Life as Graphic Designer to the Geeks

“I’ve always wanted to do a Norman Rockwell-type slice of Americana series of posters – but instead of people, I wanted it to be all robots.”

This was the genesis for artist Adam Levermore‘s original ‘Life in Roburbia’ series, the first print of which (‘At the Roburbia Cafe’) is available today. Levermore has become well known in the pop-culture community for his Serenity travel posters and Battlestar Galactica propaganda poster set from Quantum Mechanix, as well as other officially licensed tie-in art. For the first time, he has decided to play in his own universe.

“It’s been sitting in the back of my head for a long time. Mostly I’ve been working on projects for other people, which have been a lot of fun, but I’ve never sat down and taken time to do something that’s my own original work.”

As a freelance graphic designer, creating original art can’t be a top priority, but in between jobs for paying clients, Levermore decided to sit down and start sketching.

He knows that this project wouldn’t be feasible at all if it weren’t for the connections he’s made with the print’s target audience: the geek market. Having relocated to Los Angeles after tapping into numerous fanbases, his reach is much greater than it was when he was working for city government. Not only has he had direct interaction with the sort of people he thinks will enjoy Roburbia, he’s made friends with people who will spread the word to their thousands of Twitter followers.

“It’s one thing to sell to your mom, and to your best friends, but once you start branching out to people who just like the art and heard about it through a friend of a friend of a friend, that’s really gratifying,” Levermore says.

It all started with Firefly fan art. He designed a couple of posters to be auctioned off for the first Can’t Stop the Serenity fundraiser, and was surprised by how much money they brought in. For a while he sold his fan art on sites like Cafe Press, before he hooked up with the burgeoning Quantum Mechanix (QMx) at a convention in 2006. His first officially licensed art was the set of Blue Sun travel posters inspired by Joss Whedon’s Firefly.

In addition to QMx, Levermore has designed for Team Unicorn, The Thrilling Adventure Hour, The Nerd Machine, and the fifth season of The Guild starring Felicia Day. He’s particularly interested in working as a graphic designer for television and film, but in the mean time, he takes on freelance work and quietly continues to flesh out ‘Life in Roburbia,’ hoping to develop a series of five prints.

“In order to put them out as prints, they have to do well,” Levermore admits candidly. “The cost of printing is not small.”

He’s very conscientious about quality, which has ruled out a print-on-demand option. “I want something that people can be proud to hang on their walls. Something that will last. It may be pop art – but it’s still art.”

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