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DRC/David Minton

Drawing a crowd

Profile image for By Britney Tabor / Staff Writer
By Britney Tabor / Staff Writer

Panel paints picture on blending of visual and audible artistry

Artists shared stories of how they began creating art for musicians and what inspires them, at the 35 Denton “Art of Rock Panel” on Friday at Sweetwater Grill & Tavern.

George Salisbury told the crowd, which at one point was standing-room only, that he started out creating artwork for the Flaming Lips in 1989. He said he basically arrived at a show to sell a box of bootleg shirts he created for the band and split the profit with the members.

From there, he went on to create their album covers.

“They just happened to be out of shirts, so that worked out fine,” he said.

He encouraged audience members not to wait around for someone to ask for their work.

“If you want to do art with bands, don’t ask for permission, just do it,” Salisbury said.

Throughout the hour-long session, panelists shared images of their work and their favorite album covers. In addition to being artists, some of them are musicians.

The panelists also talked about what inspires their work. Some said they look for something that’s eye-catching, while others said their art is created by what they associate with the band or what they see or hear.

“It’s almost like capturing an emotion,” said graphic designer Steve Altuna.

Panelist Bruce Lee Webb of Waxahachie said what’s most important is that “it comes from an unknown source within.”

Jesse Coulter of Denton, who attended Friday’s panel, said it was interesting hearing about the panelists’ personal experiences. He said what he also found interesting was how the artists associated the visual aesthetic with the musicians for whom they’re creating images.

“I wanted to check out all the panels that I could and this is definitely one that was interesting to me,” Coulter said.

After the panel, Salisbury said he hoped those who attended were inspired to create art for their bands or their friend’s bands.

The panelists included Salisbury, Webb, Tony Ferraro, Altuna and Nevada Hill.

BRITNEY TABOR can be reached at 940-566-6876. Her e-mail address is