So, that got out of hand in a hurry. I apologize for a new post, but my revised question would have gotten lost at the end of the previous thread. I appreciate the helpful answers to my previous post for their sincerity and the sarcastic replies for making me realize the current predicament I am in as a designer and why I felt the need to ask these questions in the first place.
First, I live in Bozeman, MT and have been a vital component of the local music scene here for 6+ years. I have been in several bands, booked tours/shows, am currently co-running a small venue, and have heavily promoted for all of them. I have been freelancing as a graphic designer primarily for bands for at least 4 years and have quite honestly "paid my dues" by doing more than a fair amount of free work. I am very passionate about supporting local music, but it's very hard to progress in the poster business when there is a scarcity of new or even talented bands in your city. It is extremely rare that we even get a national-touring band stopping in Bozeman, let alone the whole state, so I haven't had many opportunities to gain first-hand experience with or work my up to dealing with major-label bands because the structure is just not in place in this state.
I asked about Mastodon specifically because they are actually coming to Montana in May, but the question essentially relates to any major-label band. I have done (screen-printed poster) work with several indie labels and bands, but that's only because I could easily talk to the owners or members themselves via the internet. It gets a little more difficult reaching those people as the band gets more famous and has more people working for them. This was one aspect of my original question: When you would like to design a poster for bands of this level, who would be the best person to get in contact with, since it's almost impossible to get ahold of individual band members or the owner of the record label?
This question mainly arose due to the fact that I haven't figured out who foots the bill for these kind of projects. Screen-printed gig posters are virtually nonexistent in this state, so venues aren't too keen on the idea of shelling out a few hundred dollars for something they see as just another form of advertisement. This led me to believe that if you wanted to design a poster for a band, you would get in contact with them and then pay for the production yourself.
This also led to the question of compensation. I assume that as you increase your notoriety, bands start contacting you directly and commissioning posters, but how does one make the first step? I have always assumed I would have to take a certain amount of financial risk and investment in getting the first few out there, but I have heard different things regarding the actual sale of the posters. This is another reason I asked about who to get in contact with regarding poster production: I would like to be able to personally sell a small portion of the run to help recoup the costs of printing, but how does this all work out legally, taking intellectual property rights and branding into account?
Also, who ends up receiving the money for actual sales of these posters at the actual event? I'm sure bands receive the money for tour posters that they take with them from city to city, but regarding venue-specific posters, does the money go to the band or the promoter? Knowing this would definitely help point me in the right direction as far as who to talk to.
Someone in the previous thread mentioned going to Flatstock. I have been trying to put myself in a position to join the American Poster Institute since I joined Gigposters two years ago, but this requirement is the one I am currently trying to fulfill:
'An artist or printer is eligible to apply to join the API as an Accredited Professional if he or she has produced more than one authorized commercially-released poster promoting an entertainment-related event.'
I assumed the term 'commercially-released' meant designing a poster for a major-label band, as these would be the only ones affiliated with any higher form of commercialism. If anyone could clarify what is meant by this, it would really help me out a lot and give me some idea of what to work towards.
Seeing the overwhelming response to my previous post made me realize what a vibrant community this is, and has made me that much more motivated to get involved with the gigposter community as a whole.
Any responses to this mass of text are greatly appreciated.
- A Thousand Arms
P.S. Please keep the "move out of Montana" comments to a minimum. It will only be hilarious the first five or six times.