Mike King Paper, Scissors, ROCK PNCA Opens Oct 3

Mike King is a longtime Portland designer whose show, 600 Smash Hits ver. 2.0, is up at PNCA in conjunction with Paper, Scissors, ROCK (see feature pg 10).

When did you start making poster art for bands?

I first did posters when I was like 14 or 15 years old, for rock bands at my school. The flyers were awful, but that's okay 'cause the bands were, too.

How do you think you've changed since then?

If it was 1986, I would be cutting and pasting little bits of paper with glue all over my fingers, and would consistently spend a half-day trying to make a flyer. Now I've done enough that I have a better idea of what it will look like before I start. Working with computers, you can make adjustments and view it in different ways.

So you use computers primarily?

It sorta depends on what the poster needs. Computers have made me even a more reluctant drawer than I used to be. Computers have also made me insanely lazy. My butt grows bigger with each passing day... but the ends of my fingers grow mightier.

How much does the music influence your art?

I try not to listen to it. I'd rather hear people describe themselves to me than hear their music. Conversely, I'd like to know how they present themselves versus what they actually sound like.

But if you don't know anything about a band and their album cover has some little girl on the beach and lowercase type, you know they're sensitive. If the band's name is made of Rottweilers, teeth and diamonds, you know they are gangsta rap. It's a visual language.

And then, when in doubt, you just put a robot on it.

Do you look at your posters as artifacts?

I think in a way, it's sort of a visual history of a scene or of a movement or a location. It's pretty important as artifact and I also sort of think it's really under-appreciated and un-thought about. So much of music, as much as musicians would love to deny it, is visual. Einsteurzende Neubauten wouldn't be nearly as famous if it wasn't for their dopey logo that's tattooed on everybody. JULIANNE SHEPHERD