Art for Van Sessions by Nicki Bluhm and the Gramblers January 20, 2015 09:24

Gnomie just finished up a fun job, a new t-shirt design for Nicki Bluhm and the Gramblers.

But before I get too far into it, I’m happy to say Nicki and the Gramblers just released their new album the other day!

Nicki and Tim Bluhm are two nice and uber musically talented people whom recently have had a viral video hit with this cover of  Hall and Oates – I Can’t Go For That- performed while in their trusty van en route to a show in Pioneertown, CA. You know how we all like to sing along to the radio in the car while driving across America’s scenic highways? Well, they do it really well! But then again Tim is from from the iconic Californian band, The Mother Hips, and Nicki has an amazing voice and records “vintage-tinged rocking country soul” along with her husband Tim and the Gramblers. Here is the vid-

Nicki and Tim asked Gnomie to create a Vans Session illustration for a new t-shirt. My goal was to capture the good times and spontaneity they have while singing on long road trips. I wanted to design it so the illustration conveyed the pureness of the moment, and crop the illustration much like they filmed it (by setting an iPhone on the dashboard) so people recognize the scene from the video quickly.

Here is some of the process of the work.







Here is a screen shot from the video that Nicki emailed me to get started, for the first sketch. I wanted to get them all singing and or performing, and prepare a rough sketch to see if I was going in the right direction in preparation for the first meeting with the two of them.







From the first meeting, they seemed excited about the direction, and most importantly I found out I was missing Steve- one of the band members whom was not in the van at the moment. So I put Steve back in there where I could fit him into the composition (sketch on left), and started to arrange the copy. In the color picture I am around 80% complete with the illustration. I use water color paper that I cover in acrylic gesso, then I use acrylic paint and Pigma pens. I’m not sure how I arrived on this process, but I like the textural effect it has. As we neared completion we discovered Michael the drummer also needed to appear in the scene, so I prepared a illustration of Mike and then using Photoshop moved Steve over and back a little bit and squeezed Michael in there. I had a good time working on this project while listening to Nicki Bluhm and the Gramblers, this job has me inspired to take a road trip!

Screen Shot 2013-08-28 at 12.47.59 PM

With Michael squeezed in the van! The tees should be available soon!