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Grip interviews: Andy Slater

March 17, 2010 by Dave Hamilton

Andy Slater

Andy Slater is a Designer at Grip Limited.

1) How long have you been designing these awesome posters?
I’ve been into poster design since high school, but the F’UNREAL posters are about two years old.

2) How did it start? What’s your connection to the music scene?
I started really getting into poster during my stint as designer for the Drake Hotel. The music promotion was a treat.

F’UNREAL is a monthly event at The Boat in Toronto’s Kensington Market. It’s the by-product of four guys and house parties that took their toll. Throwing a party at a venue started as a joke (and don’t get me wrong, it’s still very much is a joke), but the first one sold out, and now we’ve sold out almost 24 in a row.

A few of us have also branched out into other nights around the city. It seemed to have come together at the right time. We were all generally tired of what was going in the “scene.”


3) What influences or stimuli do you find making their way into these posters?
Music, friends, laughing, hand-claps, good times, naps, dogs, grilled cheese, my grandma, Larry David, Back to the Future, Tom Jones, ice cream – anything and everything influences me. It’s important as a designer to take in as much as you possibly can. A major influence would be design from the past, mainly 1950s to ’80s.

I often think I was born in the wrong decade.

4) These posters are 180 degrees from the work you do at Grip; do the two streams connect in any way?
Nope, and that’s how I like it. Personal work is important, it’s great exercise, plus it’s nice to be your only client.


5) What are you listening to these days?
Stevie Wonder – Music of My Mind
Beach Boys – Pet Sounds
Mr. Bungle – California
Marvin Gaye – Love Starved Heart
Boards of Canada – The Campfire Headphase
Ennio Morricone – For a Few Dollars More

6) Does music influence your work?
Absolutely. Music has dictated most of my journey through life thus far. I wouldn’t be here without concert posters/album artwork.

7) What’s bigger, your passion for music or for design?
Both aspects of my life complement each other so well. They have integrated themselves into being such a major part of who I am that it’s almost impossible to pick one over the other. That being said, I am a fan of music, but design is what’s covered in my blood, sweat and tears. For that reason, I’ll go with design.


8) What’s your dream job?
This might be the hardest question anyone has ever asked me. How does one even answer such a question? Do I answer with the realistic dream of owning and operating my own design company? Or do I tell you I want to be Tom Jones circa 1970?

Let’s go with Tom Jones.

You can catch Andy and the F’UNREAL folks at their next event: March 26 at The Boat in Kensington Market, Toronto.

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