“Quitting my day job in porn to freelance as an artist full time,” says artist Brian Ewing of the decision that sparked his career watershed. “[I was] working for Hustler on the magazines handling scheduling, prep houses and printers. I also freelanced for them by doing illustrations for their publications. I swore that’d be my last day job.” Although Ewing has transformed into one of rock music and pop art’s most prolific, iconic image-makers, remaining down-to-earth and staying inspired are key elements to the growth of his rebellious art empire.
While he’s become a sought-after household name for record labels and agencies, Ewing has stayed true to the independent spirit of his art, and his style has developed over time. “At first I was just happy to get a chance to draw and work with my favorite bands,” he says of his early punk-rock posters. But with his growth from poster artist to full-blown fine artist, he’s followed in the footsteps of his heroes and mentors–Frank Kozik, Coop, Tara McPherson and many others–building an instantly recognizable stylistic empire.