5 Not so Creative Questions with JP Boneyard of the National Poster Retrospecticus

jetpacks and rollerskates and the national poster retro specticus

I originally met JP at the creative conference WMC Fest 2014. I was wondering aimlessly around the event space when I noticed a group of people heading to the second floor of the building. Curiously, my friends and I followed the group. When we arrived up stairs I couldn’t help but be completely taken back. The walls of this space we lined with posters of every artist I had ever followed in the gig poster scene. “What was this magic?!” I asked myself.

Upon further investigation I meet two of the nicest gents, JP and his well dressed sidekick Brian. They informed me of the poster installment insanely titled the NPR (National Poster Retrospecitcus) and how they’re essentially travelling circus people for the arts. I dug the story, the cause and the crew.

JP and I have crossed past a few times since. I even got to be apart of the NPR show when he dragged it up north to Toronto to be apart of the North by Northeast Festival in 2015. Since then I have been following the NPR as well as JP and his antics non-stop. He’s a great guy and I am super excited to his new project 59parks.net as it takes shape over the next few months.

Enjoy this edition of “5 not so creative questions” with the nomadic poster slinger, JP Boneyard.

For those who don’t know you. Who the hell are you?

Hi! My name is JP. Some people know me as JP Boneyard. I’m originally from Massachusetts but I’m currently based out of Austin, Texas. I got my start doing creative work through setting up DIY music events in high school. I’ve helped put together over 300 art and music events around North America since 1998 and I’m still at it! Eventually this effort led to my career in graphic design, web development, designing mobile apps and producing events.

National Poster Retrospecticus

What do you do? OR what are you working on?

I currently produce a traveling art show called The National Poster Retrospecticus. The show features the work of over 150 amazing poster artists from all over North America. We typically hang 100-400 hand printed gig posters and art prints for one-night-only shows. In addition to The NPR I produce a poster series called The Fifty-Nine Parks Print Series. This series celebrates the US National Parks and screen printing. Over the next year or so we’ll be teaming up with even more amazing artists to produce posters for each of the National Parks! I’m really stoked on this new project!

fifty nine parks debut posters

What’s a tip you’d give to people? Something you’ve picked up along the way.

In my 16 years of putting on events and doing design work I’ve found that things typically work out if you’re honest, work hard, and have faith in the process. It’s a challenge to keep all three of these balanced. Sometimes we betray ourselves and aren’t honest with what we’d really like to be doing or how we feel. Sometimes burnout happens or other distractions keep us from our work. Sometimes it’s easier to settle on being pessimistic because it takes effort to make positive things happen. I’ve found that striking a balance and being mindful of these three areas makes all of the difference in life and in work.

wall of posters the NPR

What are you into. Or something that recently inspired you?

I’m totally into basketball. I was born in Springfield, MA, birthplace of basketball but I didn’t catch the bug until 2011. I never played or watched a game in my life until that point. My roommates in college always insisted that I worked too much and needed to take a break. On occasion I’d take their advice and hang out with them while they were watching Celtics games. I became totally intrigued by the personalities, the team histories, the rivalries, and the poetry of the game. What I love most about basketball is the fact that it’s truly a team sport. Five players on the court perform best when they operate as five fingers on the same hand. I love that mentality outside of the sport too. Things are better with friends and when people work together. I feel my best work is often done with the input, support, or enthusiasm of those close to me. I’ll go all day about basketball so I’ll just leave it at that for now!

NPR illustration

You’ve travelled around the country a bunch. You don’t have to go into much detail but what is one of the craziest things you’ve seen?

The craziest thing I’ve seen? Out running a tornado one Summer. I was on an epic two week trip drive around the US. A storm came suddenly while getting a bite to eat somewhere in Wyoming. Everyone on the news was freaking out about multiple tornados were passing through the area I was in (small town, population fewer than 900 people). Fortunately the weather was heading East just like myself which meant we’d only cross paths if I stayed put or was heading West. I chirped out of the restaurant parking lot and did about 95mph for over an hour in some crazy weather. Some real doomsday looking stuff stayed in my rearview mirror that whole time. Fortunately I was in the middle of nowhere and not many other cars were on the road. I just drove straight East forever. That was the first time I’d heard all of Willie Nelson’s “Red Headed Stranger”, too. That ride was nuts.




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