This Friday, January 25th, is the opening of MONDO’s new gallery show, “In Progress.” This exhibit will feature the original artwork, concepts and line art for many of their posters.
Here’s what Laurent Durieux had to say about his Iron Giant piece:
“Iron Giant is a great movie, so moving and funny at the same time. The friendship between Hogarth and the Iron Giant is epic and reminds me in many ways of one of my favorite movies, E.T.
I am especially sensitive to how Brad Bird has used CGI in such a subtle way. The mix between the conventional “hand drawn” animation and the CGI is very coherent and smooth. That’s what I always try to achieve my posters, you know, finding the right mix between technology and art.
Re-interpreting another graphic style, like a cartoon for example, is very tricky, as I think there is always a risk of distorting the original intentions and aesthetics of the authors. In my opinion, very few artists succeed in doing so, that’s the reason why, in this case, I’ve tried to keep actual elements and characters of the film to a minimum.
I dig the color scheme of the film, the indian summer feel to it, the vibrancy of autumn leaves, etc… That’s what I’ve tried to depict in my poster. I love how the colors interact with each other and the overall naturalistic feel with the flock of birds flying by, the sea on the horizon, the sun setting, the light house, etc. I’m also very pleased with the typography as well. My brother Jack nailed it in my opinion!
I think “Iron Giant” is a true family classic and I hope my poster did it justice. I will always be proud of this poster and it remains, to this day, one of my favorites. But the best of it all is that fans out there seem to love it as much as I do, which is, at the end of the day, my true reward!”
Here is the original pencil art for Jason Edmiston’s Go Ape! poster from last year.
The artist writes:
My “Go Ape” poster for Mondo and The Alamo Drafthouse is a direct homage to the original poster from 1974 distributed by 20th Century fox that advertised a movie marathon showing all five Planet of the Apes movies. My goal was to recreate the vibe and composition of the classic, while switching up a photo of a soldier ape for a tight illustration of General Ursus. I gathered reference of Ursus from internet searches, screen grabs, and toy photos, and drew a sketch in pencil at about a quarter of the size of the final painting. After I was happy with the composition, I scanned it in, and enlarged it in Photoshop, printed it out, and traced it on primed, stretched watercolor paper. then I painted it traditionally in acrylic, like all my other paintings. I painted a full value sepia underpainting, then followed with color washes, building up from medium values to darks, then finishing with lights and highlights. The text was done in Photoshop by Mondo’s Rob Jones.
Here is Aaron Horkey’s beautiful Lord of The Rings poster from Mondo Mystery Movie X last year. Getting to see Horkey’s original art in person is nothing short of breathtaking.
Mitch Putnam describes the artist’s process:
“Aaron Horkey works almost entirely without the aid of computers. He starts with small pencil sketches, moves up to larger ink drawings, then traces out each color separation by hand. It’s a painstaking process (and one that takes seemingly forever), but the hand-rendered precision really shows in the final product. He’s part of a dying breed, and this exhibition showcases his process perfectly.”
Mitch Putnam discusses Jock’s work on the West of Memphis poster below.
“Jock is primarily a comic book artist, so he’s used to working in traditional mediums. He does a lot of physical sketching (mostly in ink) for almost every poster he works on. I really like his work in the show, as it not only shows his process, but also some of his alternate ideas, since he draws out even his early ideas on paper.”
Here is a look at an alternate design for Laurent Durieux’s Creature From The Black Lagoon.
“I actually had never seen any of the Universal Monsters movies before as, in Belgium, they are not so much engrained in our movie culture as it is in the U.S., so I came to work on these 5 movie posters with a totally fresh eye. I found them truly moving and beautiful!
When I have to come up with a new illustration for a movie poster, as it was the case for the UM show, I always try to take the movie from an angle as different and new as possible, which is not so easy as there is sometimes up to 70 years of iconography behind these classics!
I am an illustrator and as such, I’d like to think of myself as a “story teller”. My aim is to be true to the film but also true to my emotions.
It’s very hard for me to come up with something I’m happy with if I didn’t feel anything for a movie, I guess it’s like that for most artists right? For instance, I think the reason why my “Creature of the Black Lagoon” poster wasn’t as popular as the 4 other ones is that, there is no emotion or pathos involved, it’s a 2D “graphic concept”…I’m not saying I don’t like the movie or the poster I did, but it somehow touched me less than the other 4 films and I suspect the collectors sensed it and prefer when I try to tell a story instead? Also I don’t think my style suits “witty concept” or “graphic ideas” posters so well the way Olly Moss’s or Jason Munn’s would for instance. I wish It did, sometimes, well c’est la vie…
Here are the different stages of elaboration of an image:
1. Quick sketch(es) of idea(s)
2. More refined drawing with addition of colors
3. Preparation of the layout with a collage of all sorts of documentation, screen grabs and drawings. (Zita Johann’s arm comes from a vintage window display mannequin)
4. Inking of the final collage mainly on computer (I work with a Wacom palette) and also the old fashion way (on paper), I scan all the bits and pieces I have and paste them into a coherent whole, hence I rarely have a complete original.
5. Getting the volumes, shadows and light, colors in place with my hatching/counter hatching technique.
6. Finding the right typography and placement although I kind of know from the start where I will place it. My twin brother Jack, also graphic designer, usually handles that part for me.
7. Fine tuning of colors.”
In Progress opens this Friday, January 25th, at 7PM at the Mondo Gallery in Austin, TX and will be on display through February 23rd.