The ins and outs of Labyrinth
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.
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