The Great Discontent

20130519-211529.jpg

I was blown away when a couple of the internet’s top brass reached out to do an interview session. Super proud to announce that I’m this week’s feature on my favourite designer interview site out there, The Great Discontent. I sat down (or Skype’d) with Ryan and Tina and we got to the bottom of all kinds of dirt.

This feature also kicked my ass to get some official and high-quality photos taken, all professional and stuff. I enlisted the help of my talented friend Krista Comeau to make me look all 80s, and she made this scumbag look like a million bucks. Just look at that lighting! Thank-you Krista!

So, take a break from your Photoshops and go have a read on The Great Discontent. A huge thanks to Ryan and Tina for the awesome chat!

Kurt and I

Kurt Russell

Greg Gorman

• Greg Gorman (holding Kurt’s wine), Kurt Russell and me

• Kurt, myself and Adobe Senior Creative Director Russell Brown!

• Kurt, myself and Adobe Senior Creative Director Russell Brown!

THE THING poster

• Kurt signed my poster!

In a super-taxing effort to not completely geek-out, last night I had the pleasure of hanging out in Hollywood with Kurt Russell and a bunch of other amazing people. We all had dinner, got to try his new wine, hear some hilarious stories, and got some shots of him holding THE THING poster I designed. Said he loved it.

R.J. MacReady holding my poster! What the hell?! Still can’t believe this happened to some kid from Dartmouth.

A huge thanks to my pal Russell Brown for instigating such an awesome night, and new pal (and photo titan) Greg Gorman for hosting. I’ll never forget this.

Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon – Omega Force

Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon - Omega Force

With tomorrow’s release of Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon, I’m proud to unleash my latest art for Dean and all my pals at UbiSoft. Since we focused on protagonist Rex Colt for the previous art, we all wanted to do something with the bad guys. And who better than the Omega Force?

UbiSoft really cut me loose on this one, letting me do basically whatever I wanted. Scan lines, pink wireframes, lightning, LED glows… man, everything I love. I even managed to sneak in a silhouette of Outpost #31, the base in my favorite horror movie THE THING. Don’t even think my dudes at Ubi caught that one. Heh heh.

Be sure to watch for the release of Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon tomorrow! Can’t wait!

Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon art

FAR CRY 3: BLOOD DRAGON poster

• Full poster art.

Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon poster

• Teaser poster art.

Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon logos

• Logo design concepts.

Blood Dragon poster comps

• Early poster art concepts.

Blood Dragon poster

• Poster builds.

Blood Dragon sketches

• Quick character pose doodles for the UbiSoft team.

I’m extremely proud to show the work I’ve been doing for UbiSoft in support of their upcoming release, FAR CRY 3: BLOOD DRAGON. Me and the team at UbiSoft have been carving this stuff out for the past 8 months or so and having a great time the entire way. The game is super 80′s movie inspired, stealing cues from genre action films and VHS culture, so as you can imagine I was ALL OVER this thing. As the materials were linked online over the past month, a few keen-eyed nerds spotted a potential Signalnoise influence, well I can finally say that you were right.

We started off by designing the main logo for the game, seen above on the posters. Chrome letters and pink paint, we knew what we wanted right off the bat so I got to it. The posters were the biggest deal, and had me doing sketches and comps as we figured out where things would land to compliment the game aesthetic and all the awesome crap we loved as kids. When you have a client writing back saying stuff like “MORE FUCKING LIGHTNING!”, you know you fell in with a great crowd. I pulled out the Struzan-inspired techniques and got to it.

I should also point out, that’s one of my favorite action stars in there, Michael Biehn. You’ll remember him from TERMINATOR, ALIENS and THE ABYSS. He’s the star of the game and it was amazing to use his likeness in this piece. I was shaking as I built that poster.

