Welcome to Monday. Before you start complaining about the weekend being over it’s time to learn more about artist Ben Mcleod. Another newbie to the Poster Posse, Ben turned in a fantastic image for our Pacific Rim Project. Hopefully this will start your week off on a positive note.
BLURPPY – How long have you been creating art in the pop culture scene? How did you get started?
BM – I have been designing film posters for about a year now. I started doing it through a passion for both illustration and films.
BLURPPY – Anything based in passion is a ‘win’ in my book. Is art your full time job? If not, what else do you do?
BM – Art is more of a hobby for me. I have a full time job that allows for enough free time for me to carry on creating art.
BLURPPY – Whose work do you admire or collect?
BM – I’m a huge fan of Saul Bass and Paul Rand, I’m a lover of Polish and Soviet poster design. Also a huge fan of some of the major art movements, Russian Constructivism, Bauhaus, DeStijl , Cubism and Fauvism to name a few.
BLURPPY – What one print, by another artist, blows your mind?
BM – Really tough question! As I said above I love Saul Bass, his work for Alfred Hitchcock films are still up there with the best.
BLURPPY – It’s practically impossible NOT to love the work of Saul Bass. The fact that so many artists drop his name when they talk about favorites is a testament to the man’s incredible work. With so much art being produced these days, how do you keep things fresh?
BM – It’s important keep pushing the way you work. Sticking to what you know can make things become stale. But then again don’t force it if it’s not for you or doesn’t work for you. My work seems to evolve on it’s own, I add new ways of doing things as and when they become interesting to me.
BLURPPY – Besides working on BLURPPY’s Poster Posse Project, what is your dream project?
BM – I’m currently trying to get involved with some independent film projects. I guess that would be my dream, well it would be a start!
BLURPPY – Why is it that rock stars want to be in movies, movie stars wanna be rock stars and artists often want to work on film? If you weren’t creating highly desirable works of art for adoring fans, what else would you do?
BM – Tough to say! Maybe I’d like to be involved in film in another way. Behind the camera, maybe art direction? Cinematography?
BLURPPY – What movies are you excited to see this year/ next year?
BM – I’m still excited to see Elysium, anything Marvel is always exciting. Steve McQueens Twelve Years a Slave is going to be amazing! Anything Steve McQueen, Wes Anderson, Darren Arinofsky will be amazing (to name a few!!) And I hear Nicolas Winding Refn is doing a TV reboot of ‘Barbarella’, and maybe even a remake of ‘Logan’s Run’ (I hope he takes care with that one because the original is a favorite of mine!)
BLURPPY – What is your favorite print from your portfolio and why?
BM – I really like my ‘Place Beyond the Pines’ piece. Sometimes I do a design and as the months go by I feel less proud of it, but in my mind I like that one more and more. It’s pretty subtle, I think it just has the right feel to it for the film. But my most popular print by far has been my Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind print.
BLURPPY – What’s your biggest pet peeve about the pop culture art scene?
BM – “Artists” who don’t give a moments thought as to an idea behind the image they are creating. I see a lot of “Minimalist” designs these days. People have even said it about my work. But when I see a ‘Taxi Driver’ poster and it’s just a poorly rendered taxi, or a ‘Reservoir Dogs’ poster and it’s just dots of color. I can see that not a great deal of thought has gone into it. If I go with a very simple idea for a design, I will at least try to illustrate it in an interesting way, dynamic composition, good use of color and so on. I do agree that less is more. But that’s not an excuse to DO less. It’s nice when you boil an idea down to it’s simplest most interesting aspect, but I feel people can be lazy. I’ll move on now! lol
BLURPPY – Like anything, there is good and bad. I have seen some fantastic minimalist stuff as I browse the web and then I have seen the stuff you referenced… which is less than fantastic. What has been your best experience to date, in the pop culture art scene?
BM – My experience previous to getting into movie posters and so on was freelance illustration for magazines and papers and so on. I am fairly new to the pop culture art scene, doing the Poster Posse thing has been fun and made me design for things I wouldn’t normally. And hopefully more cool things will follow!
BLURPPY – Well you do know that once you are in the Poster Posse, I keep asking if you want to participate in future projects right? What was your most embarrassing moment as an artist?
BM – errm, no comment!
BLURPPY – HAHAHAHAHA…maybe I should just make something up? I have a pretty vivid imagination so I’m sure MY rendition of YOUR most embarrassing moment would be much worse. I’ll hit you up at the next Con to see what really happened. What is the best interview question you’ve ever been asked and what was your answer?
BM – QUESTION – You have a very distinct and original style, for people wanting to find their own style, what would you advise?
ANSWER – I think it’s important to just be creative. Experiment and see what comes more naturally to you, don’t try and force a style that isn’t you. Paul Rand, one of my favorite designers used to say “Don’t try to be original, just try to be good” Once you know what works for you, you can begin to refine your technique and improve your image making process. Once you feel comfortable with how you work it just starts to slowly evolve.
Probably most important of all is to keep your eyes open, know your influences. Go to art galleries, look at other peoples work and get inspired.
BLURPPY – I like it. Just may throw that one in the next round of interviews. What do you have on tap for the rest of 2013 and don’t give us that line, “Lots of stuff , just can’t talk about it yet”
BM – Hopefully getting involved with some cool independent films. I’m looking to start an art project of my own, something more personal or based on a theme. I’m still thinking on it. And hopefully pushing my way of working into new directions!
Ok, here we have the lightning round. I ask you a bunch of questions and you tell me the first thing that pops into your head….GO!
– DC or Marvel? Marvel
– Most Desired Super Power? Strength/Flight
– Who is your favorite Star Wars Character and why? Boba Fett, I remember when I first saw him. Coolest looking character ever!
– Best movie snack? Hotdog
– Growing up, what was your favorite TV show? Eerie Indiana
– What’s the best way for fans to keep up with all you have going on? http://benmcleodillustration.tumblr.com/
– What’s your favorite pop culture event? Comic Con (Though I’ve yet to go!)
– Who is your favorite fictional character of all time and why? Errrm Sherlock Holmes!
– Would you rather design the poster for an upcoming Star Wars movie or the upcoming Blade Runner sequel? That’s a toughie… I’ll go Star Wars. But I’d know for sure when I see them!
Ok, I have held my tongue for years and now I think it has to be said. I agree with Ben and MANY others that Boba Fett is one of the best pop culture characters BUT….I REALLY hate his lame little cape. HATE IT, HATE IT, HATE IT! At least Darth Vader’s cape added to his overall menacing appearance. Lando’s cape made him even more debonaire but Boba Fett’s cape is just horrible.
I feel much better now and I want to thank Ben for getting me to this point of comfort where I can share this with the masses. I also want to thank Ben for his work on our Pacific Rim Poster Posse Project and I look forward to see what he comes up with in FUTURE projects…which the artists are currently working on…(Yes, that was a tease and no I’m not going to tell you what Poster Posse #4 is going to be.)