Down in the old city, artist Justin Helton can be found by taking a short stroll down Jackson Avenue.

His chic new digs are a recent development in his business life.

As a youngster, Justin considered himself an artist, "Yeah when I was a kid I used to draw stuff all the time." And as he grew, so did his love for art, design, and music.

Throughout college, Helton studied graphic design first at Pellissippi State then at The University of Tennessee.

He says that some independent study at UTK jump-started his career.

"That led to a full time job at AC Entertainment and I worked there for about six years and handled all of the graphic design there," he said.

But after work, he would go home and make his own band posters by screen printing in his garage, painstakingly creating each layer of the image by hand.

WBIR

"I’d go home at night and printed posters in my garage," Helton said. "I’ve been a big music fan since I was probably in my early teens and I tried to play a few instruments and I never was really very good at any of them."

Helton says he attributes his passion and inspiration for beginning his poster design business to a very well known band.

"One of the reasons I got into this stuff is because, I’ve always been into music, and I really got into the band Phish, and so Phish was one of the first bands that really started selling concert posters at their shows," he said.

As Helton got further into poster design, his business began to bloom.

"The poster stuff just kind of grew and grew as I was doing it on the side. And over time, I just got bigger and more well-known clients that were hiring me to do posters," he said.

He then decided to go full-time as a poster designer, calling his business Status Serigraph. Since then, he has worked with big names such as Phish, The Grateful Dead, Dead and Company, Umphries McGee, Widespread Panic, The Avett Brothers, and the famed Willie Nelson.

WBIR
WBIR

Helton's style sets him apart as an artist, he uses public domain engravings from the 1900s and is inspired by old concert posters from the 60s.

"I’ve always been really attracted to kind of like old concert posters like the old Grateful Dead stuff from the 60s, like the bay area," he said.

WBIR

You can find Helton all over this summer at Music festivals in Tennessee, Bonnaroo in June and The Pilgrimage Festival in Franklin, as well as Forecastle in Kentucky in July, and Lock'n Festival in September in Virginia.

Follow his work on Instagram.