Ken Taylor, Australia’s Greatest Export!

Ken Taylor-Halloween

Ken Taylor-Halloween

Australia’s Ken Taylor is an amazing artist/designer. Taylor designs mostly for the Rock Music scene but has been designing Movie Posters for Mondo for a decent amount of time.

From Ken’s Website: “Melbourne based Illustrator & Designer Ken Taylor works primarily within the music industry and is predominantly well known for his striking rock posters. Ken started in Perth Western Australia doing posters and album artwork for local bands. In 2001 He moved to Melbourne and slowly started to create a name for himself within Melbourne‚Äôs music scene. In 2006 he went out on his own and started to work full time on music based artwork.

Ken has designed posters and album artwork for many Australian bands including You Am I & The Beasts of Bourbon & Crowded House. Internationally he has designed artwork for bands such Queens of the Stone Age, Metallica, Pearl Jam, Nine Inch Nails, Kings of Leon, Bob Dylan & The Rolling Stones. Over the past few years he has become very well known for his limited edition silkscreened movie posters, working through MONDO with some of the worlds biggest movie licenses. Ken has won the Desktop Create Award for Best illustration in both 2007 & 2009 and was a Guest Speaker at the 2009 AGIDEAS design conference, the 2011 Semi Permanent Creative Conference in both Melbourne and Perth and the 2012 Look Hear Conference in Newcastle. In 2012 he exhibited in Los Angles and then 2013 in Austin and was also part of SXSW Flatstock. Ken continues to work with bands both locally and internationally and is represented by Drawing Book.”

I’ve included a few pics in this Blog posting that showcase my favorite Ken Taylor artworks. Check them out!

Ken Taylor-American Werewolf in London

Ken Taylor-American Werewolf in London

Ken Taylor-Man of Steel

Ken Taylor-Man of Steel

Ken Taylor-Aliens

Ken Taylor-Aliens

Ken Taylor-Creature From The Black Lagoon

Ken Taylor-Creature From The Black Lagoon

Ken Taylor-Silence of The Lambs

Ken Taylor-Silence of The Lambs

Freddy Krueger and Me.

A Nightmare On Elm Street III:  Dream Warriors poster by Jason Edmiston

A Nightmare On Elm Street III: Dream Warriors poster by Jason Edmiston

It’s that time of year. Ghouls and Goblins abound, Serial Slashers seek out new victims on celluloid, and Freddy Krueger rears his horrifically burned visage yet again.

To date, “A Nightmare on Elm Street III: Dream Warriors” is my all-time favorite horror film. When “Nightmare III” hit the pay-cable airwaves, I was 11 years old and fascinated by all things Monster-related. I do believe that “Nightmare on Elm Street III” was the first of the Nightmare films that I had ever seen, and did so by sneaking behind my parent’s collective backs to watch it on HBO. Even at a young age I was intrigued by this monster, Freddy Krueger. I had grown up on a steady diet of Universal Classic Monster Movies. “The Wolf Man“, “Frankenstein“, “Creature From The Black Lagoon“, and “Dracula” were all characters which suited my viewing tastes as a kid. Television programs such as “Manimal” and “V” as well as early Kaiju films “Godzilla” and “Rodan” were HUGE influences on me as well. I was crazy about Monsters.

Of course, Fred Krueger wasn’t just any Monster, he was an accused child-killer, freed from prosecution on a technicality, then hunted down and burned to death by the parents of his young victims. Freddy managed to cheat death and become a demon which swore vengeance on the parents of Elm Street by killing their children within dreams. If you were so unfortunate to be one of the Elm Street children, and you fell asleep, you were in Freddy’s world and subject to his rules. The “Nightmare” films were always a fantastical journey into the dreamworld but Nightmare III held something very different. It proposed that the last of the Elm Street children, now teenagers, banded together, and exhibiting superhuman-like powers in the Dreamworld made a valiant attempt to defeat Freddy Krueger once and for all. I loved it from the moment it started playing on the screen. While both “Nightmare on Elm Street” and “A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge” were more horror-based entries, Nightmare III sought to enhance the Dreamworld sequences with bizarre special effects such as the “Freddy Snake” a full-size animatronic puppet, and “Freddy TV” in which Krueger violently erupts from a standard-issue television in order to dispatch a young, Hollywood obsessed victim while screaming the line “Here it is, Jennifer! Your big break in TV! WELCOME TO PRIME TIME, BITCH!“.

