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The 2017 Festival Art: Pen and Ink tell a Story of our Island and Traditions

KBF_16112_2017_AG_FullThe Kona Brewers Festival keeps a strong focus on art, culture, tradition and the ”Makers” who keep these elements alive. The Makers create our beloved frothy brew, the farmers grow the food prepared by our best Island Chefs, the Musicians keep us dancing, the Storytellers and local Artists present the beloved Trash Fashion Show. In addition, a Hawaii Island Artist is commissioned to create the visual story that marks each new year, setting the stage for another incredible festival.

For the 22nd Festival,  Hawaii Island Artist Alex Gupton joined Graphic Designer Kristen Burda and the KBF design team at Flint Design Co, to create this intricate scene for the 22nd Annual Kona Brewers Festival.  “After looking at the artwork from the past several years, we decided to focus on the beneficiaries,” said Graphic Artist Kristen Burda, “People tend to forget that the Festival proceeds benefit Big Island non-profit organizations. So, this year’s art represents all the important work of these great beneficiaries.”

IMG_4826This is the 10th piece conceptualized by Flint Design for the Kona Brewers Festival since 2005. “Alex’s work often consists of a bright painting that tells a main story with a secondary story told within the detailed pen and ink drawings inside the shapes and subjects,” said Burda. “We felt this was a great way to communicate the rich, multi-level story we wanted to tell for the festival. Flint designed the triptych concept and beneficiary themes for each panel, and provided a sketch to Alex who then brought it to life in his artistic interpretation!”  Each panel represents the three focuses of festival beneficiaries: Environment, Culture, and Youth/Education. The groups are represented within the elements of Earth, Air, and Water. The three panels work together, one running into the next, and each may also stand individually.

The Festival is deeply rooted in the place and space of the incredible Big Island of Hawaii. “I had a picture in my mind of what I’d like to do,” fine artist Alex Gupton said, “I wanted an emphasis on the uniqueness of this island and traditions.” Look closely and find the three scenes and how they show the diversity of the island. Taro, Lava, and Water.

As a community celebration, the art has to be translated into digital formats to be enjoyed by festival goers for many years to come, in the form of T-Shirts, mugs, digital art, posters, giclee prints, and festival merchandise while still having a cohesive look and feel. So what begins with pen and ink on acrylic has to be translated into a piece with a finite palette, usually 3-5 colors. A screen has to be created for each color, so the ability to scan colors separately is important. “Alex was up for doing a bit experimenting, and settled on a transparent sheet that worked well with the pen and ink drawing,” said Burda. “We were able to scan the painting and the drawing separately so we could achieve better results when translating to festival merchandise.”

IMG_5677The journey of the fine art piece to digital art is an example of the type of collaboration that the Kona Brewers Festival is famous for. “We always enjoy participating in a fine artist’s process. Learning how they work and think inspires, and helps inform our own graphic design work and expression.” said Burda. “We are very proud and honored to be a part of KBF and supporting the beneficiaries in their mission. Doing good is part of our mission at Flint and we feel strongly that Hawaii’s special and fragile environment, people and culture need this spotlight.”  See more about Flint Design HERE

Alex Gupton’s work is known for its beautiful detail and intricacies that take shape to tell profound stories. See more about Alex HERE.  Net proceeds from the sale of print reproductions, merchandise and festival tickets go directly to our beneficiaries each year.


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