Clayton Jarvis said he was always that kid in school drawing through class.
"I never once for a second doubted that I would be doing something creative in my life," he said. "From the time I was a kid, that's what I was always into, was drawing."
Now the Logansport man behind Abom Designs creates illustrations for album covers, concert flyers and T-shirts. Equipped with an education in fine arts, Jarvis has been making his mark on his hometown's music scene along with acts across the state and country.
As a kid, Jarvis said he'd check out books from the library to learn how to draw classic monsters like Frankenstein's and The Wolf Man. He was a big fan of horror movies growing up like the "Friday the 13th" and "A Nightmare on Elm Street" franchises.
"Being born in the 80s was an awesome time to be a kid," he said. "There was so much stuff to stimulate your inspiration and just get the creative juices flowing."
Jarvis studied fine arts with a studio concentration at Vincennes University. He said lessons in painting, drawing, sculpture, ceramics and the fundamentals of design gave him the tools to do what he does now.
"I was really fortunate to be surrounded by a lot of creative people that I could learn from and get inspired from as well and the faculty there was amazing," he said. "Just a really great time in my life."
He said he started getting interested in illustrating about eight years ago at a time when he also noticed something lacking from Logansport's music scene.
"There were a lot of bands that really didn't have a visual representation of their music and I always felt that would be something I would be really, really good at," he said.
To create his designs, Jarvis uses a tablet equipped with a digital pen that transmits his strokes to a program displayed on a computer monitor before him.
He recently designed the cover for a split album featuring the Dwarves, based in San Francisco; and Against the Grain, based in Detroit. Jarvis called it the highlight of his illustration career.
"Working with a band that's been around for 30 years," he said of the Dwarves, "that's pretty awesome. That band has touched a lot of people's lives with their music and what they're about. I was just extremely honored to have been a part of that."
He added he's honored to be a part of everything he's asked to design.
"People are instilling faith in me to give them something that they put their time and effort into and I'm super humbled," he said.
Failure Records & Tapes, a Logansport-based record label, produced The Dwarves/Against the Grain split.
Matt Swisher, who co-owns the label with Adam Wilson, said he used to be in a band whose drummer went to school with Jarvis. Swisher said Jarvis designed a flyer for one of their shows about 10 years ago.
"I would say from that moment on we probably used Clayton for 75 percent of our design work from then on out," Swisher said.
Swisher said he's been involved in "(do-it-yourself) rock 'n' roll" for half his life. It's a world whose inhabitants are always looking for someone to design flyers and T-shirts, he continued. Without someone like Jarvis, Swisher said design needs were often fulfilled by pasting graphics onto a page and making photocopies or enlisting tattoo artists.
"It's not like he's doing you a favor by drawing covers," Swisher said. "That's what he wants to do."
Between the record label and The Record Farm, a Logansport record store he also co-owns with Wilson, Swisher estimated they've commissioned Jarvis for around 50 projects.
"It's great to have him on board," he said. "When you do work with a band and you're doing a project, the artwork is just one of the pieces. But when Clayton is involved and the time comes to show the artist here's what we've come up with, they're always blown away, that's for sure."
While plenty has changed from the days of his classroom doodles, at least one aspect for Jarvis has remained the same.
"It's always been fun," he said. "It's just one of those things I'll never stop doing and I'm going to continue doing until I can no longer do it."
Source: (Logansport) Pharos-Tribune, https://bit.ly/2IHbarQ
Information from: Pharos-Tribune, http://www.pharostribune.com
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