It was the 1960s. The San Francisco music scene was bursting with wild creativity. Concert posters were the source of many new artistic styles, reflecting art nouveau and psychedelic influences. Our studio artists Nanette Newbry and Beibei An have interpreted monthly themes in the spirit of this artistic movement and in celebration of Friendship Month, the theme for August. The design was inspired by the work of Lee Conklin, a popular San Francisco poster artist of the 60s.
Lee Conklin produced three dozen posters working for the Fillmore and Bill Graham in 1968. Conklin’s work is characterized by weird, Hieronymus Bosch-like imagery, sketchy illustration and complex forms. Three-dimensional shapes dominate most of Conklin’s work, but some of his strongest posters are more flat than dimensional designs. With highly detailed, laboriously created illustrations, strange characters and wispy, smoke-induced lettering, Conklin’s posters are immediately recognizable for their complexity.
“These posters often offer voyages—visual trips—containing hidden messages, elements and value that reveal gradually and perhaps unintentionally. According to Conklin, ‘I just start drawing … and sometimes it turns into something.’ ”
Many fans know Conklin as the “Santana-lion” artist because of his famous design of Santana’s self-titled first album.
Our August artwork is one of a series from our 2019 Flashback calendar and was created in our drug-free studios in Carlsbad, California.