If you’ve been to a concert merch table this summer, there’s a chance you’ve seen one of Tom Shaw’s designs.
From his Wilmington studio, Shaw, owner of T. Shaw Designs, creates handmade, silkscreened art prints and concert posters for national touring musicians.
“I sell them to the bands wholesale, and they sell them at their merchandise booths at concerts,” he said.
That includes national bands stopping in Wilmington like Widespread Panic’s two-night run at Live Oak Bank Pavilion this month. (Shaw’s 2021 Widespread Panic poster, which was initially released for $40, now sells for $400-$500 or more on eBay.)
“There is a big market for limited edition concert posters and art prints,” he pointed out, “much like there is for baseball cards and sneakers.”
Shaw, who moved his studio from his garage to a commercial space this summer, transitioned from solely working on graphic design to also getting into screen-printed concert posters and art prints about eight years ago.
“I have always enjoyed collecting concert posters, and when I quit playing music in bands back around 2015 I needed a creative outlet,” he said. “I realized that – with my background in graphic design and my connections in the music industry – if I were to teach myself how to screen print, I might be able to land some small gigs for bands that were coming to play shows in Wilmington.”
That was how Shaw built his initial portfolio, “and it has since expanded to where I am creating concert posters internationally for some of the biggest names in live music,” he said.
His favorite design so far? This one
for Trey Anastasio Band from when they played in Wilmington in 2021.