Interview with Mark Englert
27th July 2014
Director Colin Trevorrow released the first official Jurassic World teaser poster on Twitter a week ago, which excited fans, giving us a first tease of the film. Artist Mark Englert was kind enough to speak with us to answer some questions about his work on the poster and how it was to work with both Universal Pictures and Colin himself.
Pictured above is the final poster and the online variant. You can read Mark’s blog posts here where he details the development of the poster.
Jack: How did you originally get into art?
Mark: The first time I remember drawing was when I doodled Teenage Mutant Ninja turtles on my school papers in Junior High… The first time I actually took art seriously, was when I started drawing my first comic book. Erik Larsen, in the back of an issue his comic, Savage Dragon, published a Mighty Man script meant for the late Gil Kane to draw. I started drawing the pages from that script and posting them in an online forum called Penciljack. Robert Kirkman saw the pages and showed them to Larsen, who then contacted me and offered to publish those pages as a series of backup stories in Savage Dragon.
It was crazy how it all worked out. I’ve worked steadily since then, whether it be in comics, toys, concept art or most recently, posters.
Jack: What are some of the favourite projects you have worked on?
Mark: Well, the Mighty Man comic is right up there. Savage Dragon has been my favorite comic since the first issue. so it was an honor to have contributed to the series.
As far as posters, almost every one I’ve done has been special to me. Being a part of the Breaking Bad series Gallery 1988 put together and getting to meet Vince Gilligan was pretty amazing.
Jack: Is your work focussed primarily around film posters?
Mark: It’s focused on whatever inspires me. I grew up watching way too much TV and going to the movie theater weekly. So, pop culture is very much my muse.
Jack: How were you initially brought onto the Jurassic World project?
Mark: Someone over at Universal was a fan and contacted me.
Jack: Have you ever worked on a Jurassic Park film before?
Jack: How long ago were you approached?
Mark: About 2 months… which was a tight deadline because there were a lot more movie parts than just me sitting and drawing a poster. A lot of people had to approve the idea and the final art.
Jack: What was it like to work with Universal and Colin Trevorrow?
Mark: It was incredibly easy. My contact at Universal was spectacular at getting me set up with what I needed and made everything very smooth. Colin made himself extremely available to me. There was a period of two weeks or so where we emailed back and forth every day.
Colin was very encouraging of me following my own creativity and made suggestions and adjustments where needed. It felt a lot like being an actor on set, really.
Jack: You hinted that the concept art you saw was less family friendly than you first thought. Are you able to elaborate?
Mark: Well, I can’t really elaborate on what I’ve seen. I didn’t mean to hint that it wasn’t family friendly, moreso that the original idea I had didn’t quite fit what a teaser poster is meant to do; make fans excited.
As a fan, my original idea wasn’t making me excited for a new Jurassic park movie.
Jack: You detailed your design process in depth on your blog, would you say it took the same amount of time compared to other projects?
Mark: Once I have the idea in my head, I can execute the artwork in about two weeks. This one took a bit longer than an average project as there was a lot of back and forth with the idea.
Jack: Based on what you’ve seen and heard about Jurassic World, how do you think it will compare to the other movies?
Mark: I am excited that it is more its own story and not beholden to bringing in characters from previous movies to be the leads.
Jack: Do you know if the old park will play a large part?
Mark: I don’t know. I put the Ford Explorer in my poster as a nod to the first movie, figuring it would have been a forgotten hunk of metal at the bottom of the old T-Rex enclosure.
Jack: What can you say for aspiring artists who are struggling to break into the industry?
Mark: For any artist, it can’t be something you pursue in the hopes of making money, gaining friends or respect. It has to be something that is just inside you and that you would do any chance you got, no matter how you make living.
Being an artist is not a particularly dignified or enviable way to live. You can only survive it if it’s something you cannot help yourself from doing otherwise.
There is also an element of luck involved, but you have to be prepared. What I mean by that is; all of the practice, experience and hard that you put in before you get your chance to get your foot in the door, is what’s going to allow you push that door open. If you aren’t prepared when you get your shot at something it’s not going to work out.
Jack: What property would you most like to work on?
Mark: If I could draw dinosaurs all day for a living, I’d love to do that!
Mark wanted us to mention his upcoming Gallery 1998 show, where he’ll be doing a giveaway of another Jurassic World poster set for people who make a purchase at the show! If you buy something at the opening, you’ll be entered into a draw to win a regular poster, and if you buy something when the show closes you can win a blue variant! The poster to the right has all the relevant information.
The poster itself is a rare one – making little appearances at Comic Con this past weekend where only the lucky few were able to grab one. If you’re able to get down to this show then it would be worth it to see more of Mark’s work and to get a chance to get one of these posters!
There’s currently no specific date for when the variants will be distributed online but be sure to follow the official Twitter for more information!
Be sure to follow Mark on Twitter here.