The other day, i asked my brother for new songs to put into my thumb drive for late night ‘work music’. He gave me a mix of movie scores i loved and Eric Clapton. One of the songs was the main theme from the movie Glory (1989), directed by Edward Zwick.
There are only a handful of films i distinctly remember watching for the first time, because of the visceral imprint it left on me. Jurassic Park, the Silence of the Lambs, and West Side Story are some of them. Glory is another. It tells the story of the 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry, one of the first formal units in the US Army made up entirely of African-American soldiers, commissioned to fight in the American Civil War. It stars Matthew Broderick, Denzel Washington, Cary Elwes and Morgan Freeman.
From the moment i heard the a capella voices of the Harlem Boys Choir singing to the drums of James Horner’s ‘After Antietam’, i was hooked. His score alone makes the movie worth watching over and over and over again. All in all, a great film –worthy of the men who gave up their lives to end slavery in America 145 years ago.
And so, i’ve decided to do my first ‘one-sheet’ as a tribute to the film. Call it my inspiration. As much as i can, i will provide some insight on my work process. Hopefully it won’t take too long to finish. Bare in mind, i haven’t done this in a long time… NOTE: I meant it when i said that i’ve managed to elevate procrastination to the level of art – it’s been 9 months since my last entry. Nuff said.
I know I’m procrastinating again, but what the heck. Until I get into that singular mode of “artistic fervor” I won’t be able to do a piece I can be proud of. Don’t worry, it’s coming … But until then, here are 4 guys whose art greatly influenced my style.
Norman Rockwell, Drew Struzan, George Perez and Alex Ross.
Norman Rockwell’s idealized depictions of everyday life compelled America to view his Saturday Evening Post covers even when the articles weren’t as good. And, boy, was he prolific: over 4,000 original works. Whew! Check out his Golden Rule at left.
Drew Struzan, the jedi master of movie poster art. Think of an iconic hand-painted movie poster done in the last 35 years, and odds are he did it. Spielberg, Lucas, and M. Night Shyamalan are big fans of his work. And-he-is-fast! Real impressive when you do pieces on 1:1 scale.
George Perez has a clean, fluid style that just looks great on the page. And he’s the guy to beat when it comes to action-packed, group superhero pieces. Teen Titans, Avengers and, of course, Crisis.
And then there’s Alex Ross. Who’s work is a combination of all three styles really. You just can’t beat the photorealism. The pieces, they just come to life. Heroes and Villains straight out of our collective subconscious and we see them, feel them, even hear them. Gets me every time.
So let’s start with a piece I did about 10 years ago, a couple of months after Mark Waid and Alex Ross’s Kingdom Come came out. A real big fan of Ross’s art, I loved the way he did the covers for the first three books of this classic series. The way he decided to pose all major characters in one shot, as if in a studio, added more depth to already incredible artwork. It’s as if they all decided to take time out from their busy “superhero” lives to pose for one iconic photo op. It just made the whole piece come alive.
This is all new to me. Blogging. An online work journal. Talking to the world. My brother’s been bugging me about this for some time now and, well, he’s right. I used to have a REAL journal actually, a cheesy pocket-sized one that my cousin gave me on my 12th birthday, which I eventually replaced with a brown academic planner that I kept through my teens and into which I poured my thoughts from the mid-eighties to the early 2000’s. I still have both. Maybe someday i can transcribe some stories…
My two passionate interests are films (I plan to direct one soon) and art -a genetic predisposition. My younger brother has a head start on me here in that he started his work journal way back in April 2007. And he’s prolific. So, I have a lot of catching up to do.
THIS ONE, if I manage to keep the passion alive, should showcase my art (as they come to me), my thought on the process, my ramblings about film and anything related to it, and, over time, should evolve into something better.
So, here we go…