Artist Katie McBride reveals Richmond Folk Festival poster

RICHMOND, Va. – Pumpkin spice flavored everything isn’t the only part of fall Richmond looks forward to – we also have the Folk Festival.

Just as all the school kids return to class, the poster was revealed to remind us that this three- day music festival is just around the corner – just a month away.

The grand unveiling took place at the Glave Kocen Gallery, Wednesday night.

Katie McBride, a graphic designer, is the 12th local artist to design the Richmond Folk Festival ( RFF) commemorative poster.

Katie McBride, a graphic designer, is the 12th local artist to design the commemorative poster. (PHOTO: Richmond Folk Festival)

Katie McBride, a graphic designer, is the 12th local artist to design the commemorative poster. (PHOTO: Richmond Folk Festival)

McBride’s portfolio features a lot of past design work done for bands.

“It’s Richmond, everyone has a band, so I’d ask if their band wanted a poster!” she said. “And it would be real work in my portfolio that I could show a client.”

The designs indicate that the VCU School of Arts graduate has a love of nature scenes with anthropomorphic animals.

Her poster places a happy, banjo-playing raccoon alongside the river, in a nighttime setting that incorporates a full moon and the reflection in its light to present festival details.

The names of all performers must be included on the poster, which McBride cleverly worked around the moon.

That’s one of the few requirements made of the artist designing the RFF poster, mostly they are given creative freedom.

“Venture Richmond hires you to do what you do,” McBride said.

The challenge to contribute a compelling and beautiful entry into a collection from previous years that includes multiple former professors and mentors was probably enough pressure.

She is the first female to illustrate the poster single-handedly.

McBride is an illustrator by trade. She said she starts her drawings by hand, with ink or pencil, to focus on getting a clean drawing down that she can scan.

She’s found that doing screen prints helps her transfer an illustration more effectively to the digital realm. Using a Wacom tablet, she continues drawing, then adds color and texture.

“It’s a combination of traditional and digital,” Katie says. “Ultimately, I think making stuff with your hands is such a compulsion for a lot of artists. Sometimes I just want to sit down and draw.”

The limited edition prints are available for purchase at Plan 9 in Carytown.  There are a limited number of copies signed by the artist. They will be getting more on Monday or Tuesday (Sept. 12, 13).

The silkscreened poster is $25.

The folk festival is Oct. 7 -9, 2016.

Richmond Folk Festival poster 2016

Richmond Folk Festival poster 2016