Meet Michael King - The Artist Behind the Summer Concert Poster Series

When summer comes around and the days get longer, we make the most of our 12-acre campus here in Littleton, Colorado. Brewery Lane turns into one of Denver’s best outdoor concert venues, that’s so far seen the likes of stars like Leon Bridges and Nathaniel Ratliff. Music and brews under the Colorado sun? What else could you want during the summer?

Over the past few years, we have reached out to local artists to collaborate with and design our posters for the summer concert series. This year we worked with local Denver artist Michael King, who designed this series of four posters. We caught up with him to learn a little more about him, his design style and what inspired him for this awesome series.


Q: Tell us a little bit about yourself?

  • A: “I am a third-generation, graphic artist. My grandfather was a sign painter in WWII and my mom was also a graphic artist. So I grew up with the tools of an artist. My mom worked in print shops and various art facilities, so I got exposed to a lot of that stuff. I was always a drawer too. I always had a sketch pad in front of me no matter what I was doing. I was always doodling. So naturally, when it became time to join the workforce I just followed that and wound up as a designer and an artist. So far I have been able to make a good go of it.”

Q: What was your first start as an artist?

  • A: “I got my first start with the Onion actually. The satirical newspaper in Denver and Boulder, I was their art guy for several years. That was one of my big breaks into this world I now inhabit.”

Q: How did you get involved with Breckenridge Brewery?

  • A: “I was contacted by Ryan Workman and he mentioned the series they were going to do and I had been a little familiar with it. I had also met some of the Breck folks along the way too. By day I work for Illegal Petes and I think we have crossed paths multiple times before. I can say I have definitely had some good times down at the Littleton farmhouse. So it seemed like the right fit and seemed like a really cool poster series.”

Q: What was your inspiration for the poster series

  • A: “When we first started talking about this series I liked the idea that it could be these four collectible things that could be a part of a bigger family. So for me naturally loving Colorado, and Breck being such a big part of Colorado too. This music series is in a way quintessentially Colorado… I went with Colorado animals and wildlife. I choose some of my favorites from the golden eagle to the elk, and now with the owl. I know Marcus King was a fan of owls, so that is the direction I went.”

Q: What is your artistic process?

  • A: “I usually start sketching on paper, just to get an idea down. And then depending on how it goes, I might ink something and then scan it into the computer and then manipulate it from there. In one way or another, I will get all the elements into the computer. It is just easier to manipulate and move things around in layers and to change things as we go. I also have a pen tablet that is connected to my computer and I will sometimes just freehand elements into there. But it is just drawing things bit by bit and piece by piece and just slowly assembling them. You pretty much just push things around until it looks right. It’s kinda like cooking… just a little bit of this and that until you can stand back from it and say, ‘Okay that's it right there.’”

Q: Have you been working with any of the artists?

  • A: “For each one we kind of started with a concept and made sure everyone is comfortable with it. Usually, with these artists, they are pretty open to people interpreting the event that they are going to be apart of. I am grateful to them for that. Marcus was the only one that said he was interested in an owl, which I thought was great because I remember when I lived in Washington Park in Denver for a while, I actually had a great-horned owl in our backyard which I thought was pretty cool. So it was a good full-circle moment for me.”

Q: Has it been fun seeing your artwork everywhere?

  • A: “I love being apart of all the cool things that have been going on in Colorado over the past few years. It’s just been very cool to go and see that my work is hanging up at cool events like this and just knowing that I can be apart of all of it, and help it out. And whether we are putting on the show, attending the show or the bands playing in the show we can all look back in 10 years and remember that was an amazing time. That feels good to me.”

Q: What is something people should know about you?

  • A: “I am always creating something. Visual art is my most obvious thing. I am also kinda a musician and I am a home cook. I’m always making something. I can’t really sit too long without making something. If you take away my drawing tools or my computer I will end up grabbing a guitar and noodling for a while. Or I will go into the kitchen and prepare something delicious. So there is always some act of creation going on, I can’t really sit still I always want to make something.”

Q: What is next for you?

  • A: “I am kinda going where the wind takes me. My girlfriend got a job offer out in New England. I will keep doing art direction for Illegal Petes and will continue my freelance. The lovely thing about being a creative person is if you have a pretty good internet connection you can get a lot done.”

Q: Anything else you want to add?

  • A: “I am grateful to be apart of this summer concert series with KBCO and Breck and I think it's going to be awesome and hope people have a great time at the shows.”