Artist Profile: Alex Kittle | Boston, MA Crest
February 19, 2022
Alex Kittle is the creator and mastermind behind Pan and Scan Illustration, a store that offers film and pop culture-inspired artwork, as well as zines, pins and stickers. Are you thinking of Prince, Barbarella or David Bowie? Kittle has you covered. She invents “Art for Movie Fanatics”, conjuring up classic comedies and cult sci-fi stories as objects of focus. Read on to see how it all started and find out about other projects she has in the works.
You are a digital illustrator inspired by television, film, music and aspects of pop culture. What led you to approach these subjects through your work?
I’ve always loved drawing and took art classes in college, and aside from that, I’ve obsessively loved movies since I was a teenager. After undergraduate, I was unemployed for a summer, spending my time watching movies between applying for jobs and feeling creatively unmotivated. I decided to start a weekly project doing art related to the movies I was exploring, just as a way to get my hands moving and feeling like I was more than a couch potato, and it has become an endless source of inspiration ever since.
Do you have any favorite pieces you’ve created? What do you love about them?
One of my personal favorite posters I’ve done is my Barbarelle piece of 2019 – the first major work I have done after quitting my day job in 2019 to be a full-time freelance artist. I love the movie, and I love Jane Fonda, but I especially love the costumes! It was a fun way to dig into the details of her many wacky sci-fi outfits, and I’ve continued to develop an interest in fashion in film ever since. Another favorite project is a major book illustration project I completed last year and just published by Dey Street/Harper Collins: I created 16 black and white illustrations for the book by Scott Meslow From Hollywood With Love: The Rise and Fall (and Rise Again) of Romantic Comedy. I was so honored to be a part of this book and draw characters from some of my favorite romantic comedies!
What prompted you to focus on female directors and cult films?
My interest in female filmmakers and cult movies seems to have developed simultaneously when I was in college, mostly because I like to research weirder, less conventional things. I’m very interested in film and art history in general, as it applies to people working outside of conventional systems, as well as those who have been generally excluded from “canon”. Since these movies and filmmakers inspire me, it’s only natural that they often come across in my work, and I try to use my artwork – and especially my filmmaker zines – to promote and educate them, while generally sharing my enthusiasm and enthusiasm for cinema. and cultural history.
What is your creative process for developing a work and what inspires you? What do you think makes your work unique?
I usually open up to inspiration when I look at something and formulate various compositions of posters and illustrations in my head, sitting with ideas for a long time before physically putting pen to paper (so to say). Sometimes I notice that a movie I like has uninteresting official poster artwork, and I strive to create a more dynamic design or something that better represents the movie (this is especially common with movies from the 1960s). 90s and early 2000s, when illustrated posters ran out of fashion, in favor of poorly photoshopped images, and especially the generic “big floating heads” style). For my filmmaker zines, I try to do distinctive portraits as a visual aid to help readers learn more about each featured director, and I spend a lot of time reading interviews and articles to extract background information. and anecdotes that I find inspiring and fascinating. I don’t think my work is necessarily unique except how each artist’s work is due to the unique hand that makes it, and the personal experience, point of view and passion we bring to it.
Can you describe some of the forms your art takes – posters, zines, stickers and book illustrations – and how you approach them?
Almost everything I do starts with a digital drawing; this is where I spend the most time and energy. I do most of the work in Photoshop using a Wacom tablet to draw everything by hand. Then, if I want to make it a different product, I usually go back and simplify it as needed, or in the case of zines, I work it into a larger layout with text and design embellishments. For the enamel pins, I have to follow certain rules related to their manufacture, limiting my colors and employing bolder and sparser lines than usual.
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