One of the most sought after items Mondo creates are limited edition screen printed movie posters. If you’ve ever tried to purchase one on their website only to miss the opportunity seconds after they drop, you know what I mean. Mondo hires an array of extremely talented artists across the globe to illustrate alternate movie posters that lead fans to camp out for, fly cross country for, and save up paychecks months in advance hoping to secure a print they’ve had their eye on.
One of the greatest aspects of the annual MondoCon (and there are many) is the live draw panel which allows fans to witness three artists collaborate on a poster in real time right before your eyes.
The live draw panel’s attendance had one of the largest turnouts out of all the panels during the two-day weekend convention. Out of the five years MondoCon has occurred, there have only been three live drawings. In 2017, artists Becky Cloonan, Alan Hynes, and Jay Shaw collaborated on a poster for Beetlejuice while Olly Moss, Jay Shaw, and Jock illustrated a poster for Goldfinger back in 2016. This year, Jay Shaw took on the MC role and introduced Daniel Danger, Matt Taylor, and Jock, the three artists who would be creating the poster.
Taking suggestions from the audience, the four guys decided what they want to draw. Thankfully, Shaw vetoed terrible suggestions like Avatar and Baseketball. While sounding off audience suggestions, it quickly became a running joke that Jock has not seen any of the movies the audience wanted to see captured as a print. If anything, the panel gave him a pretty solid list of films to check out whenever he has some down time. Boogie Nights and Gremlins 2: The New Batch were final contenders, but when one audience member suggested Paddington, it was fucking over. Everyone immediately cheered and all four guys were 100% on board to create a poster featuring the lovable bear.
Jock set up with his pen and paper while Danger and Taylor used tablets. Throughout the drawing process, Shaw narrated their steps while taking questions from the audience. Several of the questions pertained to the equipment that each artist favors. Jock is a talented free-hand artist who prefers old-school pen and ink whereas Danger and Taylor prefer digital methods by using Photoshop, Illustrator, and Adobe Creative Cloud either on a Wacom tablet or iPad Pro.
After browsing several screenshots online, all three decided on a scene where Paddington floods the upstairs bathroom, which causes him to slide down a spiral staircase on top of a wave of rushing water. Danger, an adroit artist specializing in dilapidated environments, focused on the construction of the foyer along with a chandelier, the staircase, and a table all centering the focal points of the poster. Taylor experimented with color scheme and provided the illustrations for the water and title that looked like it got swept away in the chaos. Jock continued drawing Padddington and then transferred it into Photoshop where Taylor layered it onto Danger’s foyer while topping it off with color. For those familiar with Taylor’s work, you know how well he can make color pop and how he has a knack for matching color palettes.
During the quick hour-long panel, all the artists discussed their favorite programs to use while illustrating. Adobe was praised for its color palette generator that can instantly pair color schemes together for a cohesive look while Turbosquid was a favorite of Danger’s because it provides 3-D models that can provide great lighting reference. He also mentioned SketchUp, which is a 3-D modeling program that allows for several drawing applications pertaining to interior design, architectural design, and landscape architecture. If you’re familiar with Danger’s work, you know how beautiful he can capture sunbeams, moonlight, and shadows across various landscapes. Utilizing 3-D models allow him to assess how light falls over objects in a realistic manner. Jay Shaw chimed in to suggest a website called Wrong Side of the Art which provides several different movie poster options for blocking references. When asked about their favorite mediums outside of digital illustration, Danger stated he liked Clayboard while Jock preferred ink, and Taylor had a special love for photography.
Despite their preferences in medium, Shaw, Danger, Taylor, and Jock all agree that one of the most important aspects of creating posters is finding a project that speaks to them – one they can get into and be passionate about.
The live draw panel is filled with insightful tips for illustrators and a behind-the-scenes look at how a poster comes together. If you ever find yourself at MondoCon, consider the live draw panel a must-see.
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