The ins and outs of Labyrinth

ImagineFX - - Fantasy Film Posters -

We asked artist Ted CoCo­nis about how his poster for Jim Hen­son’s Labyrinth came about…

How did you land the Labyrinth poster job?

The ad­ver­tis­ing cam­paign was han­dled by Seiniger As­so­ciates in LA, but it was Jim Hen­son him­self who wanted me to do the art­work. Jim and I had known each other since 1973 when he had com­mis­sioned me to cre­ate a piece for a Mup­pets Valen­tine Spe­cial star­ring Mia Far­row and Thog.

What was it like work­ing with Jim Hen­son?

Since 1980 I had been with­draw­ing from the world of il­lus­tra­tion in or­der to con­cen­trate on my own art, but I was re­ally in­trigued with the idea of work­ing with Jim again. He was a great guy. Not only su­per cre­ative, but also kind, gen­tle and hum­ble.

What did you get to work with?

I was given the script and hun­dreds of pho­to­graphs: black and white prints as well as 35mm slides.

What was the think­ing be­hind the pyra­mi­dal com­po­si­tion with Bowie at the top, and the colour pal­ette?

It just seemed that the best way to cap­ture the essence of the sto­ry­line and con­vey the charis­matic om­nipo­tence of Jareth the Gob­lin King was to in­ter­weave a base of in­ter­est­ing el­e­ments, then build out­wards and up­wards into a por­trait of David Bowie with his crys­tal ball.

What me­dia did you use?

In those days I worked al­most ex­clu­sively in acrylics on hot­press il­lus­tra­tion board. My usual method was to cre­ate a strong, finely de­tailed draw­ing in graphite over which I would paint in thin lay­ers of acrylic, al­low­ing the draw­ing to show through and main­tain its strength and in­tegrity.

INTO THE UN­KNOWN The de­sign of E.T. was kept se­cret by the stu­dio. All John Alvin had to work with were sketches of the alien hand.


Brian Bysouth’s art con­veys the film’s gritty ur­ban ac­tion, and its dark, mys­ti­cal side.

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