Logan Schmitt is a nationally renowned illustrator. The impressive lists of clients who feature his work on their concert posters, t-shirts and more include Dave Matthews Band, Chris Stapleton, Van Morrison, The Avett Brothers, Billy Strings, Old Crow Medicine Show, Luke Combs, and many more. However before that incredible success, Schmitt grew up coming to the Ohio County Public Library with his family. Schmitt still resides in Wheeling, West Virginia with his wife, where his studio is located and has continued his support of the library - now in a new way.
Schmitt joined Ohio County Public Library staff on Friday, June 3, 2022 to launch the new display of his extra-large "Wild, Wonderful West Virginia" print at the library. The popular work has been printed in conjunction with the library's Read Beyond the Beaten Path Summer Reading Program. Library visitors are encouraged to take photos with the six foot tall by four foot wide print and post on social media using the hashtag #iLoveOCPL.
In addition to the extra-large print that will remain on display throughout the summer, Read Beyond the Beaten Path Summer Reading participants will have the opportunity to win stickers and more from Logan Schmitt. More information coming soon!
OCPL: You grew up coming to the Ohio County Public Library with your family. How did that time in the library, when you were growing up, influence your work?
LS: It had a huge influence on my work. I found all kinds of art books and comic books [at the Ohio County Public Library.] Hellboy by Mike Mignola was a huge influence on my work, at least starting out. There are still pieces of his style that are still in my work, but starting out it was a huge influence. That was a comic book that I found here and still remains my favorite comic to this day. I just stumbled on it in the comic section here.
We were here all the time as kids, my family and myself. At one point a good friend of mine worked here, so we were just here all the time checking out books and hanging out.
OCPL: You use a lot of lines filled with flat colors in your art. Can you describe the process you use to create your art?
LS: I usually either use pen and ink, like Micron fine tip markers, or I’ll do the entire thing digitally. It’s kind of the same process. I’ll do the line work or I’ll do the sketch, then I’ll do the inking and then I’ll do the color fills which is just flat colors, no blending. That adds cel shading, which is just a darker version of that color over the normal color. It’s not very painterly. It’s not very blended. It’s going to be screenprinted, so I kind of make my art look like it’s a screenprint already. No matter how I get there it ends up being digital at some point and then becomes its final screenprinted.
OCPL: How do you find items in nature to incorporate in your work?
LS: My wife, my brother and I go backpacking a lot. So sometimes we’ll just find different things. There was one piece I did with a red eft, which is a larval state of a certain kind of newt. So one piece came from finding that. When it comes to the gig [musician] posters, those are all over the country. I look into what local or unique flora and fauna is in the area the show is being held. So that is usually the starting point for me.
OCPL: Do you have a special memory of the work you have created for musicians?
LS: The one that is here is the library [Wild, Wonderful West Virginia.] It was originally designed for the The Avett Brothers. When someone like that comes to West Virginia, it is super special. So it was nice to be able to make the poster for that show specifically and be able to go to the show. It was a really nice memory. I feel like I put everything into that poster because it was my "home turf" and things that I’m into, so that was nice.
OCPL: What is your hope for the future of Wheeling?
LS: There are so many great things going on already. More young people, more underground art, more surreal art, and more weird art. I’m currently on the Arts & Culture Commission and we’re working really hard to get more public art and murals made. We want nice artwork.