Drew Struzan: legend in movie posters

by Fred Showker

Drew Struzan

It's always a wonderful experience to run across a talent who has shaped an industry -- as in the case of Drew Struzan. We all grew up with Drew's work, and much of it has become indelible images in our minds. Now you can put a face and a presence with work that you've been so familiar with over the years...


Through the years one can watch as Drew Struzan's style changes, merge, and expand. For instance, the first Star Wars* poster created in 1977 was influenced by another great illustrator, J.C. Leyendecker; note the thick swashes of white for highlights and the heavily modeled, almost chiseled shaping of hands and fabric folds. Then from 1981 through 1990, the years of Indiana Jones*, we watch as the style evolves into a unique painterly style that fully envelopes character personality. By 2005, Star Wars 'The Revenge of the Sith'* Struzan's undeniable brilliance delivers spactacular visual drama, painting a story for the eye that rivals the movie itself! No wonder these movies remain among some of the most profitable movies in history, the Star Wars series gathering more than 7-billion in revenue across its 20-year lifespan.

Ever since his earliest piece however, Drew has commanded the human eye with ease. His works are unparalleled in the genre. He's even been commissioned to paint Legends of Hollywood US Postage Stamps for the Postal Service-- which to many, are more valuable as collectables than postage stamps! Drew comments:

"There are three main reasons I paint... one, to make myself happy; two, to make other people happy, and three, to support my family. And when those three come together, of course, that's true satisfaction."

Drew Struzan: The Appreciation of an Artist

YouTube direct

Interview with The Legendary Drew Struzan

Spock Recently, Paulo Gabriel had the unique opportunity to actually interview Drew, and he presents the entire interview. Paulo comments:

Movies like Star Wars, Indiana Jones and Back to the Future played big roles in our childhood and the identity of each one of these is carved in our minds: the spaceships from Star Wars, the adventures of Indy, the DeLorean from Back to the Future, the run after androids in Blade Runner, the heartwarming E.T.. It might all seem disconnected, but there's one thing that holds every one of these connected really tight: the art of Drew Struzan.

When asked: "If you could give a single piece of advice to young, up-and-coming illustrators, what would it be?" Struzan replies:

If you have chosen to become an illustrator know that it is tough out here. Fame, fortune and power are no the rewards of an Artist / Illustrator. Do it for passion, for love, because it satisfies your soul and gives you meaning. If you do not eat, sleep and live the art, the wanting for something else will kill you.

The author, Paulo Gabriel is a 25 years old designer from Porto Alegre, Brazil. Having been involved in the web and blogs since 1999, he has worked as a professional web designer since 2006

Read the entire interview at Gabriel's site, abduzeedo.com

NOTE Do not miss www.drewstruzan.com
NOTE Drew Struzan Illustrated Portfolio
NOTE Drew Struzan Studio

Fred Showker

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