly to London to open it with a spoken-word performance - one that has since become known among fans as one of those 'blink-and-you'll-miss-it' one-offs - you know, you were either there ... or you weren't. Against the backdrop of a dark Hallowe'en and the strange collection of two and three-dimensional pieces on show, Sage says of the night:
"People were buzzing. We were buzzing. Everything was a-buzz. When Sarah introduced me to the crowd, I stood on the chair as the frantic cheers fell to complete silence. Pin drop material. At first I was worried how 300 people were going to be able to hear me without a microphone, but now I understood. These people were here to listen. When my set finished, I stepped off the chair and off of the platform and into the arms of the people who I'm glad I came to visit again. It was a beautiful night."
A mutual respect and appreciation for eachother's craft was acknowledged a few months later when Sage asked me to create artwork for his new album release on Epitaph Records, 'Human The Death Dance'.
I couldn't wait, but I was suddenly terrified of this new client I was also a mad fan of.
You can see the resulting artwork at the exhibition.
The US exhibition celebrates what I hope will be a long and productive creative relationship, and coincides with the release of the album and the start of Sage's US tour.
To see what keeps me occupied during daylight hours, go here:
Read about Sage Francis