  • Freddy Krueger erupts from a Television in “A Nightmare on Elm Street III: Dream Warriors”.
  • The full-size animatronic Freddy Snake designed by Kevin Yagher.

What thrilled me about the Nightmare films, and especially “Nightmare on Elm Street III” in particular was the whole sense of wonderment that came when those Dream Warriors entered the Dreamworld. In that world they could be anyone and do practically anything. Yes, Fred Krueger was a Monster in all senses of the word but here he was a wise-cracking anti-hero claiming his warped right to the souls of the last of the Elm Street children. Krueger was the perfect antithesis to the silent and lumbering Jason Vorhees and Michael Myers of years past. Here was a new dawn of Monster. One who seemingly could not be stopped because he only existed in dreams. I instantly became a fan of the franchise not so much for the fact that I enjoyed the movies but more because I wanted to figure out “How did they do that?!“.

  • Freddy Krueger exhibiting his ability to transmute in “A Nightmare on Elm Street III: Dream Warriors”.
  • Freddy dispatches Tara, played by Jennifer Rubin, by injecting her with a lethal dose of heroin in “A Nightmare on Elm Street III: Dream Warriors”.

I started reading all the Monster magazines I could get my hands on. Every “behind-the-scenes” book. I wanted to know all I could about the FX which brought these characters to life. I called Kevin Yagher, who at the time was the lead FX artist on “Nightmare on Elm Street III”, and went on to create the Chucky doll from the “Child’s Play” series, and The Crypt Keeper of “Tales from The Crypt“. A few years later I called FX legend Tom Savini to ask his advice on starting my journey as an FX artist. Savini put me in touch with Oscar-winning FX artist Dick Smith, who then invited me to his home/studio to spend the day with him answering all my questions and showing me slide presentations of how to properly make life-casts, apply old-age make-up, and create wireframes for puppets. It blew my mind to have access to one of the great legends of Make-Up Effects. A man who had worked on seminal films such as “The Godfather“, “The Exorcist” and “Amadeus“.

Kevin Yagher is seen working on the full-size animatronic Freddy Snake from "A Nightmare on Elm Street III:  Dream Warriors".

Kevin Yagher is seen working on the full-size animatronic Freddy Snake from “A Nightmare on Elm Street III: Dream Warriors”.

Although I ended up becoming a Graphic and Web Designer, a soft spot resides in me for all things Monster-related. I love a good werewolf or vampire movie. Get nostalgic when hearing people talk about the original Godzilla movies, and know that “A Nightmare on Elm Street III” was instrumental in sending me on a journey to meet one of Hollywood’s greats.


Give Me All The Mondo Posters!!!

Poster collecting has become big business. Mondo, located in Austin, Texas is at the forefront of Poster Art, with prints from such heavyweights as Ken Taylor, Martin Ansin, Jason Edmiston, and the legendary Drew Struzan.

"Toy Story" by Tom Whalen

“Toy Story” by Tom Whalen

Mondo’s posters are so highly collected that it’s next to impossible to buy one directly from Mondo on release day. The secondary market for these posters is huge, with sites such as eBay allowing collectors a second-chance to own the poster they seek. Take a look at the work below and visit Mondo for much more.

Now, I bring up Mondo because I want ALL the posters! ALL OF THEM! At every release I make a valiant attempt to purchase one poster and I fail every time. The closest I have been to owning a Mondo poster was to actually GET the poster in my virtual shopping cart. However, just because the poster is in your Cart doesn’t mean you actually call “dibs” on the poster. If enough people submit payment before you get the chance, you lose the poster. I’ve found a lot of posters on eBay, and I imagine I’ll purchase a few on the secondary-market at some point. For now, I just enjoy looking at the fantastic artwork that make up Mondo releases.

  • “Dracula” by Jason Edmiston
  • “Man of Steel” by Ken Taylor
  • “Looper” by Martin Ansin
  • “The Thing” by Drew Struzan

Teaching Myself to Type, and Tom Mac.

I made a decision last night. I decided that it’s time to teach myself touch-typing. Somehow, and don’t ask me how, I missed typing when it was given in Junior/Senior High School. Not sure how I missed out on learning how to type but I have gotten by for twenty years or so, so I never thought it was a big deal to learn.

