Mike Martin (Version française - en cours...)
I usually never do that, but this time I have to dedicate this interview to Ludo (Top Moumoutes' legendary Lead Guitar on top of many other talents). He introduced me to the art of Mike Martin and made me a rock poster addict forever since then. Mike's unique mix of kustom culture design and elaborate backgrounds made him unique at first sight. Besides, Mike is the faster interview answerer ever, I take this opportunity to thanks him for his time !
Hello, of course as every Crewk interview, first question: what are we listening to when we come to visit you?
Anything from Patsy Cline to Clutch and Slayer, I pretty much listen to everything.
Im Mike Martin, Founder and Head Honcho at EngineHouse13. I started out in South Carolina and am now based out of Columbus, Ohio. EngineHouse13 is full kustom "Rock Art' based design studio that specializes in screen printed concert posters.
When did you start drawing?
When I was 3 or 4?
Did you follow any course or did you improve by drawing in the margins of your schoolbooks?
Im pretty much all self taught with exception of some early computer skills.
Its all from EH13, it seems like being a professional artist was never going to happen but after a decade and half's worth of hard work it finally paid off.
Are you collaborating with magazines/fanzines, regularly?
NO, I really do not have time for BUT I am gallery/creative director at the Bluestone, which by years end should be the worlds largest rock art gallery!
Where does your influence come from? Is there any artists/graphists you particularly like, what are your influences?
Most comes from everyday life but deeply twisted either in my dreams or just for the hell of it.
Rick Griffen has to at the top of the list, his lettering was and is so insane! Influences, Hot Rod culture, Skulls/Death and the related and mainly just the world.
Type, Art, Color then repeat. Sometimes for fun I will work in reverse.
Do you do everything by hand or on computer?
Both but more and more a lot on the computer especially the layout and color.
How long does it take you to do a poster?
anywhere from a couple of hours to a week or so.
You have a very distinctive style, are you doing only what you feel like or if tomorrow somebody asks you an oil painting with horses running out of water with a sunset backdrop, is it a problem or are you up for it ?
I would be up for the challenge but the outcome may be in question! Never say no to a challenge.
Well, the most current one I am working on is a 311/Sublime with Rome poster and I just completed one Social Distortion.
For which band would you love to work?
Probably the Rolling Stones or the Beatles!
Do you choose the artists yourself?
A lot of the time, I have a very good working relationship w/ a lot or promoters and what not.
What is the most difficult part in designing a poster ?
The type! With really kool type that conveys the message that a show is happening and where and when, then it is just FAIL. A rock poster is about selling tickets.
Do you think you are part of a "Graphic Scene", if so who else ?
All my work can be seen at
The best praise you received lately?
Last nite at a Jen Chapin Trio show actually! I was told that one my posters actually moved someone and instantly put them in a great mood.
What can we wish you for the future?
more peace love and unity and a hell of a lot more day glo rock posters!!!!
not a lot but I did do a few show prints (Fall Out Boy, JBT, Riders on the Storm, Arnold Zerat, New York Dolls) for Yardie Promotion way back when.
Thanks for answering my questions and see you soon on the website !!