Another great show from the Wellington Improv Troupe is due to start soon, a nine week soap opera, and I’ve been having a bunch of fun making some publicity material for it.
My bit of the project started with a half-hour photo shoot (that half hour included setting up the lights and photographing about 7 performers in different combinations). Then there was the real work of making online banners and icons, fliers and an A0 poster for the venue window. I love playing with retro design, but the 1980s when the show is set ain’t quite a classic era yet – the challenge was to evoke a ‘design essence’ of 1982, but not in such a way that it’s going to be mistaken for merely accidental old fashioned styling. The design also needed to let the possible audience know this will be more comedy melodrama than serious exploration of New Zealand education in the Muldoon years.
If you are in Wellington on a Wednesday during August and September, you should definitely come to the Fringe Bar and check out the
poster show for yourself!
One pleasure of working digitally is the endless ability to tweak or completely change your images, without affecting the original or worrying about matching dried out paint. This caricature/portrait was part of a poster for a long-gone show. However, I liked the character and his polite anxiety too much to abandon him, so spent the afternoon developing the image further. For some reason I was thinking “archaeologist taking a bad snapshot of himself in a mysterious cave”. Not sure why . . .
The background is abstracted from holiday snapshots taken in Karnak, the foreground image digitally painted using a Wacom tablet.
Work is play, at least when I’m doing a posters for a comedy show.
Play is work too of course. Working to a design that starts as a very definite idea inside someone else’s head can be an interesting challenge. Descriptions are slippery. Provided images are never quite right. Then there are the elements that must be included whatever the aesthetics, such as show times and sponsors logos.
This time, tweaky bits included a slightly cut-off arm that had to be drawn in, and logos for beer that needed to be faded off one of the jumpers. For the second poster, getting the requested ‘splash’ shape looking right was oddly tricky, and the situation was not helped when the puppy ate the digital tablet pen halfway through the project.
For all that, nothing beats the “ooo, I did that” thrill of walking past my work posted up postersize.