Field Notes

RSVLTS Dropzone - “What’s Your Sign?” Artist Exclusive w/ Ian Glaubinger

Artist exclusive? Dropzone? What?! Yup, that’s correct, today’s drop is none other than an Ian Glaubinger especial. 

And while the man needs no introduction to many Insiders, for those just joining and to shed even some additional light on the legend (aka, the tiki-GOAT), RSVLTS took a few minutes to sit down with Ian to chat pop culture, illustrations, inspirations and what’s ahead for him in general. 

Make sure you scroll to the end as well to see some behind-the-scenes illustrations and other artwork. Oh, there might be an easter egg mentioned in the interview as well, so definitely read all the way through.

Over to you, Ian!

Tell us about how you first started getting into illustration/design? 

I've been doodlin' forever or for at least as long as I could hold a pencil. When I got older I went to the School of Visual Arts in Manhattan for illustration & cartooning, specifically to draw comic books. And for a little while my goal was to do just that but that eventually transitioned to more of a poster artist. Making little fanart prints and posters of every type of 80s/90s/00s piece of pop culture for galleries from NYC to LA…ironically the same stuff I'm doing for RSVLTS now! Eventually doing enough posters and comic-cons caught the very attention of the actual studios and I started to get hired for freelance gigs. 

What are some of your favorite all-time programs/movies/shows/brands?

There isn't enough time in the day to list them all, so it's going to have to be abbreviated! My all-time favorite movie is definitely Who Framed Roger Rabbit. But after that it's a who's-who of classics, like Back to the Future, Jurassic Park, The Matrix, '90 Ninja Turtles movie, most of the 1980s and anything with Sam Rockwell or John Candy. Some of my favorite TV shows include: Bob's Burgers, Seinfeld, The Office (up until Michael leaves), Parks and Rec, Mission Hill, Party Down, Simpsons (thru season 10) and anything with Anthony Bourdain. I dig a lot of the throwback styles of Converse, Levi's and Vans.

Tell us about the origin of this next design, it’s a clever play-on-words, "What’s Your Sign"? 

When the team approached me about doing an original "Ian" design, I went back and forth on a few concepts and ideas, and ultimately, I tried to come up with the things that best represent me: mid-century Americana, old signs and greasy foods. From there I started researching vintage (mostly defunct) neon signs. I then reimagined them to showcase some of my favorite foods and hangouts, like burgers, hot dogs, tacos, bowling and Tiki bars. Oh yeah, I hid my name within the design too, so let's see how long it takes for people to find it. And wait…I literally just realized I somehow forgot to make a PIZZA SIGN within the design?! My literal favorite food and I forgot?! Guess we'll have to make a second shirt...

What was the first design you did for RSVLTS? 

My first official release for RSVLTS I believe was Tiki Turtles. What an entrance! I was working on a couple designs but that was the first to come out. Which is kind of surreal when you think about it because Ninja Turtles and Tiki culture are like 2 of my favorite things on this planet! Before I started working with RSVLTS, I had only done maybe 2 or 3 pieces of Tiki art, but according to Insiders, that's all I do! I am thrilled to be the go-to "Tiki guy" but I can and do so much more.

Aside from "What’s Your Sign" of course, what’s some of your favorite RSVLTS designs thus far? 

Oh that's a tough one. I can't pick just one so I'll have to name a few: the Original Tiki, Space Madness, 5 O'Clock Somewhere, Zombie Tiki and Party Animals.

And boy oh boy do I have so many cool ones coming out that I can't wait for you guys to see, both original and licensed designs.

What’s next for Ian?

Aside from cranking out killer RSVLTS designs, I'm always creating all sorts of other art and doing comic-cons all around the NY/NJ/PA area. So much of my work is under wraps until it comes out, but I did recently create a poster for comedian Patton Oswalt for his February 11th show in Montclair, NJ, which is quite similar to the "What's Your Sign?" shirt. Oh, and I'm either growing my Ninja Turtles toy collection or glued to Halo Infinite.