It was a surreal moment to receive the phone call from Journey Group with the opportunity to screen print posters from the Music Icons series for their client the United States Postal Service. Being that I agreed to this job about a week before my wedding, my excitement about the next chapter of life was through the roof. After our honeymoon, we came home and began setting up the shop for the job (the scale of which, was larger than we'd ever undertaken). We also burned through some iPhone space taking goofy pictures of the stack of paper which was as tall as my wife! Printing through that paper would end up being a more incredible experience than either of us anticipated.
The series focused on Lydia Mendoza, Johnny Cash and Ray Charles. It's a humbling thing to contribute to the legacy of these legends and their music. We listened to each Icon as we worked, becoming more appreciative of them with each pull of the squeegee, with each unloading of the drying rack, with every package being dropped off for delivery. (Side note: Marcy is convinced that Johnny Cash is a dead ringer for Nick Miller on the show New Girl after looking at this face upside down for hours. Do you see it?) In all seriousness, to think of the impact each of these individuals had on both the industry and their fans, through their music, is inspiring. And to commemorate that was a gift to us. We even had the opportunity to share about Lydia, Johnny and Ray (yes, we're on a first name basis at this point) with some young girls from our neighborhood. When they became curious about the stacks of paper in our home, I showed them the Ray Charles poster and asked who they thought it was. "Obama!" they exclaimed. Now they can surprise their parents by talking about Ray Charles between him and our president.
Matt Pamer of Journey Group should not go unmentioned in this post. His design on all three of the Music Icons posters was awesome and he was great to work with. As it would go, we've since had the chance to collaborate on other projects, too. Check out more of his work here.
At the end of the day, I would simply like to share what an honor it was to work with Journey and the USPS. To be stretched and grown as an artist and man through this job is something for which I'll long be grateful. Journey Group is a local company that's reached far outside Virginia, and the way they conduct business is admirable. The USPS is an institution with roots deep in the history of our country and to work on a project for them...well, it was just a really cool thing. The kind of thing I look forward to telling my grandchildren about.
Suffice it to say, we have close to a lifetime supply of Johnny Cash stamps that various friends and family have given us to commemorate this job!
Make sure to check out the video that Journey Group made about the whole project as well: