PICS: Andrew McGranahan’s Collage World

Local artist Andrew McGranahan makes some of San Diego's most creative show posters (among other pieces) -- here are just a few that caught our eye.

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Andrew McGranahan
McGranahan -- who grew up in Modesto, California -- started out as a graphic designer, but necessarily in the music world: "I’ve been making collage art for a little over 10 years but my first poster gigs came around 2011 and were for friends in my hometown, here in San Diego and occasionally San Francisco/the Bay Area. Back then, I was working full time as a graphic designer at a winery so poster design was just a fun/creative side gig but now it makes up a pretty large majority of my workflow."
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Andrew McGranahan
Over the past few years, he's made quite the name for himself with his eye-catching hand-cut pieces, album artwork, magazine covers, and collage-art show posters (so much so that, as you can see, SoundDiego hired him to do poster design work, too). But his now-signature style didn't come to fruition right off the bat. When asked how it developed, he said it took some time.
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Andrew McGranahan
"First off, that’s damn cool to hear," McGranahan said. "Can’t really say that I’ve ever thought of my work as being a San Diego 'signature.' Anyhow, the short answer is: [It took] a lot of experimentation. My posters have taken on many different forms over the years but recently, I feel like I’ve really found my voice (if you’ll excuse the cliché)."
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Andrew McGranahan
"I love working with type, color and texture and experimenting with the endless ways that those elements can interact with the artwork," he continued. "The goal of any designer is to put something out that will make someone stop on the street (or while scrolling through Instagram, etc.) to engage with the poster. My goal is the same, of course, but I prefer to take a slightly more unique and offbeat approach."
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Andrew McGranahan
While his art is certainly all his own, he does look up to celebrated and underground artists alike: "One of my main sources of inspiration is Victor Moscoso, my personal favorite artist from the 1960s San Francisco psychedelic music scene."
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Andrew McGranahan
"Some other influences on my poster work are (past) Max Ernst, Josef Albers, Superstudio, Hipgnosis/Storm Thorgerson -- pretty much any of the Polish Poster artists from the 1920s-70s, El Lissitzky. Current influences include Jaime Zuverza, Damien Tran, Robert Beatty, St. Francis Elevator Ride, Robin Gnista, and Julien Pacaud."
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Andrew McGranahan
If you were to survey artists, most of them have a dream project or an ultimate goal for their work, and McGranahan is no different. However, the difference is -- he may have actually achieved his already: "I actually have been working on a dream project for a few months now: Desert Daze! It is a truly singular festival experience put on by some amazing people and it’s a honor to be the graphic designer. Just look at [its] insane lineup!"
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Andrew McGranahan
When asked what he personally prefers to listen to, there's a reason why Desert Daze (which rocks Joshua Tree on Oct. 12-15 with Iggy Pop, Spiritualized, Sleep, Ty Segall, and tons more) would appeal to the San Diego artist: "In terms of music, I listen to old and new psychedelia, post-punk, new wave, classic rock ('50s, '60s, '70s), and so on..."
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Andrew McGranahan
Because he's created show posters for an ever-growing number of San Diego bands -- when asked what local acts he likes in particular, McGranahan demurred: "To be honest, I have so many good friends whose music I dig, I wouldn't really feel right picking favorites." Fair enough!
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Andrew McGranahan
Although sometimes the art world can be difficult to traverse, McGranahan is grateful for it all: "As with any job it can be quite trying at times but at the end of the day, I love it and I consider myself lucky to be able to do what I do."
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Andrew McGranahan
To see some of his work, visit ajmcg.com or purchase various works at www.society6.com/collageartbyandrewmcgranahan.
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Noa Azoulay
And, of course, to hire Andrew McGranahan for your graphic design needs, email him: ajmcg81 [at] gmail [dot] com. (Photo by Noa Azoulay)
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