How To Train Your Dragon Minimalist Poster By Minimalist Movie Posters
How To Train Your Dragon Minimalist Poster By Minimalist Movie Posters

This Amazing Minimalist Movie Posters

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If you follow pop culture, there’s a good
chance you’ve seen these three Star Wars posters: by illustrator Olly Moss. They were originally released by the Austin-based
company Mondo in 2010, with a price tag of $150. But if you try to buy these posters now? You’ll be paying a lot more. Ebay auctions regularly top out at more than
$5,000 for the set. And that’s if you can find somebody who’s
willing to sell theirs. But why? To get some insight into this unique niche
of art collecting, we spoke with Tom Whalen, one of the most popular illustrators of poster
art. "I think people like the fact that it’s not
mass produced.

I think they like the fact that there’s
only two or three hundred of these. They’re handmade, they’re screenprinted. And if you get up close you can see tiny registration
errors or faults within the process. There’s a hand-quality to them that people
really gravitate towards. And they like that there’s not 10,000 of
them floating around. It drives people nuts that they can’t get
them, but when they get one it’s a thrill." The alternative poster scene has exploded
in popularity in recent years.

And one of the reasons is the collectable
nature of the hobby.

When companies like Mondo, Bottleneck Gallery,
or Dark Hall Mansion release a poster, it’s almost always a limited edition of just a
few hundred copies. Each print is numbered by hand; some are even
signed by the artist. And once they’re sold out? They’re gone forever, never to be reprinted. So, when you’ve got scarcity of a product
combined with high demand for that product, aftermarket prices go up. Sometimes into the thousands.

It’s basic supply-and-demand economics,
and it’s what drives all collectable hobbies, including posters. But it’s also about the art. What makes these posters unique is that they
give artists like Tom the chance to provide a fresh take on classic movies and characters. "Part of what helps me is that it’s a recognizable
style. And it also maps over top of existing properties
without overpowering them. In other words, I can do work for Disney,
Marvel, DC, and Warner Bros without putting too much of my style that would make it not
look like the properties. For example, the Spider-Man piece that I just
did, I wanted to capture the friendliness and fun of Spider-Man. So, my take was to have him hanging upside
down. That’s my love of him – the fun factor. I wanted to get that in there. On top of that, my style –where I break
faces in half color-wise and shade one side – gives it my own twist and also stays true
to the character." If you’re wondering how Tom arrived at his
instantly-recognizable style, it’s really a blend of two artistic disciplines. "In school I majored in graphic design as well
as illustration. And when I got out of school, I bounced between
illustration and graphic design jobs. So I really felt I was able to mesh the two
different disciplines together – and including typography – really pull that together in
a style that works for me now." But what’s to stop alternative movie posters
from going the way of other short-lived collector crazes? "I call it the Baseball Card Boom. It’s almost like the stock market. It hit its peak and just fell." "I think they honestly thought there was this
law of nature, that once a Beanie Baby is retired, that it goes up in value. And then it didn’t happen. And then every month, the sales just cratered." "For collectors, the market ebbs and flows
just like everything else. But it does remain. As far as collecting goes, collectors know
what they like, and I think they gravitate towards things that they haven’t seen before. As far as creators go, it’s just so much
fun for us to do this line of work. You can tell a lot of the artists that do
this really have a genuine love for the movies. So I’m hoping it’s going to continue for
a long time – for both sides.” "My favorite one I’ve ever done is my Bride
of Frankenstein. And favorite anyone else has done? Wow… I’m going to have to say… there’s a
Tyler Stout Robocop, off the top of my head, which is fantastic. It’s one of those that’s very hard to
come by." .

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