If you came to Art On Broadway: Holiday Edition December 2nd, you may have popped into the Brass Rail to see this article’s featured artist’s work. Jeff “Ando” Anderson’s prints can be seen right inside the door across from the rail and are for sale. If you are a Brass “Railgular,” then his work isn’t new to you. Several of their posters have been designed by Ando throughout the years. The music industry seems to be a fan of his hip designs. Since he began designing, bands like Left Lane Cruiser, The Hooten Hallers, Tom Vanden Avond, Andy Frasco, Paul James, and Hillgrass Bluebilly Record label (Austin, TX) have all hired him in the past for posters, t-shirt or logo designs, and CD artwork. When looking for inspiration to create, he said the best place is the “front row of a live music show.” Since he is a talent buyer/promoter at the Brass Rail as well as a bouncer, he can be surrounded by inspiration without too much of an expense.
So where did it all start? What impacted this artist’s participation in the art world? Well, he didn’t always live in Fort Wayne, for starters. He was born in Bluffton and raised mostly in Garrett. He accredits his art teacher Mr.Ober for inspiring him during his childhood. Ando never had any formal “art” training outside of art class in high school. “I’ve had a little college but mostly self taught on that,” he said, explaining his graphic design background, “my college work didn’t really prepare me well for the real design world.” The two biggest motivators for creating art are money and boredom. Ando’s style and medium are inspired by graphic, pop, and folk art like that of Print Mafia ( http://printmafia.net/).
His current studio space is his kitchen table. When I asked him when he started identifying as an artist, I was in awe by his response:
“I’ve never identified myself as an artist. I probably never will, although there are some that will argue that point with me. I just feel like there are people out there that do way better work than me, that have gone to school for art and do this for a living. If I were to call myself an artist I’d be taking away from what they do.”
Humility is great. There are plenty of artists who could use a bit of it, but honestly Ando is not one of them. I am one of those people who is going to “argue that point” because his presence in Fort Wayne as an artist has been a defining part of my experience here. He deserves credit for his hard work, and definitely deserves the title of “artist.”
All my favorite places have little pieces of him. He may not have had formal training, but Ando has been doing freelance graphic design for about 20 years. He formally began operating under “Pretty Good Posters” around 10 years ago. Ando has been making big moves in his business and recently opened an online merchandise store as well! Check it out if you have a chance! <https://teespring.com/stores/prettygoodgeneralstore>
His hard work is evident in his constant local presence. He had a skateboard painting hung in Portland, Oregon and Chicago for a traveling show. It now hangs in the Bravas dining room along with another piece of his. Pint-N-Slice has had his work in their upstairs gallery. When Cinema Center had their ReMake fundraiser, he was a part of it. For his first solo show last year at the Dash-In, he collaborated with Amber Cox, Jared Andrews and Rick Racket. This is one of the first shows I had the pleasure of seeing. Since then, he has shown at Trubble Brewing (September 4th-October 23rd), the Cinema Center for Fright Night, and now has a show at the Brass Rail.
(Pictures from his art show at Trubble Brewing back in September/October. Left to right: Jimmy Bananas, Dead Deads Invasion, and Party Cat)
What is it about Fort Wayne that made him want to be here, you ask? Well, “Fort Wayne is cool,” he said, “It’s big but not too big. It’s trying.” It’s a place with small town kindness but big talent. As a dad, it’s a good place to raise his daughter. One of the most important things to him, I found out, is being a full time dad. “I don’t take myself super seriously,” he claimed. When I asked for something people might want to know about him, his response had me rolling:
“I have a third nipple and one butt cheek hangs lower than the other. I once got busy in a Burger King bathroom. My favorite movie is Face/Off or anything with Nicolas Cage”
He is a quiet man, but when he creates it is gold. His sense of humor is pretty great too, as you can tell. If you see him around, stop and say hello. As you can probably tell, it is well worth it.
Jeff “Ando” Anderson, owner of Pretty Good Posters, is also always available for commissions, collaborations, and requests. You contact him on social media if you are interested:
Written By: Jenna Turpin