When Baltimore artist Chris Gipple found out that Heavy Seas had picked him to be their 2020 Artist in Residence, he couldn’t wait to get started. “I went home that night and started sketching,” says Gipple. “I didn’t even know the beer names or flavors yet. I was just so pumped about the project.”
Gipple’s first assignment was to create the label for the Baltimore brewery’s Anniversary Ale, 24, a 14% ABV quadruple IPA bursting with notes of grapefruit, orange and ripe stone fruit. “Heavy Seas has always been good at creating something unique and fresh based on old traditions. I strive to do the same in my artwork.”
His first commission for Heavy Seas is a symmetrical, psychedelic design, with floral images blending into an abstract four-eyed hipster. How did Gipple settle on this utterly unique image? “Man, I think I subconsciously get inspired by so many things and it all stirs around in my head until I get something on paper. Nature and plants are always a big source of inspiration, especially in this context, because beer flavors incorporate so many organic elements.”
Heavy Seas Brewmaster Christopher Leonard agrees that Gipple’s distinctive artwork captures the essence of the beer. “We’ve been having a lot of fun with hazy, juicy, hoppy beers, and they’ve been very well received. We can’t wait to get this one into the hands of all our fans!”
As Artist in Residence, Gipple, whose portfolio previously consisted of music industry illustrations (gig posters and album art), will also create artwork for each of Heavy Seas’ 15 Barrel Brewhouse beers to be released throughout 2020. While it’s been a distinct challenge, the move from gig posters to beer labels has been a welcome change for this accomplished illustrator. “It’s a challenge creating an interesting piece of artwork in such a confined space,” says Gipple. “I’m finding that this small canvas is actually refreshing, as it’s forcing me to experiment with different compositions.”
Be on the lookout for more of Gipple’s artwork throughout 2020!