We recently sat down with Rudie, the tattoo artist that worked with us to design the label for our American IPA to learn more about him, find out more about how he designs and dig a little deeper into his creative process.

How do you approach the artistic process?

With this style of artwork, I always start with a sketch to get down my ideas. Sketching helps me to see if my ideas will work how I want them to. I sketch out a rough idea then scan the image into the computer and start drawing it digitally. Once I have the digital drawing done, I can start setting up the label and trialing different layouts until I’m happy with a final one.

How did you come up with the idea for the IPA can?

I first explored the idea that this was a seasonal beer and being an American style IPA I was instantly drawn to the idea of American landscapes. Specifically, areas like Yosemite with its vast tree landscape and running lakes. This American landscape idea also brought me to my colour palette which was a take on the traditional red, white and blue. The burnt oranges and dusky blues are a subtle take on this.

Have you always been artistic?

From as early as I can remember I have always been drawing. My parents were both very creative and artistic, so there was always drawing and creating going on in the house. As I got older, my illustrating increased as I started collecting comics.

What made you want to get into tattooing?

I was never exposed to tattoos growing up, and it wasn’t until I was 17 that I took an interest in them. Once I got my first, I planned to get my next and then my next, and it kept on going. After a few years, I decided that this was what I wanted to do. I loved the art of it and the permanency of it. Just like comic books, everyone had their style, and this was an idea that I was drawn to – creating my own tattooing style.

When did you start doing more design work?

I have always loved graphic design, and it was something that I think I would have pursued more had I not gotten into tattooing. I love logo design and branding, especially the way it is used in sports with teams and their identities.
In the early 2000’s I worked for a clothing brand doing basic designs for t-shirt prints, this helped me develop my style which in turn brought in clients here and there that were interested in my style of design. It is a great outlet as it is completely different from tattooing.

What is your favourite part of design?

There are two parts that I love – I love mapping things out and getting an idea of whether my plans are going to work or look too crazy – and then once everything is digitised, and I can manipulate every component of the design and start putting in my colourways.

Why did you want to collaborate with us?

First of all, I am a lover of beer. Beers and good labelling, that’s a match made in heaven for me. I’ve always loved Coldstream Brewery’s beer and cider and always stopped there on the way home from visiting my late grandmother in Alexandra to pick up some takeaways. Once the offer came up to help design something from the ground up, I jumped at it. I feel very privileged that I have had the chance to collaborate with you guys and create something that I am very proud of.

You can vote for our American IPA and your other favourite beers in the GABS Festival Hottest 100 craft beer poll here.