Reuben Sawyer of Rainbath Visual

How did you get your first paying art job?

My first “real” paying art job was t-shirt designs for Idylle Clothing. My Dad was in a band with one of the guys running the company and he had heard about my work briefly so he decided to give me a shot. This was about 4-5 years ago.

Have you always worked in your current style and if not how did you work before?
Working for Idylle was sort of the breeding grounds for my current body of work. During that time I took much influence from Mucha and studied a lot of modern T-shirt graphics. Before that I was involved in a lot of graffiti / street art which grew tiresome and I eventually moved on.

Who are your artistic influences?
As far as other artists I would have to say Harry Clarke, Alphonse Mucha, Gustave Dore’, Austin Osman Spare, Richard Sica, Denis Forkas Kostromitin, David Chiam Smith and so on…
My main influence is the study of the natural world and its relation to the subconscious.

Tell us about your studio space?
Not having a home base as of recent forces me to create where ever I feel most comfortable at the time. Usually most of my work is done in a clean, quiet environment if I can. Working outside is always suitable as well.

Take us through a typical day.
I try to spend my mornings reading or clearing my head with a good album. I find that this is the most important part of the day. The rest of the day I try to avoid any sort of monotony. Most importantly I try to find a good equilibrium with having my own work schedule.

How do you create your work? Take us through the process from concept to final.
It depends on how much creative control I have on the project. My work is constantly evolving and expanding and I am blessed to have a solid understanding of my own work and clientele. Sometimes I start with a specific vision and other times it is purely abstract. I tend to tie everything together 30 percent into a project and ride it out smoothly from there. Each time I finish a piece I learn a lot about myself and gather new ideas and techniques for future projects.

What materials do you use? How much if any is done on the computer?
I use pen, sharpie, india ink, acrylic and sometimes spray paint. The main structure is always pen work. The only thing done on a computer is darkening lines after its scanned.

Do you use reference materials or does all of it come from your head?
Sometimes I have to as instructed by clients and other times it can be a combination of many different sources. I usually pull together whatever sees fit at the time.

Do the bands give you any direction?
This depends on how specific they are. Its very rewarding to achieve ones specific vision but also very satisfying to be in charge of the entire project. I enjoy both sides and usually it ends up being a combination.

Do you listen the band’s music when you work on their project?
I rarely play music while I work. I find it distracting at times and I tend to be heavily focused when working. I feel that when I band hires me they know what they are getting into and the audio is unimportant to my creative process. I usually listen to the band prior to starting the project.

Do you have any advice for artist’s who wish to do artwork for bands?
Let your work speak for itself and you will have much success. Take influence when needed but never base ones style around another. Avoid heavy photoshop and obvious cliches. One of the most important things is to respect other artists in the scene, we are all in this together!

What are you currently working on?
Right now I’m finishing up a T-Shirt for Antithetic records. I don’t have the liberty to reveal anything else but I am very excited about my upcoming projects.

Have you ever turned down a project?
Not yet.

Do you have any dream projects?
Anything high paying outside of the metal scene that will fund my  desire for expensive musical instruments and other earthy delights.

What are your favorite bands of all time and what bands are you listening to right now?
Endless list!
Anything ahead of its time (Example: Suicide, Swell maps, German Oak, Swans, Countess, Television Personality’s etc) 77′ Punk, Goblin, Dead Moon, early Pink Floyd, Modest Mouse, Bone Awl..
Current favorites: Pharaoh Overlord, Hoax, Voice Of The Seven Woods, Aluk Todolo, Moon Duo, Thou/Hell split 7″, new Book of Sand CD, Circle, Tiny Vipers, True Widow, Atriarch, Barn Owl, Horseback, Saturnalia Temple, Chubby Wolf, Bosse-De-Nage and so on…

Who would you like to see featured on MBA?
Bryan Proteau of Natvres Mortes Illustration

Check out more of Reuben’s work!!!!


About Vertebrae33

Through hard work and dedication, Vertebrae33 has established himself as one of the most prolific and exciting illustrators on the scene today.  He has received much acclaim as of late for his innovative designs, attention to detail, and wholly unique, raw style.