Saturday, June 29, 2024

Save The Queen

For this piece I got to draw Bond, James Bond.... well, sorta. George Lazenby (ON HER MAJESTY'S SECRET SERVICE, 1969) stars in this 1976 Hong Kong production, A QUEEN'S RANSOM (aka THE INTERNATIONAL ASSASSIN) where his role is reveresed. Rather than serving the Queen of England, he's in charge of a group of villians planning on killing her during a visit to Hong Kong. Well, sorta. It gets complicated.

For the cover art style I went with a painted collage on a stark, mostly blank background, popular with political thrillers and exploitation films at the time this film was made. A favorite poster style of mine as well. Angela Mao, Jimmy Wang Yu and Bolo Yeung get to flex amongst the Union Jack. 

It's interesting. When I get asked to design a package for a certain film. I watch the movie first. And at some point during the viewing I get a foggy vision of the cover image. The basic shape is there, along with some color and maybe text placement, but the details are fuzzy. I liken the process to being drunk in a bar. (Admittedly an odd analogy since I rarely, if ever, drink. But it's apt.) I can see the exit across the room. It's fuzzy, but it's my destination and I think I can make it. But as I make my way, staggering across the room, I zigzag into a table, get a chair accidentally wrapped around my arm, step in a bucket I can't get off my foot. Maybe pick up a random menu or an ashtray for some unknown reason. But eventually I make it to the exit, winded and perhaps a little worse for wear, but standing at my destination none the less. I made it. 

That's kind of how designing these covers goes. I see my foggy destination, but during the process of creating the final piece it zigs and it zags and goes through changes. It picks up a little bit of this and a little bit of that. Goes in this direction and I steer it back or let it go further sometimes. It's a combination of limitations of my tools, my skills, my time and my imagination along with expectations and requirements of the client all factoring in.

But upon reflection, I think it's that creative process of letting the art go where it tells me and not forcing it back to that initial preconceived notion that makes the journey worthwhile for me as a creative person. The art itself may also benefit. I've come to discover, that fuzzy early concept is only there to get me started in a direction (any direction), but being open to new ideas and fresh inspirations along the way to completing the art, is not only an important part of the process. It is the process.       

And it's the fun. I never know what my brush will do next. Or why the heck there's a bucket on my foot. And that, I find interesting. 

Next time.... things get a little weird.

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