#Art

The 2021 Darkness Artist Search

In the landmark case of Jacobellis v. Ohio, Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart defined the difference between art and hardcore pornography as such: “I know it when I see it.”

The search for Surly’s 2021 Featured Darkness Artist is underway. Who will it be? We’ll know it when we see it. (Your art, not hardcore pornography. Please don’t send us hardcore pornography.)

We’re continuing our annual tradition of picking one artist to create label art for our 2021 Darkness line–the OG, the barrel-aged, and any variants. This designer will be creating, narrating, and defining Darkness for an entire year. The art will be featured on bottles, posters, shirts, and more. Given how the internet works, it will also be on an unlicensed adult Happy Meal in a former Soviet Bloc country, but it’s hard to really plan for that.

Basically, we’re throwing you the keys and letting you drive one of our longest-running, most-beloved beer brands. No pressure!

We’re looking for unique work that integrates your own creative style with the Surly brand, like the art created by our previous artists: Brandon HoltErica Williams, Josh “JAWSH” Lemke, Brent Schoonover, Michael Berglund, Aesthetic Apparatus, DWITT, Nic Skrade, Adam Martin, Adam Turman, Adam Sward, Michael Iver Jacobsen, Tim Chapman, and Barbara Guttman.

To be clear, this isn’t a pat-on-the-back-and-free-beer job. This is a full-fledged paid gig. With that, we’re expecting the chosen artist to work through concepts and designs with the crew at Surly and deliver on a specific timeline. Here’s what you need to do:

  • Submit three (3) art files in .jpeg or .pdf format for review. These should be working examples that represent your design aesthetic. We’re not asking you to design anything new for this project.
  • Yes, the art needs to look fantastic on a bottle, but it also needs to look great on a t-shirt, in a social media post, on a custom mug, in print ads, beer hall advertisements, website banners, etc. Your design should be translatable across all these mediums.
  • The ideal candidate should be able to design, render, prepare and export print-ready EPS or AI files. Hand drawn files are great for entry, but we also need you to be able to convert them for print.

If you have what it takes, the form is below. Deadline for submissions is Feb. 12th. We hope to select an artist by Feb. 26th, with the assignment lasting roughly four weeks per project (Darkness, Variants, Barrel-Aged). Good luck!

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