This week I Am The Trend had the opportunity to catch up with Texas based artist Hunter Fitch. Hunter has spent a large portion of his young career designing merchandise for bands and brands. Also, the front man for indie rock band Mount Tyrant, Hunter has paid his dues in the music scene. In doing so, Hunter has developed a very keen eye for what music fans are looking for when making purchases at the merch table. Having done work for many various artists and brands, Hunter’s portfolio has a broad range of modern and vintage stylings.
Check out Hunters portfolio here:
Check out Mount Tyrant here:
Q: Welcome to I Am The Trend. When did you first get into designing/creating?Thanks! It really began as a creative pursuit. I always liked drawing as a kid, and as I got older it just seemed to progress. I’d say music and alternative music culture had a heavy hand in influencing me to start doing music related artwork. That ending up snowballing into all the different kinds of work I do I guess. Q: How did you get into designing merch?
Nothing quite beats the feeling of getting a rad new band shirt when you’re in middle school or high school. I always wondered how the designers did that as a kid.
Q: Where do you find inspiration for your work?I take a lot of inspiration from the occult and old stuff. And old vintage sports stuff. I really like the timeless aesthetic of vintage advertisement and lettering. Old signs, Old Cars. All the old stuff.
Q: You are also a musician/song writer. Would you say music inspires your designing in any way?
Yeah! I really like making stuff. It’s great because they can both influence each other and work off of each other. You can always make artwork to go with music, and you can always make music to go with artwork.
Q: Tell us about Mount Tyrant. What inspired the general aesthetic you created for the band?
I really wanted to tell a story when branding the image and aesthetic of the band. All the guys in the band and I really believe in letting our music and brand tell a story together. When you think about some of the greatest musical acts, that almost always has been a common factor in their ability to reach people.
Q: You’ve spent some time working in screen printing. Has working in a shop changed the way you create merch designs? Do you prefer seeing shirt production all the way through? Or do you prefer just the art side of things?
Definitely. Working directly with the product made me a better, faster designer. Being the end of the line before print, instead of being the guy who just sends stuff off to the printer really gives you a new perspective on the process and artwork.I liked working with production, but I think working in just one particular field can eventually limit your skills after a period of time. I really like to learn new skill sets and understand how things work. So stuff like web design, photography, traditional artwork, none of that stuff should be off limits as a designer. I’ve always hated the thought of just being a “____ Designer” or something like that. If you make stuff, make all the stuff.
Q: How would you best describe your style of illustration?
“Vintage & Heritage Style Baseball Mixed with Guy Fieri’s Sick Flame Shirts”
Q: Does most of your work start with pen/pencil and paper? Fill us in on your process.
Absolutely. Even if I’m building a website, or doing something entirely digitally. It helps really get the concept down. I always start with a loose idea and then narrow it down. A lot of people think that you can just get on the computer and become a designer (I used to think that too when I was younger). But sketch everything man. Sketching means you’re planning. Even if its crappy, it makes finished product better in the end.
Q: I’ve noticed that you use animals frequently in your illustration work. What is the inspiration behind this?
I really like to use animals because they are just a really strong subject of work. There are so many of them, all with unique and defined characteristics that can be presented in artwork. That’s why so many sports teams and companies over the years have used animal personification in their branding.
Want a strong image? Use a strong animal. If people had horns and claws and defined characteristics, i’d probably use them as a subject more.
Q: Is there any particular artist that has strongly influenced your work?
Walt Disney, Paul Rand, Storm Thorgerson are probably my big three. And the countless of unknown sign-painters throughout history.
Q: As an artist, what do you look to accomplish through out your career?
It would be really rad to work on any Disney project, design something for the Anaheim Ducks, and to do the most ballin’ hip hop album cover of all time.