Well, we have launched out Poster Posse Project for Marvel’s “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” (HERE and HERE) and it continues to be well received. As with each project we provide interviews with any new members that have joined the Posse and this time around we are talking to Tom Miatke. Tom is from Australia and describes himself as a “lover of movies, Kit Kats, poster design and jazz.” I’m already leery of him because EVERYONE knows that Junior Mints are infinitely better than Kit Kats but I GUESS I won’t hold that against him. Sit back and learn more about this artist from the land down under.
BLURPPY – How long have you been creating art in the pop culture scene? How did you get started?
TM – If I was to be honest, I haven’t been creating pop culture art for long. Only recently have I been really devoting my time to this line of work but it has never ever been far away from me. It may seem very cliche statement but movies, TV shows and the pop culture world have always been a big part of my life since early on. As I was growing up, whenever our family used to rent a movie on video, I would always feel the need to re-create the slip covers for the VHS, even to the point of OCD. Thus began my insatiable love of creating art for movies. I would always run down to the local video store to see if they had any extra Video Cases laying around that I could have, and I always hated the lack of a cover so I would always make my own. I would draw the covers, spines and re-write the blurbs on the back to give it some authenticity. So I can happily say my love of movies and art came from those small but vital beginnings.
BLURPPY – That’s funny because I use to do the same with album covers. Of course, back then, like now, I had NO artistic ability but I would spend entire afternoons TRYING to recreate my favorites. My “Zenyatta Mondatta” was one of my personal favorites. Damn I wish I had saved that one….. Is art your full time job? If not, what else do you do?
TM – Art and design collectively is what I do, yet it is split into 2 jobs. During the day I work part-time at a local design and printing studio and the other half of the time I am freelancing, with poster design being at the forefront of that!
BLURPPY – That sounds like the best of both worlds where you can combine your passion of creativity in your day job. Whose work do you admire or collect?
TM – If I could list all the incredible artists in the Bookmarks bar, we would be here for days! But If I had to just pick a couple I could say without a doubt I am a lover of Martin Ansin’s work, the intricacies of Aaron Horkey and the boldness of Rich Kelly. But seriously these are but a few, I have so many artists, including members of the Poster Posse whose work I truly admire, and hope to one day be even close to the level that these guys are at.
BLURPPY – That’s funny, because my “bookmarks bar” overfloweth as well. What one print, by another artist, blows your mind?
TM – Jurassic Park by JC Richard. I can’t even begin to describe how wonderful this piece is. Beautiful, mesmerizing and ethereal. He captured a truly beautiful moment and also captured the ‘magic’ of the movie, something that I believe artists and designers sacrifice in order for something ‘sellable’ or cliche. I wish to own this print one day but given its secondary market costs, probably won’t be happening anytime soon.
BLURPPY – That IS a gorgeous print. You’re an artists, swap prints with someone! My “holy grail” is Ken Taylor’s “Bounty Hunter” series and NO ONE wants to part with those! With so much art being produced these days, how do you keep things fresh? (This is NOT a hygiene question.)
TM – It’s a hard thing to decipher, ‘keeping things fresh’ because it can mean so many different things to different people! I guess what I like to see in work, and what I would like to see come from myself and in my work is a strong sense of concept and thought. The pop culture market at the moment is becoming saturated with work, and whilst it’s a great thing to see, there is also a lot of artwork that is so ‘safe’ and not properly thought out and is slapped together poorly. So I guess I want to keep things fresh by coming at the artwork from a conceptual and thought out background, the unfortunate thing about this is it takes time to get right, and I am by no means there yet, not even close. So I promise I am not just slagging off on people and claiming to be better than everyone else!
DACS Episodes – The Broken Ones by Tom Miatke – “Designers Against Child Slavery is a Design Collective that enables creatives from all over the world to rise up against the sex trade. We want to see how effective artists can be when they start breaking the boundaries of culture, race, religion, and backgrounds to unite for a just cause, and use their unique styles and talents to give a voice to the voiceless” – Tom
BLURPPY – I think it’s a valid comment. When I talk about alternative movie prints or band prints the last things I want to hear are “safe”, “cookie cutter”, or “that reminds me of…” I want something original, which I REALIZE is getting harder and harder to do with SO many people turning in art these days. That being said, Horkey’s work is utterly unique in every aspect. I love his type/ font work and the images always blow you away. Besides working on BLURPPY’s Poster Posse Projects, what is your dream project?
