Despite originally surfacing during the late 1960s, rock concert artist Jim Phillips enjoyed his greatest success decades later, his bold, vibrant designs spearheading the new wave of posters to emerge from the San Francisco music scene of the 1990s. Born October 24, 1944, in San Jose, California, he spent the majority of his life in nearby Santa Cruz, and at age 17 his first published artwork -- a contest-winning cartoon of a "woody" station wagon -- appeared in the spring 1962 issue of Surfer Quarterly magazine. After attending the California College of Arts and Crafts in Oakland, in 1967 Phillips created the first of his over 100 rock posters, a dayglo silkscreen promoting a Boston-area appearance by Lothar and the Hand People; his second poster celebrated the first-ever East Coast gig by the Doors.
From 1975 to 1990, Phillips served as art director for Santa Cruz Skateboards; there he created hundreds of wildly popular skateboard deck, T-shirt and advertising designs. He also designed stickers, which over a two-year period sold in record numbers of over eight million. In 1987, he formed Phillips Studios, a facility which housed eight young aspiring artists, among them son Jimbo Phillips, who himself later emerged among the top skate, surf and rock artists of his time. The elder Phillips' own re-introduction to the rock art world followed primarily after 1994 -- serving as Art Director of the legendary Family Dog, his success also led to work with Bill Graham Presents, including posters for the Fillmore, other BGP venues, and other national promoters.