Thursday, June 12, 2014

Music Through the Pen of Sketch Artist Louis Roe

"Practicing an art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow. Sing in the shower. Dance to the radio. Tell stories. Write a poem to a friend, even a lousy poem. Do it as well as you possibly can. You will get an enormous reward. You will have created something."
~Kurt Vonnegut Jr.

The Boston scene is in no way perfect, but it does expand beyond literal music, constantly evolving to feature new artistic forms of appreciation and participation by way of writers, photographers, bakers, clothing makers and sketch artists like Louis Roe.

"I try to capture things exactly as I experience them, bumps and beer stains included."
(Diarrhea Planet at Great Scott 6.5.14)

“When I draw a band while they're performing, we get to create something together, and I love to collaborate—with musicians, with other artists, with writers, anyone who's passionate about what they're doing. And, not insignificantly, it gives me something to do between sets if I go to a show by myself.”

You may have seen Louis Roe sketching bands by the light of the stage, or at the very least, admired his doodles that have been circulating around the internets recently. As the next imaginator to emerge from the depths of the pit of the Boston music scene, Roe has captured locals like Speaker for the Dead, Kal Marks and Grass is Green, as well as national acts like The Menzingers, Diarrhea Planet and Fucked Up. And has landed features on Allston Pudding, Sound of Boston and Emerson's Five Cent Sound Magazine.

Doodling Kal Marks during their Sound of Boston interview.

“I've always loved music, but I'm a lousy musician, and organizing shows was very stressful for me when I tried that in high school,” Roe confesses. “Sketching is the most comfortable way I've been able to participate in the music community.”

While many are accustom to photography portraying live action sets, Roe expresses that his drawings capture movement in a very specific way and result in a unique piece of art. “There's so much atmosphere that gets funneled into my experience at a show—a lot of chaos, a lot of squiggles, a lot of emotions. If someone bumps into me and my pen makes a weird scribble where someone's face should be, I can't take another picture. The "error" that was part of the show just gets translated into part of the art, and I'm interested in art that reflects the process of its creation.”

“Sketching is the most comfortable way I've been able to participate in the music community.”
The D-Line at the Democracy Center (5.10.14)

As a sketch artist capturing a local music show, Roe can usually be found in the crowd up against the stage, experiencing pushing, beer spillage and sweat in the dimly lit space, but he embraces it all for his trade. “I try to capture things exactly as I experience them, bumps and beer stains included. Frankly, the biggest challenge is probably trying to draw, dance, and sing at the same time when I'm seeing a band I really love!”

You can reach out to Louis Roe for sketch inquiries, prints for purchase, appearances and to just say ‘Hi’ via Facebook message, or for the Faceless/Bookless, email at View additional sketches and learn about upcoming art shows at the Squishy Sandwich Art Facebook page and on Twitter.

1 comment:

  1. Throughout history, in all cultures, music has been an integral part of human life. There are evidences that musical instruments such as bone flutes and drums predates even agricultural tools.


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