TM – Can it get any better than working with the Poster Posse? I am yet to know but I do highly doubt it! I guess the dream is to do this work for a long long time yet. I would of course love to do some work for Mondo eventually, but more than that, doing work for galleries around the globe, creating art full time would be the dream.
BLURPPY – I appreciate your love of the Poster Posse and a “P” word that is often associated with it is “pinnacle” but I can see why Mondo would be a career moment. If you weren’t creating highly desirable works of art for adoring fans, what else would you do?
28 Days Later Custom Title Sequence – Tom Miatke This is my custom title sequence for the horror movie ’28 Days Later’ directed by Danny Boyle and starring Cillian Murphy and Naomie Harris. Inspired by the sequences of ‘True Blood’ and ‘Dawn of the Dead’ this title sequence replaces the short prologue of the original movie (Although still using some brief clips from this section) and instead chronicles the missing 28 days after initial infection of the virus ‘Rage’. – Tom
TM – As graphic design was always at the forefront of my career path, I guess a different avenue of Design would be where I would go to if all this didn’t pan out. But if it was something completely different, I would love to be involved in movies somehow. I dabbled with the idea of Directing early on in my High School days, so whilst it may be a bit too late to get into that arena, something along those lines, even if it was directing theater or musicals that would be great. I always watched the special features disc on movies I bought and sometimes found them so captivating that it would be amazing to be involved like that.
BLURPPY – Rock stars wanna be actors, actors wanna be rock stars and artists wanna direct movies. This is a reoccurring theme amongst you guys. What movies are you excited to see this year/ next year?
TM – There are so many movies coming out that I’m going to be broke from it. American Hustle is on the list, Interstellar most definitely, Robocop probably, Captain America 2 of course, The Amazing Spider-Man 2, X-Men: Days of Future Past, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, The final chapters of the Hunger Games and The Hobbit. I just caught The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug and I can say it is truly captivating and astonishing so I am more than ready to see the 3rd chapter. There are so many movies that I can’t name them all!
BLURPPY – I agree, tons of great ones coming up this year but just WAIT for 2015! HOLY SH!T there are a ton of insanely desirable movies coming out then. I’m seriously considering getting a job at the local movie house just so I can see everything.
BLURPPY – What is your favorite print from your portfolio and why?
TM – Well I can say that my “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” piece is definitely my favorite. I spent a lot of time researching the movie/comic book back story as well as a lot of time sketching it up and finally seeing it to completion. I had a blast creating it, and it never once felt like work so that was a bonus.
BLURPPY – If you love what you do it will NEVER feel like work. What’s your biggest pet peeve about the pop culture art scene?
TM – The dwindling uniqueness of art being created. Bear with me because I feel a rant coming on. Cliche art annoys the heck out of me, and I can give you an example of my argument. “Jaws.” Laurent Durieux’s take on Jaws was so interesting to watch the evolution of it. I remember seeing it for the first time and being astounded and shocked at it, because it was so bold and so different. I was so freaking happy that this was his approach, yet a lot of the internet, collectors and print enthusiasts did not feel the same. In the beginning, Mondo and Laurent got slammed with criticism and negativity and I could not understand why!! Here Laurent had created a memorable piece of art that strayed from the recycled cliche’s of what was and came at it with a new approach that was vivid and thought-provoking. I was furiously confused! Yet over time this piece slowly garnered a new respect, a new timeless quality to it, a piece that doesn’t need to be so damn obvious, that can speak of the movie without being stark and mindless. People realized its concept, its subtlety and it’s ‘story’ and began to love it! Finally people are seeing it for how I saw it originally and it goes to show that taking a risk, taking a chance and approaching something differently will be rewarded.
There are so many pieces of artwork now for Jaws, and I can only think of a few that reach the peaks of this quality. I guess there is nothing wrong with being cliche, its just to approach it from a new direction is where I’m coming from, and in the end, the artist (and subsequently the public/buyers) will garner a new respect.
