Behind The Poster: Willie Nelson's Halloween Ball '75
We're really enjoying working with Willie Nelson, and we have a new official print for him just in time for Halloween! Back in 1975, Willie played at his Halloween Ball in Houston, at a drive in movie theatre. Tickets were $5.00, you'd pull your car up, take out your lawn chair and cooler, and listen to Willie and his band play Red Headed Stranger. What sounds better than that? Our friend, Bailey Race created not only a concert poster for this event, but illustrated a scene about the event which we really love:
I wanted to create a piece that touched on what it would be like to visit a record shop in 1975, while also preparing to go to the Willie Nelson & Co. Halloween Ball. To do so, I really started to get in deep on how I would make it feel like a small record shop, like it was 1975, and like it was a moment of calm before the famous Red Headed Stranger release show. While doing so I was able to really slow myself down and strip back a lot of what I knew about illustration and even the 70's (Being 23, I had to do a whole lot of research about a time that pre-dates me even existing), and really dive deep into creating a world that felt both bustling and intimate, while also evoking nostalgia from folks who remember the time's rummaging through the stacks at their local shop.
In approaching the concert and composition of the piece, I really wanted to take almost an "Anti-Gig-Poster" approach- In which I mean to illustrate a collectible piece of Willie merchandise, while allowing it to also function as a gig-poster for the Hollows Eve 1975 show. To do so, I focused more on the feel and environment of the scene, while putting the show information in as Easter egg-esque bits throughout the illustration (Such as the Calendar, the hand written ad, and the commercial on the TV)- as well as packing in some other timely references and references to Willie and his eclectic catalogue up to that date.