For years, Awesome Art We’ve Found Around The Net has been about two things only – awesome art and the artists that create it. With that in mind, we thought why not take the first week of the month to showcase these awesome artists even more? Welcome to “Awesome Artist We’ve Found Around The Net.” In this column, we are focusing on one artist and the awesome art that they create, whether they be amateur, up and coming, or well established. The goal is to uncover these artists so even more people become familiar with them. We ask these artists a few questions to see their origins, influences, and more. If you are an awesome artist or know someone that should be featured, feel free to contact me at any time at [email protected] This month we are very pleased to bring you the awesome art of…
Neil Davies is an illustrator and alternative poster artist from the UK. Neil has been freelance for well over a decade and has worked for clients such as The Wall Street Journal, The Week Magazine, Arrow Video and many more. He has made licensed poster artwork for Marvel and DC and for many galleries and private commission clients.
JOBLO: What got you started as an artist?
DAVIES: Well I’ve always drawn and painted the things I’m interested in – cars and dinosaurs when I was a kid, science fiction space ships and aliens later. I remember doing a series of acrylic paintings of Star Trek and Babylon 5 ships in the late 90’s… a large painting I did of Babylon 5 itself was given to J.Michael Straczynski at a convention as a gift. Then I spent some time painting Formula 1 cars. I only really considered trying to earn a living from it in 2008 when I was made redundant for my day job. At that time I was painting a lot of caricatures of celebrities (inspired by Derren Brown who is a great caricature painter) and so I turned that into a mini business and eventually it led to all sorts of other opportunities! I consider myself incredibly lucky to do this for a living now!
Who were some of your favorite artists growing up?
Growing up it was fantasy and science fiction art I really loved, I would study books of that sort of thing obsessively. Artists like Bernie Wrightson, Michael Kaluta, Chris Foss, Julie Bell, Frank Frazetta, HR Giger, Bruce Pennington, Bob Eggleton… I could go on! Then of course I discovered poster artists like Drew Struzan, John Alvin etc. The caricaturist Sebastian Kruger is a genius and still a big influence.
Who do you really dig these days, follow on Instagram?
So hard to pick just a few names out of the hundreds of artists I follow and am inspired by… currently I’d suggest Greg Ruthwho continually amazes and baffles me with his incredible work, Wylie Beckert who has phenomenal skills, Mark Raats who breathes real life into everything he draws, obviously Bill Sienkiewicz too. I follow a ton of amazingly talented alternative poster artists that give me a kick to work harder and improve every single day. I could not pick one or two out so I’d say follow Poster Posse, PosterSpy, AlternativeMoviePosters.com spirit Drop Mag to do a really deep dive into that world!
What advice would you have for budding artists today?
I certainly do not feel qualified to do so BUT – research the techniques of the artists you like, as usually there are pretty simple things you can pick up and add to your own skill set. Everyone has something you can learn and try out. I do not mean which pencil they use or what Photoshop brushes they have (although they can also be useful), it’s more to do with the order of operations. What research do they do before picking up a pencil? What reference do they use, and how? Break it all apart, take what works for you and use it!
What should we be looking out for from you in the future?
A lot of alternative movie posters mainly! Due out soon are posters for Lost in Translation, Romeo + Juliet, Black Swan, Alita: Battle Angel, Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan .. also I’m currently working on one for Starship Troopers which I am super excited about. Would you like to know more? (just kidding). There’s a bluray cover for Pitch Black arriving soon, possibly something for a streaming service in the works… beyond that, I’m not sure, but excited to find out!
Being a fansite, we have to ask you… What are some of your favorite movies / TV shows of all time?
Obviously I have to start with Alien, Aliens and Blade Runner. Jaws is probably my all-time favorite. Anything by David Fincher, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, and Zodiac in particular. Under The Skin. Primer. A Scanner Darkly. I really like Tenet although I seem to be in the minority on that one! TV shows… Better Call Saul is just incredible, as was Breaking Bad of course. The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel really lives up to it’s name. Recently I really enjoyed a show called Archive 81 on Netflix, and an amazing series called Undone on Amazon… there’s just so much stunning TV out there now it’s overwhelming! And of course Spaced, the greatest TV show ever made.
Scroll down to check out some of our favorite art pieces from Neil as we continue to follow his journey across his Website and social media hubs: Instagram / Twitter / Facebook / Store / Big Cartel
Bram Stokers Dracula
The Dark Knight Trilogy
Formula OneStieg Larsson
The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo
John Wick 3: Parabellum
Let The Right One In
The Lost Boys
Mad Max: Fury Road
A Scanner Darkley