Though Drew Struzan might not be famous by name, his iconic movie poster illustrations are among the most famous commercial artworks ever created.
I’m with Pan’s Labyrinth director Guillermo Del Toro in believing that “For people in my generation and the generation before me, Drew Struzan WAS the movies.”
Drew illustrated the movie posters for Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Blade Runner, Back To The Future, The Muppet Movie, The Shawshank Redemption, Hellboy and countless others.
A Disney friend just told me that a new documentary about Drew’s career and artistic process has begun screening in select cities.
This news inspired me to post a list of awesome Drew-related interviews and educational resources along with information about the new Drew Struzan Documentary.
To learn from the legend click on through…
Pictures Of Myth:
Drew’s work defined the “story montage” approach to illustration.
In order to communicate the epic scope of a story, Drew would often arrange floating vignettes into a single, beautifully composed collage.
His work for Blade Runner and the Star Wars trilogies are some of my favorite examples of the “Struzan Story Montage.”
He used airbrush, washes and a subtractive technique (no doubt inspired by the work of Bernie Fuchs) to create a dreamy, atmospheric look infused with humanity.
In the trailer for the Drew Struzan Documentary, you hear Harry Knowles say that Drew’s work…
“…gives you a sense of nostalgia for a movie you haven’t seen yet.”
I think Drew’s iconic, washy technique and the ambiguous space of his montage compositions are what Harry was talking about.
The Drew Struzan Technique:
Fortunately for all of us, Drew was able to release this Hellboy Poster Documentary independently!
(This Hellboy Poster Documentary is not to be confused with the NEW Drew Struzan Documentary called “The Man Behind The Poster” which provides a much broader view of his entire career. More on that film in just a minute.)
You can buy Drew Struzan’s ‘Making Of The Hellboy Poster’ DVD at Reel Ideas.
Listen To Drew Struzan On ‘Illustration Island’:
Drew’s humility and passion are contagious.
…so go listen to the interview and you’ll catch some of both.
If you don’t check out any of the other resources in this post you have to listen to this interview.
One of the things I don’t like about blogging and podcasting is that amazing resources just like this one can just kind of fade into the archives, all but lost.
So while you’re there, I recommend you browse the EFII archives. There lay many more digital treasures to be unearthed.
The NEW Drew Struzan Documentary:
I probably don’t need to remind you that we all vote with our wallets.
If you have an opportunity to pay to see this movie, please do.
The Internet is overflowing with concept artists and illustrators (and fans of concept art and illustration). If we agree to financially support projects like these, more of them will happen.
Like the Drew Struzan Documentary on Facebook
Visit the project’s official website.
Drew Struzan On YouTube:
For your convenience, I compiled a playlist of the most inspiring YouTube videos featuring interviews with Drew.
It begins with a couple of fun clips about the Drew Struzan Documentary which are followed by a clip where Drew Struzan talks about meeting Harrison Ford.
After that, you’ll see a three different in-person interviews with Drew and finally a couple of informative clips from the Hellboy Poster DVD.
The Art Of Drew Struzan:
I knew this list of Drew Struzan love would not be complete without a link to his book.
It is a nearly-comprehensive collection of his movie poster art.
It’s inspiring to see his work and technique evolve. It’s encouraging to see his experiments and his rush jobs. It’s challenging to see how he so thoroughly explored his own invented style.
Get The Art Of Drew Struzan book:
[ Buy on Amazon ]
(Just FYI – If you buy through my link, I get a 6-8% commission on the total sale.)
Share Your Own Nostalgia:
What’s your favorite childhood memory of the art of Drew Struzan?
It’s a mental image from my own point of view.
I’m about seven years old, sitting cross-legged on the floor of my bedroom listening to The Muppet Movie soundtrack on vinyl, holding the album cover in my lap, examining Drew’s ethereal artwork.
If you weren’t familiar with Drew’s work, what have you learned now that you’ve been introduced to it?