That video was created by the team at UbiSoft and… wow, it just blew my face clean off. 80s animation, VCR tracking, so good. I didn’t have anything to with the trailer and I saw it for the first time when it was launched yesterday. I just needed to include it here out of pure love. The best game ad I’ve ever seen. So proud of my pals at UbiSoft.

There will be more to come as UbiSoft and I plot more goodies for FAR CRY 3: BLOOD DRAGON (which launches May 1, I believe). A giant shout-out to my pals Jason Eisener for linking me to this amazing project, and to my new partner in ’80s crime, Dean Evans for keeping me laughing and inspired the entire time.

Green Lantern illustration: Animated Gif

Green Lantern by James White

Here is my Green Lantern power battery illustration as an animated GIF to display the importance of texture and lighting.

To do the style seen in my recent work I always build my base shapes in Illustrator first before moving into Photoshop. Illustrator allows me to get really precise with the shapes and colour, making sure those bezier points are working for me. But the texture and lighting work in Photoshop is what really brings these otherwise flat illustrations to life.

The first frame of the GIF is my flat vectors (and a bit of brush masking), and the second is with all the effects turned on.

Calvin and Hobbes PS3 box art

Calvin and Hobbes PS3 box art

I can’t talk about any project details (game industry NDA stuff), but I’ll just leave this right here.

EDIT: Yep, this was an April Fools gag that I put together this weekend. Most of you got wise to it pretty early. To those who thought it might be the real deal, whoops! My apologies to Bill Watterson who probably never saw this thing anyway. But hey, gotta be polite.

To the marketing people at Sony… don’t get any ideas.

Mixed bag of recent illustrations

Hubble illustration by James White

Kill Bill illustration by James White

RoboCop illustration by James White

WeirdBeard illustration by James White

Deadlines have been packed throughout the last 2 weeks so my illustration output has slowed a bit. But, here is a batch of the latest. As usual, it’s a mixed bag. The Hubble Space Telescope, ‘The Bride’ from KILL BILL and my main man RoboCop.

That grumpy looking lumberjack was created for my pal Jerko. We were having a few cold ones the other night and he told me about this story he was working on, hinging on something from an old horror magazine. Jerko loves his horror. I cracked out the sketchbook and we worked up a doodle. That’s my take on the main character, WeirdBeard.

Things have been moving on the illustration front, and my output ended up landing me a really cool client gig. Banged out 3 illustrations for none other than the Canon camera company last week. Once I get the green light I’ll post them up. Super fun.

Big thanks to my pal Andy Cotnam for the helpful advice on the RoboCop!

Movie posters that weren’t

Karate Kid poster by James White

Labyrinth poster by James White

Rocky 3 poster by James White

Skyfall poster by James White

Predator poster by James White

Sketches by James White

If you’ve been following my work over the past year, you may have come across several posters that I designed for my favorite movies. I created pieces for DRIVE, BLADE RUNNER, THE THING, MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE, INDIANA JONES, TERMINATOR 2 and some others, all of which can be found in my portfolio. I made it my mission to break into the alternative art movie poster industry, but unfortunately only 2 posters were officially printed and offered for sale. The others remained in legal limbo, personal development, self-initiated projects… whatever you want to call it.

Aside from what was released online I did a lot of work behind the scenes developing ideas and visuals for many of my favorite movies. I never had permission, I designed them merely for my own enjoyment and practise. Most are thumbnails in my sketchbook while others I pushed to a digital sketch. Seen above are 5 posters that never got out of the concept phase. Very few people have seen these up until now. The Signalnoise movie posters that weren’t.

Before I build my posters in final vector format, I mock things up in Photoshop to experiment with the composition, colours and texture. Normally I cobble together found photos and movie stills as reference, then “paint” the entire poster from scratch. Ideas tend to shift and change as I go, which is why you’ll see differences between the ink sketches and the digital mock-ups above.

These concepts have been sitting on my computer for months, figured I’d post them. And the thing is, this isn’t all of them so you might see a ‘Part II’ to this post in the future.