Another day and another entry into our 7 Artsist X 1 Interview series. Today we take a look at MARVELous Matt Ferguson or as many of us know him…“Cakes and Comics“. We have been a fan since his alternate posters for the movie Chronicle and his two outings with Marvel Studios. He describes himself as follows: “I am a freelance Graphic Designer working in the UK. I am a huge geek and love to make geeky art in my free time.” He had a great 2012 and 2013 is going to be even bigger for this Talented Trekkie.
BLURPPY: How would YOU describe your style or how would YOU like it described. You always get OUR/ BLOGGER point of view, let’s hear from YOU.
Matt Ferguson: The term that is most often applied to my artwork is ‘minimalist‘. I feel like my work isn’t wholly minimalist, I do like to reduce aspects of the subject down, but also think the compositions and detail I add are more of an ‘old school‘ traditional film poster style. I guess a fusion of minimalist and traditional is how I would describe my style… um not very catchy I know, I will let other people decide! What other people say about my stuff usually makes it sound so much better!!
BLURPPY: Personally I love how you translate action and power using your ‘minimalist / traditional style. How did you get started in the “poster” scene? What was your FIRST print?
M.F.: I first got started by doing a piece based on the Avengers that ended up being really popular online, so much so it got the attention of the guys making the film and I ended up sending over a print of the Hulk segment for Mark Ruffalo. Also it is now official art used by Marvel! So it spurred me on to create more.
BLURPPY: NAME DROPPER! You know, I once sat on a couch next to Drew Barrymore in L.A. and had drinks with Chris Isaak and then Judd Nelson so I too have had a brush or two with stardom ya know. What are your 3 favorite pieces that you have done that you feel really show off your talent or truly capture a subject you love.
M.F.: My three favorite pieces are my original Avengers Assemble poster, The Fog movie poster and my Iron Man 3 teaser poster.
BLURPPY: I love the transition from water to air in the Iron Man 3 teaser. What would be your dream project? What would you KILL to work on? This can be a real project or something crazy like “design the next Death Star for Lord Vader.”
M.F.: My most recent dream project would be to work on art for Star Trek Into Darkness. I am a huge long time fan, especially of the original series which certainly influences me now in my use of color. If anybody can make this happen for me then please…”make it so” (cringe).
BLURPPY: I my have to talk to J.J. Abrams or Damon Lindelof for you on this one. (I hope you don’t rile up the other Trekkies with your Picard quote. Purist will want a Shatner reference for sure.) I would love to see you do something for that film! Give us an idea of what is your process like? How do you get started?
M.F.: It is a fairly simple creative process. Firstly decide on a subject matter, this is usually the easy part being the geek that I am. Usually my first idea is best, I then do a lot of research and gather together as many images as I can. I then spend time looking at the mess I have assembled and try and reduce it down into something more elegant. Finally I put everything together in Photoshop by drawing with my Wacom, collaging and lots more refinement.
BLURPPY: Whose work do you follow, love, crave? Any specific pieces by these artists that stand out to you?
M.F.: I am a huge fan of all the guys and gals in the Print Posse (hash tag it!), there is a gang of us on Twitter and they definitely feed my creativity. Seeing the awesome work they produce makes me want to do more and get better.
I also have to say that without the work of the artist Greg Capullo on Spawn back in the 90’s I don’t know if I would have ever had an interest in becoming an artist… so thanks Greg! And finally Drew Struzan and his classic work on some of my favorite films, his Back To The Future poster just can’t be beaten.
BLURPPY: The PrintPosse is spectacular and Capullo is worth following on Twitter. The work that he and Struzan have done speaks for itself. How do you see the whole “pop-culture poster craze” evolving? What is your hope for it?
M.F.: I would love it to become the industry standard. I have already been involved with Marvel on the Avengers and also I did some work to help promote Chronicle for Fox. There is a real chance for the studios to really take advantage and have marketing campaigns for their movies that are not just the usual Photoshopped pictures of actors quickly pasted into generic looking posters. I would love nothing more than to be able to help design and create entire marketing campaigns for films… billboards, posters, trailers, commercials and online marketing. My dream job basically!
M.F.: I would say most likely my iPad. It is invaluable in the early stages of creating new artwork. I never knew I needed one so much until I got the thing.
BLURPPY: I’m pretty addicted to mine as well. I’m always dragging it around taking pictures for Instagram with it. What is your favorite guilty pleasure?…..ham, Honey Boo-Boo, Junior mints, American Pickers, coffee ice cream, long walks on the beach….etc…
M.F.: I would say my ever expanding Transformers collection. I am a sucker for expensive Japanese imports.
BLURPPY: How is 2013 shaping up for you so far? Any projects/ shows/ collaborations you can talk about or tease?
M.F.: Well it is only January! honestly I think this year is going to be one of the best for me in terms of artwork. The Avengers box set comes out in April. Also I am involved with several galleries in LA, Brooklyn and Paris doing some pretty cool artwork. (Here is a small preview of one of them titled “Mystery”) I hope to come over to the US at some point soon which I am very excited about.
BLURPPY: YES, come over to SDCC! That would be the perfect opportunity! Maybe participate in a show at Gallery 1988 or Phonebooth Gallery while you are here and then back across the pond with you! Your “Mystery” print has me intrigued. Looks like something for X-Men but one can’t be too sure…What is your favorite movie of all time and why?
M.F.: My favorite movie has to be Escape From New York. It was the film that first popped into my head when I read the question. But for me it hard to say just one, I honestly struggle to select a top ten at times…. everything is my favorite.
BLURPPY: You did a great job on that one. Kurt Russell was a bad ass in it. He also was incredible in “Big Trouble In Little China” but alas, you have yet to do a print for that one. (Hint-hint) Ok, pick one thing from each line as your favorite:
Peanut butter and jelly or Ham and cheese: Ham and Cheese
Whedon’s AVENGERS or Nolan’s DARK KNIGHT RETURNS: Avengers, obviously! (Obviously!)
Summer on the West Coast or Fall in New England: Summer on the west Coast I guess, but I am yet to experience either. It just rains here… all year!
Kubrick’s The Shining Movie or King’s The Shining Book: Kubrick’s film for sure. The carpets alone are enough.
Morning or night: Morning
Pizza or sushi: Pizza
Justin Bieber or Gangnam style: The Biebs!
Cats or dogs: Cats
Led Zeppelin or Pink Floyd: Led Zeppelin
Charlie Brown Christmas or It’s The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown: Charlie Brown Christmas
I would like to thank Matt for his time with this interview and his complete enthusiasm for the exclusive Blurppy project. I keep getting messages from him saying, “Is all the art in?” “Can’t wait to see everything!“. If we were to summarize what we learned from his words today I would say that 2012 was just the tip of the iceberg for this guy, we gotta get his work in front of J.J. Abrams, Bad Robot and Damon Lindelof and he has all of Justin Bieber’s music.