For the grand “Fare Thee Well” finale in Chicago, the band commissioned nine different posters and two triptychs (consisting of a three inter-connected posters). Most have been printed in limited editions of—wait for it—2015, and will be sold for up to $70 each.
New York artist Taylor Swope first got the idea for her poster—featuring the Uncle Sam skeleton giving a female skeleton a ride on a Harley—11 years ago, after watching a remastered version of “The Grateful Dead Movie,” which included an animated version of Cycle Sam.
“But I was a beginner artist at the time,” Swope recalls. “I didn’t know how to draw skeletons or roses.” Her design skills bloomed along with her apparel company, Little Hippie, which specializes in licensed Dead gear for kids.
She has two pieces of official apparel at the “Fare Thee Well” concerts, a children’s T-shirt and a women’s tank top. After her poster idea also got approved, she had to crank it out on deadline. By then she had learned a lot by sketching from books of flowers and an anatomical skeleton she had purchased. “The kicker is then I had to learn how to draw a motorcycle,” she says.
More on how that all went down up next.