It was a strange experience and I felt like a time traveller, actually drawing on paper to make a poster.
The Empire Strikes Fast is an energetic fan-pastiche stage show of the scifi classic, happening May the 4th (uh, details on the poster, if you happen to be in Wellington, New Zealand, that Monday). I was asked for a speedy image featuring the dark lord, hand drawn and hand lettered “by tomorrow if possible”. Challenge accepted! I even used a dip pen, just to take it all a little further up the absurdity curve, as my slightly higher-tech technical pens proved in need of some serious maintenance after not being used for a couple of years. Once I started scribbling it was hard to stop, although the lack of an undo key was a little hard to adjust to.
I cheated of course, working out the layout in Photoshop first, and beefing up the colouring in Photoshop afterwards, but it was rather fun going old-school for the key parts of executing an image.
Next task is creating some props for the shows, beginning with a wampa-ish creature to menace our hero.
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!
On February 22 there was an earthquake in NZ’s 2nd largest city, Christchurch. There’d been one there last year, in September, it hadn’t seemed so very bad. A struggle for people directly affected, but no one died, and everything was pretty much back to normal. In straight numbers, that quake was as big as the one in Haiti where hundreds of thousands of people died, but Christchurch had much stricter building codes, and happily the quake struck in the middle of the night when most were home asleep. Everyone was starting to feel … safe again.
Current project, a poster for a “darkly comic” improvised theatre group, with a brief from the producer of “go a bit creepy”. Created using a mix of Illustrator and Photoshop, with the portraits done separately using my handy new digital tablet. Nearly there.