I first came across artist Adam Rabalais work when he was doing the Raba-Ching Challenge. This paired him up, on a monthly basis, with another BLURPPY favorite, Tracie Ching. They would pick a movie and do their own custom print for it. Each one highlighted the movie perfectly. After seeing his work there, I dug a lil deeper and check out his site to find that he has a TON of amazing prints just waiting to be hung on my walls! Adam was gracious enough to commit time to our World War Z exclusive, thus earning him a lifetime membership into the Print Posse. Check out what this soon-to-be-Dad has to say.
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.
A.R.: I don’t necessarily like to think of myself as having a particular style. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, I just like to try new things and let the source material dictate the style as much as possible. I suppose if someone looks at my work and finds it interesting or clever, that’s more than enough for me.
BLURPPY: I find your work both “interesting” AND “clever” and I know that I am not the only one. The piece you did for World War Z was magnificent. How did you get started in the “poster scene”? What was your FIRST print?
A.R.: I’ve always loved film, so as a graphic designer, it seemed natural to gravitate towards poster design. I had a lot of ideas that I hadn’t seen before and it seemed like it would be fun. My first design was for The Thing, which is one of my favorite films.
BLURPPY: Carpenter’s version is hands down the best. Extremely well done and Kurt Russell was a total badass in that one. 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.
A.R.: My favorite of my designs is Leon: The Professional. I always second guess at least one thing about a design after I call it “complete”, but that’s the only one I can think of that I’m truly happy with top to bottom. I also like how Seven Samurai and The Seventh Seal turned out. I suppose I’m drawn to the more solemn designs.
BLURPPY: My Mom would call it “dark“. Actually, she calls EVERYTHING I write about “dark” so maybe she is generalizing a bit. What would be your dream project that you would KILL to work on? This can be a real project or something crazy like “design the next Death Star for Lord Vader.”
A.R.: It seems like sort of an obvious answer, but working on anything “official” Star Wars would be pretty surreal. And it looks like Star Wars is about to get even more popular so…who knows?
BLURPPY: Perhaps we should send some of your Star Wars stuff to J.J. and see what happens? I’ll forward you Bad Robot’s address. What is your process like? How do you get started?
A.R.: A pencil and a sketchpad, writing down or sketching anything that comes to mind. I wait to get excited about an idea. When I do, I move on to the next step. It’s important to find something that excites you in any project you work on.
BLURPPY: Passion and excitement ALWAYS come through in the best work. It’s pretty easy to see what artists are into because it absolutely reflects in their work. Whose work do you follow, love, crave? Any specific pieces by these artists that stand out to you?
A.R.: Martin Ansin never ceases to amaze me. His Mummy print with the hieroglyphics is stunning. I love that it’s such amazing illustration with a clever twist.
BLURPPY: Don’t get me started with that print. I was HOLDING the wood variant at SDCC when it first came out and unfortunately I did NOT have the money to make the purchase. SO BUMMED! I’ve gotta change the subject away from Ansin. That unfortunate situation still haunts me to this day. How do you see the whole “pop-culture poster craze” evolving? What is your hope for it?
A.R.: I imagine, like anything, it has the potential to become over-saturated. But I believe that people will always gravitate towards good art and good ideas. Technology changes, content changes, but when you break it all down, it’s about appreciating art. My hope is really just that over-saturation doesn’t kill the enthusiasm.
BLURPPY: I think that it will continue to grow. That being said, I think that you artists are constantly raising the bar on what is and what isn’t good. What was “amazing” this year may simply be “good” the following year. Fans will continue to seek out the latest and greatest. What is your “can’t live without possession?”….NO KIDS or PETS!
A.R.: I would have to say my computer. I’d rather lose my car. I’ll bike if I have to, just don’t take away my computer. I might be forced to go outside.
