I miss fliers. Work for Turn on the Tube has drastically changed since COVID-19 struck and the thing I miss most are the fliers. Searching for them, finding them, seeing the killer art, and discovering new band names with new show scrawled next to them.
Before the collapse of normalcy I was able to squeeze an interview in with one of my favorite flier makers in the biz. Sammantha Garcia makes gnarly art for bands, gigs, labels, and can even say that Maximum Rocknroll printed her work. Garcia’s work itself is speaks specifically to the heart of what is punk, unrelenting in image and tone.
It’s a strange time for fliers – and flier-makers (let’s be honest, it’s a strange time for us all) – but there’s something uplifting about the work as well. I’m pleased to release this interview today in hopes that it inspires all the artists out there, seperated from punk gigs and physical fliers.
TT: Who are you and where is your local scene?
SG: I am Sammantha Garcia Caballero, artist from Birmingham, Alabama. Which was my local scene (still is lol) but I am currently based out of Chicago, Illinois.
TT: Oh whoa. That makes a lot of sense to me now. How does bham compare to CHI?
SG: It’s very different, haha. Birmingham is very small in comparison but does not lack in how hard the people go! It’s 100% not a city to skip on your south east tour, that’s for sure.
TT: So you have a pretty big idea of what’s going on, huh? Who are some bands you’re really into right now?
SG: Yea you could say so, I usually listen to less punk on my day to day but I have been really into Subversive Rite. I cannot think of more stuff but YouTube says I been jamming the new Iron Cages tape, subliminal excess and Cromatic lol.
TT: You do a lot of work for great bands and other punk stuff too, right? Who are some highlights?
SG: My MRR calendar is one of my top highlights of course. Going to their HQ in 2018 was insane. Also really love the flyer I did for Concealed Blade’s Seattle show in 2018, any shirt design I’ve done.Seeing someone wearing something I made is always a highlight.
TT: I do love that calendar. Next time I see someone in your art, I’ll snap a pic for you.
SG: Thank you! It makes my day 🙂
TT: So, yea, you make more than fliers. What alI do you do, artistically?
SG: I have done a lot of paint on clothes. Incorporating punk band logos/aesthetics, usually for myself or friends. I also work with ink/pen, more recently graphite, to make whatever pops in my head really. A lot of designs I end up using on flyers I have drawn out previously and then refine the idea into a flyer.
TT: Your desings are so unique. You really have this amazing blur of hard and softness. What inspires your style?
SG: Thank you! Honestly, so much. Everything from how a shadow is cast off something to the vibes off a tomato lol. I love surreal and metaphysical art and am drawn to the contrast concrete objects have with the space around them. I love soft, bright, colorful, fun, cute stuff but also there is a dark side, I guess, to the things I like, so in a way it’s a bit of my personality coming through. Something about light and dark/black and white, that I am obsessed with and can’t get enough of!
TT: Wow, so true. Your designs really capture punk today with all of that. Your sparse colors and cute toughness has really taken over fliers and artwork. How did you get into doing punk work? Did you go to school?
SG: I really didnt! I dropped out way before I started doing punk art, but have always been doing and taking art classes growing up. I did a few flyers here and there for local shows, but didn’t really get deep into making art until 2017. I moved into an apartment that may and had my own space to create and then just started doing more and more art for shows I booked and personal art for myself. I had neem througha big transition around then and I guess it was time I let my art speak and put it all out there.
TT: Wow, that’s really mind blowing; your art can be so meticulous. It has a big energy too. What are some projects you’re looking forward to in the future? Do you have any upcoming goals for your work?
SG: Yes, I am very meticulous with my work. I will spend hours on it and even after I finish and send it off I will see something I wish I haed changed or added or edit out the tiniest little white spot no one will ever notice hahah.
I have a zine that I’m working on that is a collection of my work from 2018-2019. My more recent projects that I hope to get out in the next few months! I also want to create more larger projects and try to push to make more art out of flyers.
TT: I look forward to the zine and everything you do. Any final thoughts?
SG: Thank you! And thank you for the interview. I am so appreciative of the people who enjoy my art!
Lol isn’t it funny that while my art is mostly black and white and my hair reflects that. Random thoughts.