Creative Mondays 159 – GoPro Test

“What is Creative Mondays?

Monday’s are always a drag. The start of a new week, you have to go back to that routine of going to bed early/get up early. If (like me) you have to commute then you prepare for that long journey into work and that long journey back for the first time after a nice two day break.

So to kick off those lousy Mondays, I’m going to get my creative mind flowing in a positive way. Creative Mondays. A chance for me to show off something unfinished or finished that I’ve been working on throughout the previous week.”

Just a quick one this week as I’m still right in the mix of the holiday season! I was pleasantly surprised to become the owner of a GoPro this Christmas and a few days later I had the chance to give it a test run. There’s a lot more footage I have of my first trip out but I figured I’d give a little sneak peek for this week’s post.

Big Brother Poster

Big Brother design

Not that I’d like to promote or in any way put focus on this reality television show but my recent poster design is in fact all about Big Brother. Or rather my problem with it.

Not since the first series had I managed to ‘enjoy’ the format of shoving clashing personalities in a house for the summer, so imagine my delight when last year I heard that it was to be terminated! Fantastic I thought, we’ll never have to worry about constant updates on Facebook or Twitter about who said what to who and what they did next! Oh but I was wrong, the lovely Channel 5 (UK based) decided to take the reigns and deliver us the same drivel that we’ve seen for the last ten years.

So now that I’ve finished ranting and believe me I could go on, I decided to put pen to paper (or rather mouse to Photoshop?) and create my word of warning to all those persistent in watching people sleep until the wee hours of the morning.

Enjoy, but let it serve its purpose! 😉

Spider-Man: Web of Night Poster

I’ve always wanted to do a poster featuring my favourite web-slinger and I can now show you the finished piece! I like to make sure at some stage throughout each project to learn something new and this poster was no exception. I’ve never really gotten into illustrator before so I decided this was a good opportunity to dive in head first.

The entire poster was created in illustrator (all except a few touch-ups with lighting and the text) starting from a sketch I’d scanned in. As Spidey is frequently seen swinging through New York’s amazing cityscape I felt I could take advantage of Illustrator’s new ‘perspective tools’ and create a convincing backdrop. It takes a little getting used to but once you let the perspective do the work for you, you’ll get a better idea of the composition you’d like. Within Photoshop I added a few textures to the buildings, added his webbing and created the glow effect you see around him.

I’ve always sketched out comic book characters as a kid and it’s really where I started in terms of my interest in drawing so to be able to transfer those skills to digital art was a really fun experience!

 

Where’s the inspiration for future artists?

At the time of writing this I’ve got Don Bluth’s ‘Titan A.E.’ on in the background. In my opinion it’s an underrated film (much like many of Don Bluth’s feature films) but it got me thinking about a film I absolutely loved as a child, The Secret of NIMH.

If you haven’t seen ‘NIMH’ and you’re a fan of animation then I can’t recommend it highly enough. Don Bluth’s work was rivalling that of Disney’s at the time and presented a more sophisticated and somewhat darker style of animation that respected it’s audience rather than dumbing itself down.

So why all this rambling about The Secret of NIMH and it’s style? Well while searching the internet to see if there was any news of an upcoming ‘Blu-ray’ edition I found this unfortunate image of the DVD release:

the secret of nimh blu ray cover

 

Not sure where to begin here. Firstly this looks about as far as you can get from the film, it doesn’t capture the mood or anything about the story but places the now bright, colourful and somewhat cheaply illustrated main characters smiling all together with not a care in the world. This couldn’t be further from the truth in terms of plot and animation style.

It’s not just the artwork that suffers. It shows how much as a society we closet our youth from anything that might be somewhat ‘real’ or intriguing. The design is clearly advertising the film as something it’s not and this false advertising ruins the film for an audience expecting to see something completely different. Ironically The Secret of NIMH does deal with issues that everyone can relate to. From death and the scientific testing of animals to love and a mother’s courage to protect her family at any cost this film inspires and respects its audience enough to enjoy it on many levels. It’s thought provoking even for a child and Don Bluth’s animation is the perfect tool to distance the child from a harsh reality but at the same time still teaching.

Now if I can show off one of the posters for the film on it’s original release:

This poster filled me with wonder and curiosity. There’s so much going on, so much detail and character in the illustration that it immediately captures my attention. More than that, it tells the story of a struggle, not every thing’s fluffy and light and ‘full of Disney songs’.

Even in An American Tail, regarded more as a Don Bluth film with a wider appeal, the poster artwork was impressive and detailed. It tells the story in one frame simply and effectively:

Unfortunately the same cannot be said for the DVD release:

More and more I find artwork that looks lazy or cheaply put together without any storytelling ability. I always thought the phrase was, ‘A picture is worth a thousand words’… and I can only see about one.

Source Code Poster

Saw Duncan Jones’ Source Code a while back and quite enjoyed the film (big fan of his first film Moon). He brings an intelligence to popular science fiction stories without having to go over the top and while there’s plenty of special effects in his films they’re not always dictating what happens next.

I was inspired by the various posters created by others and wanted to attempt a version myself. A lot of the other versions were very detailed so I wanted to create a minimalistic ‘teaser style’ poster for the film that would draw the viewer in but not give any information away. Immediately the visual of the train tracks stuck in my mind with both being parallel to each other and one abruptly ending.

I really enjoyed creating this style of work and it helps clear the clutter in my brain with a simplistic design once in a while!