It is not that we have so little time but that we lose so much. … The life we receive is not short but we make it so; we are not ill provided but use what we have wastefully.Seneca
I write this not for the many, but for you; each of us is enough of an audience for the other.Epicurus
2013 is soon to close, and it would be hard to argue that we aren’t living in a renaissance of screen-printed film art with few signs of slowing down. No one can predict the future, but we can pay tribute to the past and remember those earliest of pioneers of the artform: an entity with a rotating stable of tremendously talented artists capable of pushing the limitations of the medium to their breaking point. Mondo might be the first name that pops in to your head, but we’re reaching back further in time and beyond our shores to an unlikely place.
The ICAIC (Instituto Cubano del Arte y la Industria Cinematográficos) was formed by the Cuban government after the country’s revolution and has been responsible for commissioning over 1,700 poster designs since its inception in 1959. Created to act as both a distributor and producer of films manufactured at home and aboard, the ICAIC has showcased films from across the globe in an effort to promote cinema and educate the populace. Both choice and embargo inspired the decision to ignore any original advertising accompanying a foreign film in favor of original work made by designers native to Cuba.
There’s a lot of pressure for these books to succeed, and that pressure tends to translate into people thinking that the safe thing to do is to do what worked in the past.Peter Mendelsund
Check out the new poster for Abel Ferrara’s Ms. 45 by Brandon Schaefer
This was never the plan. Before graduating I was offered a position at a well established brand-identity firm on the East coast, but school had left me exhausted with the idea of pursuing a career in the field. I was passionate about making films, though, so I turned down the job offer and went off to pursue my dream while delivering furniture on the side. After a year, the money dried up, and it became obvious to anyone with a set of eyes and ears that directing wasn’t my forte. I went back to work doing what I knew best, and for over a year and a half laid out catalogs and charts for biomedical equipment at a small agency near where I grew up. Eventually, the economy sagged, and my hours were steadily reduced until I was finally let go.
So I committed myself to making a movie poster a day. Or at least trying. I didn’t want to run away from my problems, but stewing in them only prolonged the mess I was in. My days needed focus and structure. All that mattered was finding purpose and making the process fun: to create a project similar to what I’d done in college, but without having to adhere to anyone’s definition of good design other than my own. This project was for me, and I had enough going on already that I didn’t need to throw hesitation or concern over other people’s opinion into the mix. But I did want to be held accountable to some degree, so all of the work was uploaded to a no frills website that only a few friends were given the address to.
This print I made of ‘Moonrise Kingdom’ is now available from SpokeArt. There are only 10.
And a conversation with Mondo artist Jay Shaw!
This bit of business is divided into two parts. The first part is me discussing the process behind creating the one-sheet for Drafthouse Films’ re-release of “The Visitor”. The second part is a discussion with designer Jay Shaw on his journey in creating the wonderful silkscreen print for “The Visitor” being released by Mondo this week. What follows is a lot of talk about graphic design and evil birds from space. Enjoy.
Check out Brandon Schaefer’s poster for Drafthouse Films release of The Visitor