Long Live the American Spirit: Meet Graphis Master Jeff Foster

The American highway and all its wonders has long encapsulated contemporary art, literature, and film, with beat poetry and the notorious summer of ‘69 epitomizing its spirit. But while Jack Kerouac and Bob Dylan gave us books and music, Graphis Master Jeff Foster gives us illustrations and posters with his work capturing the day-to-day views of life on the road. 

A self-employed illustrator from Montana, Foster headed west after graduating high school and quickly became one of the industry’s most renowned artists. His work for clients like BP&N, Wieden + Kennedy, and Houghton Mifflin Harcour, has left his unique style widely recognized by industry giants and won him several awards, including a Graphis Gold. 

His vintage, retro drawing style harks back to 1950s advertisements and illuminates an American spirit through scenic landscapes, bright colors, and bold linework. In his illustrstions “Wisconsin Cheese” (above, left) and “White Tail Nation” (above, right), his love for America’s natural landscape is captured alongside his intrinsic ability to stylistically balance both novelty and nostalgia. The latter is exemplified by his use of illustration to evoke a new impression of a familiar sight. 

In “Stuart Highway” (above), Foster’s love for life on the road is further displayed and encapsulates a global spirit of adventure, whether it’s in Australia’s mountainous territories or Wisconsin’s farmland. In our Graphis Journal #363, Karen M. Kraus, the executive director at Feral Cat Coalition of Oregon, explains that Foster “is masterful at creating a sense of time and place that is meaningful and inspiring with no detail missed. He creates a world that never existed before, he creates awe.”

An incredible illustrator, Foster makes you want to get in your car, hit the road, and listen to your favorite song. His works are both inviting and curious, beckoning you to explore corners of the world you haven’t seen before. 

You can view his full Master’s portfolio on graphis.com.

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