8 Questions with Christopher King

Poster Collective

The following is a copy of the interview with me that featured on Poster Collective.

8 Questions is our feature where we ask designers, artists and illustrators the same 8 getting-to-know-you questions (sort of like the web series 7 Minutes In Heaven but without the closet and awkward kissing). We’ve chosen questions we think will elicit informative, character revealing and insightful answers, allowing readers to learn from and get to know these lovely people a little better.

Christopher King (aka Wing’s Art & Design Studio) is a bloke we’ve had our eye on since we started Poster Collective. His comic book illustration style graces everything from roller derby flyers, to clothing and beyond. It’s quite refreshing to see him apply his skills to movie posters as this is an area that, since the 70s, has become largely dominated by photorealism. Looking forward to seeing him pump out some more cinematic themed work!

1. Describe yourself in 5 words or less.

Pale, ink obsessed, readaholic hermit.

2. How long have you been a designer and what made you want to be one?

Nearly 15 years professionally, ever since leaving school. I started out working for children’s book publishers and moved on to toy companies, newspapers and now work as full-time freelancer on all sorts of exciting things. I’ve always been a creative person, drawing for as long as can remember. Some of my earliest memories are of comic books, movies, album covers and posters that I would try to emulate or create my own versions of.

3. What would you say are your biggest influences?

Commercial illustration from 1940′s to the late 1980′s is what usually grabs me the most. That would include movie and music posters, skate and surf art, fashion illustration, pulp paperbacks and comic books. The desire to be as skilled as these artists and the constant improvement of my own work is a strong driving force.

4. What is your favourite thing about being a designer?

I remember when I was a kid the year that I got a NES for my birthday. I swear I must have played Mario for 12 blissful hours straight that only felt like one. A good day in the studio feels just like that. A total zone-out of anything else but the work. The ultimate satisfaction in creating a good piece of work that you’re proud of is the best thing.

5. What’s the worst (non-design related) job you’ve ever had?

I’ve rarely been out of the creative industry, but there was one occasion when I was moving house and ‘between jobs’ that I took a job in a popular so-called skate shop chain and absolutely hated it. Standing around all day serving bozos who can’t decide what trainers to buy isn’t my style. I gave it two days and quit.

6. Who are some of your favourite designers and why?

I could reel off such a long list of names here (each of which you should all check out) but i’ll try and keep it brief. All of the illustrators I admire span that 40′s – 80′s period and obviously Drew Struzan is in there, (a god among illustrators) but also I could name Bob Peak, Dave Stevens, Norman Rockwell, Coop!, Alex Ross, Graham Humpreys, Harvey Kurtzman, Robert Fawcett, Richard Amsel, Adam Hughes, Jim Phillips, Alex Toth, J.C. Leyendecker, Chuck Jones, Hanna-Barbera, David Downton, Eyvind Earle, Brian Bolland, Norman Saunders …okay I better stop. These are all illustrators who have managed to find that sweet spot between art and commerce where the real magic can happen.

7. What are some of your favourite movie posters of all time?

Posters that instantly come to mind are the film noir posters of the 40s, Drew Struzan’s Indiana Jones posters (in fact anything of Drew’s), Bob Peak’s Star Trek posters, the original Fright Night poster with the vamp face in the clouds is a classic and the Frazetta inspired National Lampoon’s Vacation poster is really well done and always makes me laugh.

8. Any advice for young designers out there?

If anything, just do the work that you enjoy and do it for yourself and set high standards. If you produce work that you clearly care about, other people will too. Oh, and don’t rely on the computer too much.

For more recommended books for artists and designers visit my blog, where you’ll find further inspiration in the form of classical artists, mid-century design, lettering, film and instructional guides. Don’t forget you can always find my downloadable design resources in the shop!