Derek Hess

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Derek Hess is an American artist based in Cleveland, Ohio. His creative career grew largely out of his ability to express the emotion in the indie, hardcore and hard rock scenes of the mid-1990s. His posters are known for humor and irony, with the subject matter frequently using the name of the band as inspiration.

Derek Hess was influenced by his father who was an artist and fought in the Second World War. Hess stated on his website that when his father came home he would have his father draw the war scenes that he created in his head.[1]

Hess studied at the Cleveland Institute of Art and then transferred to the Center for Creative Studies in Detroit.[2] He wanted to focus on graphic design, but then became interested in fine art print making that brought him back to the Cleveland Institute of Art for their strong print making program.[3]

The first time Hess's work was recognized in collaboration with a musician was with the alternative metal band Helmet.[4] The flyers Hess created were the first in a series that was posted all over the area.[5] The flyers interested local art dealer William Busta, who then showed the flyers in his gallery.[6] When Hess began using color graphics in his posters he received much more recognition and was featured in Newsweek magazine, in an article on new poster artists of 1994.[7]

Currently there is a documentary being created that gives an intimate look into Derek Hess' artistic career. The documentary is being directed by Nick Cavalier and is called “Forced Perspective”. It will focus on some of his beginning flyer work, as well as some of his mixed media pieces. The film will focus on his art and the ways his art has affected the music community.[8]

His work is well known to devotees of album cover art and concert flyer art. He has produced artwork for musicians such as Pantera, Taking Back Sunday, Thursday, Season to Risk, Poison the Well, The Cows, The Reverend Horton Heat, NOFX, In Flames, From Autumn to Ashes, Methods of Mayhem, Converge, Before Their Eyes, Neurosis, Ministry, and many more.

Hess has expanded into the world of fine art and has his art displayed permanently in The Louvre[9] and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The majority of Hess' fine art is done in pen and ink along with acrylic paint or screen printing.

Hess also owns his own clothing line, Strhess. His shirt designs can be seen worn by many famous musicians from the genres rock to indie. Shaun Morgan of Seether is photographed wearing a Strhess shirt in the liner notes of One Cold Night, a live acoustic album.

Hess has been featured on MTV, VH1, Alternative Press, etc.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Parks, M. (2013). About. [online] Available at: [Accessed 17 Nov. 2014].
  2. ^ Parks, M. (2012).
  3. ^ Parks, M. (2012).
  4. ^ Ankeny, Jason. "Derek Hess Biography." AllMusic. N.p., 2014. Web. 17 Nov. 2014.
  5. ^ Ankeny, Jason. (2014).
  6. ^ Ankeny, Jason. (2014).
  7. ^ Ankeny, Jason. (2014).
  8. ^ Parks, M. (2013). Home page. [online] Available at: [Accessed 18 Nov. 2014].
  9. ^

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