by the People’s Minister of Information JR Valrey
The graphic work of Myron Potier dominated the Oakland rap scene in the ‘90s after he worked on the album cover of Askari X’s classic “Message to the Black Man” and Seagram’s legendary album “Reality Check.” I came in contact with Myron’s work decades ago, and I have known Myron for over three years, but I didn’t know that he was the man that everyone was coming to.
Today, Myron draws and designs mostly out of his apartment in the San Antonio-Fruitvale District of East Oakland, not far from where he grew up in the streets of Oakland. Check out one of Oakland’s unsung humble heroes in his own words.
M.O.I. JR: When did you realize that you were good at drawing?
Myron Potier: When I won second place in a dental poster contest when I was in the sixth grade at Horace Mann Elementary in Oakland, California. That landed me in an art school in the seventh grade where I spent four years learning pencil, painting, wood sculpture, ceramics, stained glass and whatever popular medium that was available.
M.O.I. JR: What were some of the first things that you used to draw a lot of?
Myron Potier: Usually I drew people, but sometimes it was just whatever came to my mind.
M.O.I. JR: When did you get into graphic design? Can you talk about some of the graphic design work that you have done for local artists?
Myron Potier: I got involved with graphic design in 1990, while I attended Silicon Valley College in Fremont, California. While in the music industry, I tried to be kinda selective. I did the True Black Records logo, Seagram’s “Reality Check” and “Dark Roads” album covers.
I did Slow Motion Records logo and Askari X’s “Message to the Black Man” with John and Brian from Whatcha Need Graphics. I did D-Loc’s “Up Close and Personal” album cover. I did Erin Record’s logo and Gangsta P’s album cover and promo campaign.
I did “Street Fame” Tacced Out’s HP logo and album cover and a host of local campaigns that are and aren’t music related.
M.O.I. JR: What are you currently doing with your art and graphic skills?
Myron Potier: Since 1991, I’ve gone under the company name Commercial Image Design Group, where I’ve had the pleasure of working with a host of designers, photographers, michigan website design companies and printers to provide custom graphic design and finished products – flyers, album covers, business stationary, web design, apparel, T-shirts – to my customers and associates.
Currently I’m working on a host of projects and campaigns for the Oakland International Film Festival campaign, Supreme Pictures on their next film, Yaga Sounds featuring SiZZla and Tim Watson Productions. Also the Alan Blueford Foundation logo and Mothers Conference.
M.O.I. JR: How can people view your work?
Myron Potier: Right now? In my studio or online via YouTube.
M.O.I. JR: How can people stay in touch with you?
The People’s Minister of Information JR Valrey is associate editor of the Bay View, author of “Block Reportin’” and the newly released “Unfinished Business: Block Reportin’ 2” and filmmaker of “Operation Small Axe” and “Block Reportin’ 101,” available, along with many more interviews, at www.blockreportradio.com. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.