BLURPPY – What has been your best experience to date, in the pop culture art scene?
TM – It’s funny because this is both the best experience and the worst. The community surrounding the field is both a blessing and a curse. I am part of various groups of collectors and enthusiasts and it is a brilliant experience to be a part of! They are often very friendly and fun-loving and I see some fantastic relationships and generosity displayed within these groups. Yet unfortunately this field for some reason can bring out the absolute worst in people, its so freakishly strange how brutal people can talk (or type really..) to one another and how it escalates to some disgusting and disturbing attacks on people. But if you can stay clear of that then you’re in for a fantastic experience, something I have managed to retain!
BLURPPY – I tend to agree with you. It’s one thing to have an ‘opinion’ about something but when you cross that line it boarders on bullying and seems unnecessary. I don’t love every single print that I see but I also don’t rail an artist for their attempt to create something. Isn’t there a saying, “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder?” What is to gain by saying such negative and hateful things about a piece of art? (I’m climbing down off my soap box now.) What was your most embarrassing moment as an artist?
TM – Haven’t really had one as of yet, which is good! But being who I am, It will happen. It will probably be something like discovering I misspelled a director’s name whilst he is signing the print in front of me. That would be awkward.
BLURPPY – Well when someone asks you what you do, or asks where they can see your work, NEVER say “Poster Posse” too fast because THAT has a tendency to come out TOTALLY different when spoken too quickly. What is the best interview question you’ve ever been asked and what was your answer?
TM – The above question “What’s your biggest pet peeve about the pop culture art scene?”… I love that question.
BLURPPY – Let’s be honest, it’s ALWAYS fun to vent isn’t it? What do you have on tap for 2014 and don’t give us that line, “Lots of stuff , just can’t talk about it yet” (Unless it is about the upcoming Poster Posse projects, then I DEMAND SILENCE!)
TM – Man I wish I could give you that answer!! But I can’t even do that! No my answer is more of a ‘What do I hope to do in 2014!” in which I would answer, hopefully start bringing my A-Game to the scene, hopefully be a part of some gallery shows and really start to establish myself. There are some great shows that are coming up which I would have loved to be a part of, which pushes me to tee up galleries to be a part of their future releases!
I have a feeling that galleries will be hitting you up very soon my friend….very soon. Ok, here is where I ask you a bunch of questions and you simply tell me the first thing that comes to mind.
– DC or Marvel?
Probably Marvel I’d say!
– Most Desired Super Power?
Flight – Save so much money on Fuel.
– Who is your favorite Star Wars Character and why?
Who can go past Obi-Wan. Both in newer and older versions.
Best movie snack?
I’m a traditionalist – popcorn
What is your favorite gadget?
Wacom tablet is probably my go to gadget
– Growing up, what was your favorite TV show?
Well I’m a 90s kid, so I grew up with Dragonball Z and Pokemon, they will always be close to my heart!
– What’s the best way for fans to keep up with all you have going on?
– What’s your favorite pop culture event?
Hmmm I don’t really have one as of yet, I’m in Australia so its obviously quite difficult to make the trip to an SDCC as much as I would love to. One day I will get there and experience it all!
– Who is your favorite fictional character of all time and why? (Can be comic books, movies, literature, etc)
I am a big fan of Thor, I think he is cool to put it simply. But strangely I am a big fan of both Jean ValJean from Les Miserables and Edmund Dantes from the Count of Monte Cristo. Strange choices, but for some reason I am drawn to them both.
– Would you rather design the poster for an upcoming Star Wars movie or the upcoming Blade Runner prequel?
Star Wars for me, as I am not a child who was brought up with Blade Runner, so it’s not as personal to me as Star Wars is.
There you go. I hope you feel you know Tom a bit better after this, because I know I do. So much so that I won’t sit next to him at a movie….because I loathe popcorn. HUGE thanks to Tom for taking the time to participate in the Poster Posse and to answer my questions. Be sure to follow Tom on TWITTER and ‘like‘ him on FACEBOOK because he is considering doing a print giveaway. He is still working out the details but it sounds like something good is coming to those that follow….