Artist Jason Wyatt Frederick created a visual symphony for the cover of the Chicago Reader’s annual Pitchfork preview issue last week.
Using a lineup supplied by the publication, he combined dozens of musicians with notable Chicago personalities and landmarks into a “Where’s Waldo” style rock and roll poster.
“The Reader’s been a great supporter of local artists and musicians,” says Frederick, who has been illustrating the Pitchfork issue since 2011. “I’m so happy to get this gig.”
In the upper left-hand corner of the front page, he rendered the Superdawg mascots like a power couple reigning over the DJs, disco balls and space aliens scattered among the moshpit of fame.
Realized in Doonesbury style friendliness, the poster’s miniature full-body portraits entertained fans and musicians alike.
Sonic Youth cofounder and guitarist Thurston Moore stopped by the booth where Frederick was selling copies of his work during the festival to say that the band had spent the previous night trying to figure it out. He was one of many admirers to compliment the artist.
“It’s great validation to get all the love from people,” Frederick continues. “I’m drawing in my basement wondering if anyone cares.”
The illustration also doubled as the playing board for an exclusive Reader contest to identify the people featured in it. A pair of three-day passes were awarded to the fan who correctly named the most.
One of the images that should be immediately recognizable to Chicago’s professional creative community is Scott Marvell, president of Daily Planet Ltd. He raises a fist with one hand and holds a “Give a Shi*t” t-shirt with the other.
Give a Shi*t is a program that Marvel runs with Streetwise. Featuring a collection of t-shirts by Chicago artists that are printed and sold with help from the city’s homeless population, it donates 100% of the proceeds to Streetwise and Streetwise vendors. The operation grew out of Marvel’s hand-screened t-shirt business, Teetsy.com.
Marvel has been sharing a booth at Pitchfork with Frederick for years, selling Teetsy his t-shirts alongside the posters. He also scored big in 2017.
“One of the members of the group Ride bought a shirt and wore it during their performance,” he says. “It was awesome.”
When they’re not working the rock and roll circuit, Marvel and Frederick often team up on motion projects for Daily Planet’s clients. Among them is a 60-second holiday spot for the Field Museum.
CREDITS — The Field Museum, Happy Holidays
Agency — DDB Chicago
Daily Planet Producer — Shanead Mueller
Illustrations — Jason Wyatt Frederick and Daily Planet
Animation — Jonathan Adler, Deborah Hage, Dan Moore, Anthony Morrelle, Jason Rohler, Dan Tiffany
Animation Interns — Ashley Johnson, Laura Norris, Sun Min Park, Cara Stemo
Sound FX & Mix — Another Country
Music — Barking Owl