A few weeks back I attended a WordPress Wordcamp and was astonished by the speed in which these kids could type. It honestly amazed me and made me feel vastly inferior at the same time. I wanted to be able to type at that speed. I NEEDED to be able to type at that speed. So, I am now taking the proper steps to learn how to touch-type! I’m sure I will get frustrated with it, having hunted-and-pecked for so long, but I think it’s worth a shot. Here’s to hoping!

Drive

bee

Pride

I’d also like to touch on the work of British Designer/Illustrator, Tom Mac. I first noticed his work when he was featured on the AnyForty Website, and instantly loved his artwork. His rendition of a lion skinned in the British Flag is awesome, and a piece of work that I wish I owned. This guy is a top-notch Illustrator in a world filled with amateurs. If you get a chance, check out his Website, Blog, and follow him on Twitter or Instagram!

GET THE GOLD ONE, YOU EXPLETIVE!!!!

Tonight I informed Nicole that I am seriously considering getting the iPhone 5c as my next smartphone. Some of you may wonder why in the world I would consider such a thing, being that I love tech, and always am looking to own the latest gadgets.

With that in mind, I offer my reasons for considering the iPhone 5c:

  • The iPhone 5c body is made from a Polycarbonite Plastic. This fact is advantageous when looking at reports that the iPhone 5s, with it’s aluminum outer-casing, has a tendency to flex.
  • The 5c is a tad bit slower than the 5s, as the 5c retains the A6 processor from the iPhone 5, while the 5s rocks Apple’s new A7 chip. This really is of little consequence, as I have seen speed tests with very little lag between the 5c and 5s.
  • The 5s has a “better” camera. By “better“, Apple has engineered a dual-flash system on the 5s and you can shoot in slow-motion and “burst” mode. Who cares? Apple didn’t bump the Megapixels, so it makes little sense to me that anyone would buy the 5s just for the “improved” camera.

iphone5c

That being said, since I tend to believe that Apple will unveil a larger smartphone next Fall, I’m looking for something low-cost until such time as they release a new iPhone. Yes, yes, I KNOW that I will still be under contract when the new iPhone is introduced next year but two years go by fairly quickly.

Of course, Nicole thinks it’s lame that I am considering the iPhone 5c. When I told her the news of the 5c being up for consideration as my next smartphone, the initial response was “That’s lame“, followed by “GET THE GOLD ONE, YOU EXPLETIVE!!!!“. Nicole isn’t one to mince words when it comes to smartphones. May be something to consider…

Now I Am Become Death

Yesterday the first teaser trailer for 2014’s “Godzilla” leaked online. This version of Godzilla is directed by Gareth Edwards, who directed a wonderful little film called “Monsters”.

We love the voiceover by J. Robert Oppenheimer recalling the detonation of the first Atomic Bomb. Oppenheimer states, “We knew the world would not be the same. Few people laughed, few people cried, most people were silent. I remembered the line from the Hindu scripture, the Bhagavad-Gita. Vishnu is trying to persuade the Prince that he should do his duty and to impress him takes on his multi-armed form and says, “Now I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds.”

Godzilla trailer on Vimeo

Godzilla

We’re pretty excited to see the return of King of The Monsters, and to NOT have Godzilla look like something out of Jurassic Park. Long live Kaiju!

Chris B. Murray. The Sickest of All Illustrators!

Very often when I’m working on some freelance project…oh, I’m a Graphic and Web Designer, by the way…I’ll peruse some Design websites or Instagram to see what’s new and who’s upcoming in the world of Art, Design, Illustration, Site Development, etc… Now, because this site is going to be “the whole kitchen sink” in terms of content, I figure that from time to time I’ll post links to some artists and designers whose work I admire. Don’t fear, the random stories of the life of my girlfriend and I will continue to be published. This is just a little sojourn into things I like.

Chris B. Murray's "Contact".  2013.

Chris B. Murray’s “Contact”. 2013.

Chris B. Murray's "Forbidden Fruit".  2013.

Chris B. Murray’s “Forbidden Fruit”. 2013.

Now it’s time to witness the sickest of illustrators, Chris B. Murray! This guy kills it every single time with his work. He currently lives and works in Philly, PA, home of the brotherly shove, and designs for such esteemed publications as The New Yorker and album covers for bands like Demigodz. Chris also does some work for British streetwear label AnyForty. His work is amazing, and needs your attention! Check him out by clicking on his name in this blog entry!