Jess Rotter spends nine to five on the horn about bands Antony and the Johnsons, the Scissor Sisters, and Wu-Tang Clan, to name a few, as a music publicist for Girlie Action Media. But the rest of the time, the artist and designer is listening to the likes of Linda Ronstadt and Willie Nelson. Inspired by such ’60s rock luminaries and, early on, by her dad’s vinyl covers and comic books, Rotter paints trippy watercolors that have been exhibited in galleries and boutiques in New York and Tokyo, and her whimsical, hand-drawn illustrations have appeared on everything from stickers to shopping bags to zines…That is, before a lightbulb flickered on and she started her own T-shirt line, Rotter and Friends, with Girlie’s Alison Zero. How does
she find the time?! Describe your day job to the clueless.
Besides the scribblin’, I spread the word about bands and try to partner up cool brands with music-related events. I used to just do publicity for bands like LCD Soundsystem, Antony and the Johnsons, and Dungen, but now—whether it’s giving Willie Nelson a Motorola Phone on his tour bus or getting artist Zakee Shariff to design a piece for Zune—the job is a new adventure weekly. Yes, I drink a Turbo Iced coffee every morning.What music are you loving right now, and what do you listen to when designing?
I gain so much reference and inspiration by music of the past; it pretty much encompasses what I listen to. My friend Keith’s label Anthology Recordings (anthologyrecordings.com
) has a trove of goodies like the Anonymous album Inside the Shadow
, which I had on constant rotation last year. Lately I have been listening to Link Wray’s self titled
gem, The Bob Seger System’s Mongrel
, and its pretty rare to not hear a Fleetwood Mac jam coming out of my speakers daily. This week? “Hypnotized.” What is the inspiration behind Rotter & Friends’ spring collection?
This season we pay homage to greats like Roky Erickson, Linda Ronstadt, and Willie Nelson. Besides their music being the main influence of the pieces, I wanted the illustrations to bear warmth, sophistication, and a hint of muppetry. My friends style the tees with glitter jackets and crazy jewelry, which makes me smile as it is super inspiring. Who are your all time favorite style and music icons?
The usual suspects of course: J. Birkin, S. Nicks, C. Rampling, A. Karina, G. Rowlands, and my Grandma, for the effortless strength and class.What bands are you dying to see at Noise Pop?
My friends are raving to the high seas about the Entrance Band, who I just happened to meet randomly on my way to SF this afternoon in Big Sur getting coffee. I also want to check out a documentary my friend Jessica Hundley recently worked on called Such Hawks, Such Hounds
which is about music and musicians of the American hard rock underground circa 1970-2007. Popcorn please!rotterandfriends.com