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Tuesday
Mar042014

Finally, New Work: House Of Cards & X-Men: Days Of Future Past

Yikes, it has been awhile since my last post. How about I make amends by offering up not one, but two new posters.

I just recently wrapped up a self-initiated project to celebrate the release of House of Cards - Season 2 on Netflix. I am a huge fan of the series and thought it deserved its own poster to kick off the new season. It was featured as an exclusive release on Blurppy.com where I outlined some of the background behind the project and a few of the struggles I encountered. I highly recommend heading over Blurppy to read the entire post here.

I promised two new posters, and this second one is pretty sweet. As I have mentioned in previous posts, I am a member of the Poster Posse. We are a group of artists in love with making movie posters, brought together by Don Thompson of Blurppy.com. Our most recent Posse project was to design a poster for the soon to be released X-Men: Days Of Future Past. This particular film marks the return of the original director of X-Men and X-Men 2, Bryan Singer. Returning with him is pretty much every cast member from all the past X-Men films including the most recent X-Men: First Class.

I saw this Posse project as an opportunity to tackle one of my favorite characters, Wolverine. I have been playing with a new visual style that I am calling "digital organic." What I try to do is create a likeness using mostly hard angles and a few well placed curves. My inspiration being the work of Tom Whalen and a handful of other artists who work in a simple, but smart illustrative style. I can only hope I did Hugh Jackman, the actor that plays Wolverine, proud.

The artists of the Poster Posse really did some outstanding work with these X-Men posters. But, if you won't take my word for it, how about the word of the director himself, Bryan Singer. He recently tweeted an image of all the X-Men tribute poster by the Posse. Mr. Singer honored us by hanging prints of our work in his studio edit suite for inspiration during final film edits.XMen: Days Of Future Past director Bryan Singer hung my work as well as the work of all my fellow Poster Posse members in his studio edit suite for inspiration.

So, do your eyes a favor and check out the rest of the Posse's exceptional designs on Blurppy. You can catch Phase One of our Poster Posse project here. And you can see my work featured in Phase Two here.

Go and enjoy. 

Cheers, Ben.

Sunday
Jan122014

New Work: Phish In NYC - The Steampunk Sequel

My first official print release of 2014 is inspired by none other than the talented gentlemen from the band, Phish. For the last two years, I have done a print that celebrates their show on New Year's Eve in New York City at the legendary, Madison Square Garden. And for the last two years, those particular prints have sold out in a matter of weeks. I even ended up doing two editions last year to accommodate all the request when the first edition sold out. You can read about my 2011/2012 print here and my 2012/2013 print here.A look at my 1st Phish inspired NYE print for 2011/2012.

Last year I wanted to do something a little bit different. Maybe even a little bit crazy. So I designed a special large format steampunk guitar modeled after lead singer Trey Anastasio's famous custom Paul Languedoc guitar. I had hopes that it to be a series featuring each of the band member's instruments, but with the amount of detail I was adding to Trey's guitar it became clear that it would take me forever to illustrate all four instruments at that time. I decided to shelve the series idea. Of course, that is until this past New Year's Eve started to roll around and I thought, "How about Mike Gordon's Modulus bass?" An ongoing series was born.Here are both the 1st & 2nd editions of last year's New Year's Eve prints for 2012/2013 next to this year's 2013/2014 print.

I wanted the steampunk bass to have the same look and feel as Trey's guitar so they would work as a pair. However, the bass would offer enough treats that it could also stand alone. Since I ended up getting so many inquires about buying Trey's guitar print after it sold out, I decided to go with a larger edition of 100 posters this go around. I have hopes that it will allow almost all interested buyers a chance to get a copy this year. Between the two editions last year, I was only able to print about 55 total posters. I did all the printing myself which limited my ability to do a larger production run.If you would like to purchase a print, please click on the image.

This year I thought that it might be nice to go with a professional print vendor that could easily produce a large run using a 4-color offset press. It meant the opportunity to have an extremely high quality print on a high grade paper. It was printed locally here in my home town of Louisville, KY by Clark & Riggs Printing. I chose a 100 lbs Cougar paper that has an outstanding durable weight with a rich matte finish. They did an outstanding job.

The print is slightly smaller then last year's at 15" x 39" because of a limitation printing a full 40" on the offset press. I did adjust a few of the elements like the show information in order to make the bass longer than the guitar. While neither poster represents the instruments true scale, it does make them a little more realistic.My choice of color palette was based on what I feel best represented Mike. I knew I wanted to go away from using silver and gold highlights since that is what I did for Trey's guitar. I felt a more brass feel would play well with the purple background.

I truly went all out for this piece and even if you couldn't get a copy of last year's guitar before it sold out, this print is an amazing substitute. I think I did about twice the amount of little details to drive your mind crazy looking at it all. I am excited to think about what 2014 will bring and really hope Phish plays at least two more New Year's Eve shows so I can finish the series. As I write this entry, I have sold almost half of the 100 print edition. I would highly recommend going to my store, movingthemerch.com and picking up a copy in the next week or two before they are all gone.

The Phish fan community has always been an amazing supporter of my work. While I don't have the opportunity to work on as many "phan" posters as I used to, I still love the response and feedback from my New Year's Eve posters. A big thanks to all of you out there that make this project such a joy to work on each year. I hope you have had a great start to your 2014 and stay tuned for new work in the future. I am betting 2014 will be pretty eventful.

Sunday
Jan052014

2013 At A Glance

Happy 2014!

I can not believe 2013 has finally come to an end. When I look back and reflect on all the happenings of the previous year, it doesn't seem like just one year has passed. It feels more like three years, wrapped into one. I suspect if I did a count, I probably completed a record number of projects in 2013. I am proud of the work I did, and I am especially grateful for the outstanding people I got to work with through it all. 

About this time each year I usually take time to touch on a few highlights, but I have too many great memories and work that I am proud of to do the year justice. So, I have assembled in a single image almost all the work I completed this past year. Some projects were big, some small, but all a blast to work on. This is a look at my 2013 at a glance.I have a feeling that 2014 holds a few new surprises. I am getting that itch to re-evaluate my online presence again and possibly streamline it a bit. I am also toying around with the idea of designing a new identity to help focus my brand online. I have had the good fortune to join Blurppy.com's Poster Posse, which is an exceptional group of artists that have been very supportive as well as all being insanely talented. A big thank you goes out to Don Thompson, owner of Blurppy, for bringing us all together.

Stand tuned for new work and the latest updates right here on my blog.

Cheers, Ben.