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Creative Ally TJ Harley hails from Atlanta, GA — a city that he says is full of creative people and culture: “Atlanta is probably one of the most underrated cities for it’s creative community.”

Harley recently captured a win for the John Brown’s Body poster contest. Check out his art, logos and designs at

Congratulations on your win for the poster for John Brown’s Body! How did you come up with that design?

Thanks. The skeleton came out of the Halloween theme. The nod to the Wizard of Oz was completely unintentional. I guess there is also a bit of a war element to it. Maybe that comes from my interpretation of the band’s name (which is probably completely off-base).

How would you describe your personal design aesthetic?
I try to be as open to everything as possible and try to soak in as much inspiration as possible. I think you have to be influenced by everything around you. You can never pinpoint where your next idea will come from, and I would never rule anything out to inspire me. The more random the better, I say.

A dog wearing a spy outfit on a Blitzen Trapper poster is brilliant to me. I also enjoy design elements that have nothing to do with the subject of a poster, or are in complete contrast to the subject matter, almost like a song that is really upbeat and cheerful but has really depressing lyrics.

What influences your creative point of view?

Constantly listening to all types of music. I think listening to different music while working can influence you subconsciously. As far as poster design goes, MethaneAmes Bros.Chris Bilheimer and Nate Duval are some of my favorites. I’m a bit of a rook when it comes to posters so I only hope to be half as good as those guys one day. I also love sites like I could probably spend an entire day looking around there.

There are a bunch of sports logos on your site. How is designing a logo different than a poster?

Almost night and day. The biggest difference is one is done at work, the other is in my free time (logos and posters, respectively). Designing logos has a very specific purpose, a very specific audience, and a direct message to get across. I guess a poster does too in a sense but I think in a poster you can challenge the audience to look further and think a bit more about what’s going on.

Poster design, especially in the music industry allows you to be a bit more experimental as well and use a bit more artistic expression.