From concert posters to politically charged fine art pieces, Cleveland-based artist Derek Hess has tested the waters of both the music and art world for over 15 years.
Growth, in general, has been an unwavering theme throughout both Hess’ personal and professional life. From a young age, Hess was transfixed by his father Roy’s ability to create on paper the images of planes and tanks that his son had swimming in his head.
Always a fan of music, Hess began booking shows at the Euclid Tavern, a staple for cover bands and blues at the time. Hess soon began to curtail the format of the bands being brought to the tavern into something he liked and was comfortable with. He also started creating the promotional flyers for the shows using his own unique vision and a play off the bands names and genre.
More recently, Hess started a clothing line, Strhess, as well as Hessfest and the Strhess Tour, a collaboration of music and art that features bands such as Thursday, Shadow’s Fall, Stretch Arm Strong and Taking Back Sunday.
Hess’ art has been able to transcend genres as well as generations, which is icing on the cake for the artist. “At the end of the day I’d like, ideally, for all of my art to be technically sound. That, to me, is what makes a successful artist.”