Even if you don’t know Wes Knorr—which, considering his extensive history and friend list in the NEPA music scene, isn’t likely—you are probably familiar with his artwork. And much like the rest of the festival world, Knorr’s design career caught ablaze by means of a rather peculiar spark.
Although drawing dominated his childhood, music swooped in to consume Knorr’s teens. He and his two younger brothers started Mystery Fyre, a psychedelic rock band that bounced between festival lineups between 2009 and 2016. Wes played lead guitar, backup vocals, and even busted out a theramin solo every so often (and now you are saying, “ahhh….that’s where I know him from”).
Mystery Fyre became the young teens’ direct plug into the festival world, allowing the Knorr brothers to digest and express themselves through their music, art, and growing relationships.
The band also facilitated Knorr’s first design projects. Commissioned by himself, he began designing Mystery Fyre’s show posters. Pictured left is one of Knorr’s first poster designs for his band’s festival.
“What’s cool [about this piece] is the graphic of the guy and girl were designed by Josh Clark of the band Tea Leaf Green, and I did the design end of the poster. I think seeing how he was making a living between gigs may have been an early inspiration that led to where I am now,” Knorr said.
His vibrant style quickly caught eyes, and Knorr found himself sought after to creatively contribute in more ways than just Mystery Fyre’s music.
Since then Knorr has worked closely with festivals and venues like the Ardmore Music Hall, Grateful Acres Productions, and NumbaNyne Entertainment (Peace of Mind Festival), and has helped design for artists such as The Southern Belles, Out of the Beardspace, Steal Your Peach, Medusa’s Disco, and Karl McWherter Photography.
“In a sense the art has come full circle, because when I was a kid I was a big illustrator, but [until the band]..I just let it go,” Knorr said.
December of 2016, the self-taught artist made claim to his passion and turned it into substantial graphic design company, Westernsun Media Design.
Although still dealing mainly in the virtual, Westernsun MD has pushed Knorr to reach into physical art with projects such as album layout and design for Scott Pemberton Band and Jon Smith’s Voyages. Bloomsburg University even dared the young startup to explore further with the installation of seven large, vintage photograph wall mounts on campus.
“I broke new ground entirely, and it’s opened my mind and my vision into where else I can get,” Knorr said.
Wes Knorr’s art started as an echo of his retro inspiration, but with an open ear and mind, he’s evolved Westernsun MD into a reputable business with a flexible set of style and skills. And although this business has allowed for Knorr to share his talent beyond the festival grounds, his roots remain where his art began: helping bands design and brand their name and organizers promote their events.