Ken Taylor x Screaming Hand

jim phillips

Ken Taylor is a Melbourne based poster artist and illustrator. For the past 10 years Ken has focussed on creating striking screenprinted rock posters for film studios and some of the worlds biggest bands, including Queens of the Stone Age, Metallica, Pearl Jam, Nine Inch Nails, Kings of Leon, Bob Dylan and The Rolling Stones.

Damo: What’s your first memory of the Screaming Hand? Where does it take you back to?

Ken Taylor: My first memory of the screaming hand was probably when i was 12/13 and sated to get into skating which eventually lead me towards graff. It takes me back to drawing that hand over and over again on school folders, my old yellow canvas school bag, files, pencil cases – pretty much any item I owned that was meant to stay neat and tidy was covered in the hand an a bunch of other 80’s skate graphics.

Damo: In your opinion, what do you think the Screaming Hand has contributed towards the scene over it’s life?

Ken Taylor: I think for kids (like me) who never really got into hero comics, it was one of the first images I can remember that made me want to draw in a style that wasnt based solely on trying to achieve an end result that was as close to real life as possible. He was one of the first illustrators i was really aware of and opened me up to the whole scene of alternative comics from that point on.

Damo: What do you think the future may hold for such an iconic image?

Ken Taylor: I really feel like this image isn’t going anywhere – its been here for 30 years – people pushing 60 know and love this image and young kids know and love it just as much – Providing skate culture is still here in 30 years and I am sure that will be the case, I can’t see why the hand is celebrating its 60th year with an exhibition in 2045 – except it will of course be gracing the underneath of a hoverboard by then…

Damo: How does it feel to be selected to be involved in the project?

Ken Taylor: It is a massive honour. Everyone in this show has amazing work and to be a part of something that celebrates such a massive influence on me creatively is super awesome.

Damo: Why did you choose to represent the image in this way?

Ken Taylor: I guess in many ways I didnt want to reinvent the wheel. I sort of tried to think – what would 13year old me do? and went from there. I was encouraged by Eddie Zammit to try and bring some custom type into it also and I always loved the image of the hand with the Santa Cruz popping out the end, so that was where it all stemmed from. It was seriously the most fun I have had with a piece in ages. I really really enjoyed working on it.