BLURPPY: Ya know … now that you mention it … the outside IS overrated. I think you should stay inside too. Create more pop culture goodness and start working on the new Star Wars project. What is your favorite guilty pleasure?…..ham, Honey Boo-Boo, Junior mints, American Pickers, coffee ice cream, long walks on the beach….etc…
A.R.: Hmm…that’s a tough one, because I have no shame. Oooh, anchovies. I *love* anchovies. Funny though, no one ever wants to split a pizza with me…
BLURPPY: Uhhhh, yes, you can have the whole pie, I’ll get my own. How is 2013 shaping up for you so far? Any projects/ shows/ collaborations you can talk about or tease?
A.R.: So far 2013 is shaping up to be an amazing year. Mostly because in less than 2 months, my daughter will be born! I suppose that’s a collaboration… As for projects, I’m working on several new pieces at the moment that I’m hoping to finish before baby Claire arrives. One of the pieces I’m really excited about is a real “nightmare” (hint hint).
BLURPPY: Congratulations to you and Brittany! You are about to go on life’s biggest roller coaster ride. One of my all time favorite quotes comes from a friend of author Brad Meltzer who said, “Nothing in life lives up to the hype like being a parent.” FYI., two of my personal favorite prints are Graham Erwin’s pieces that he did of The Mayor from Nightmare Before Christmas. I’m just saying, I too love a lil “nightmare“. Now if you are talking about Nightmare on Elm Street, then we are on different frequencies altogether. What is your favorite movie of all time and why?
A.R.: It’s a 3-way tie (yes, I’m cheating) between The Shawshank Redemption, The Thing, and Jurassic Park. For me, The Shawshank Redemption is just the most perfect film I’ve ever seen. A perfect story beginning to end. The Thing is a perfect horror, tense and isolating. And Jurassic Park is the film that made me obsessed with the magic of film. It made them seem like more than just “movies”.
BLURPPY: The Shawshank Redemption really is a “perfect storm” scenario. Frank Darabont, Stephen King, Morgan Freeman and Tim Robbins all mesh together seamlessly to form a timeless classic. It’s one of those very rare movies that is good EVERY time you watch it. Not too many movies can claim that.
BLURPPY: Pick one from each line as your favorite:
Peanut butter and jelly or Ham and cheese: Not a big fan of peanut butter and jelly or ham. I do like cheese. Can I pick cheese sandwich?
Whedon’s AVENGERS or Nolan’s DARK KNIGHT RETURNS: I assume you mean THE DARK KNIGHT RISES? Loved THE AVENGERS, *liked* THE DARK KNIGHT RISES. An acceptable finale, but nothing close to THE DARK KNIGHT. But if it’s between THE AVENGERS and THE DARK KNIGHT, TDK wins hands down…
Summer on the West Coast or Fall in New England: Fall in New England, no question. I’m a Fall/Winter person.
Kubrick’s The Shining Movie or King’s The Shining Book: Kubrick’s The Shining. Drastically different from the book, but I have to say for the better. I like King’s ideas, but he can be very long-winded. And I prefer the darker ending of the film.
Morning or night: Night.
Pizza or sushi: Tough call. Probably sushi.
Justin Bieber or Gangnam style: Gangam style, before it was beaten to death.
Cats or dogs: Cats. Just because I have cats. I love dogs though.
Led Zeppelin or Pink Floyd: Led Zeppelin.
Charlie Brown Christmas or It’s The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown: That’s a tough decision. I love the holiday season, so they’re both awesome. Probably Charlie Brown Christmas, just because it’s more of a classic.
Well, there we have it, yet another Print Posse interview and we have learned some good stuff about Mr Adam Rabalais. Let’s recap shall we? He will be mailing original prints to J.J. Abrams at Bad Robot this week, he will not be getting much sleep in about 2 months, he loves the worlds worst pizza topping and he enjoys “dark” subject matter.
I want to personally thank Adam for his time with the interview and the World War Z Project. He is BEYOND busy with filming, prepping for baby Claire, getting snacks for Brittany and keeping up with his poster powers. I love his work and can’t wait to see what he comes up with next.