Mark Englert first came to the public attention as a comic book artist, working on titles with Robert Kirkman and Erik Larsen. These days, he’s one of the most popular artists in the print community. He creates limited edition prints based on various pop culture movies, games, music, TV and more. He’s worked on official pieces for all the major studios: Paramount, Disney, Universal, Warner Brothers and more. One of his first prints was based on Alien. And now he’s got a new piece that’s on sale today at Bottleneck Gallery and his own website, Taco Belvedere based on the movie Aliens, released today for #alienday426. Below is a quick interview about his work and where you can get it.
Robot’s PJs: So how did you end up doing a print for #alienday426? Weren’t you designing an Aliens print before there was any buzz for the event?
Mark Englert: I had the idea for showcasing the derelict and I knew I’d be able to use it somewhere down the line so I just started on it.
Robot’s PJs: How did you decide what the print would be? Was it your favorite scene or trying to find something that hadn’t been done before?
Mark Englert: The derelict is such a cool design and when it does show up in art prints, it’s usually a background element, not the main focus of the piece. I really wanted to bring it to the foreground and challenge myself to make an Aliens poster without showing a xenomorph or an egg… just a cool alien landscape.
Although, I did wind up showing the Alien Queen in the glow in the dark. So, I guess I didn’t quite meet the challenge.
Robot’s PJs: How does the glow in the dark (GID) process work when you’re designing the piece?
Mark Englert: Glow in the dark ink is a very tricky medium to wok with. It’s not this magic, invisible ink that you can just put on anything and have it glow. There are a lot of rules you have to follow for the stuff to even work at all.
The main issue is that the ink will only work properly if it’s printed over the lightest areas of the image. So, I’ll go back and forth, working out where I can even put glow in the dark elements and what they ought to be.
Robot’s PJs: You’re well known for hiding small details and easter eggs in your prints. How do you get the detail accurate when you’re dealing with silhouettes or extremely small figures?
Mark Englert: Hiding stuff is always a balancing act between it not being immediately noticeable, but easy to figure out what it is once someone does see it.
Robot’s PJs: Which is your favorite and least favorite movie in the Alien franchise? AvP and Prometheus count.
Mark Englert: My favorite movie in the franchise is Aliens… I just love to watch it. Least favorite is Alien Resurrection, which is really a interesting artifact, but a terrible movie.
Robot’s PJs: How many of your prints are available and where can fans try to get one?
Mark Englert: This poster is a 24 hour timed release through Bottleneck Gallery in collaboration with Acme and FOX for Alien Day, 4/26, starting at noon EST! The edition size will be determined by the number of posters ordered in that time period.
There’s also a limited edition variant, with a run of 225 and a green color scheme, also on sale today.
Robot’s PJs: What does “Aliens” mean to you? As in, you could’ve done a print based on almost anything. Why this?
Mark Englert: Alien is such an incredible movie. Just from a design standpoint alone, it’s endlessly inspiring. Aliens hooked me in a huge way when I was a fairly young kid, around 8, without me ever having seen the movie. I saw some of the movie props in person at a museum and have been utterly fascinated with that universe since.
Robot’s PJs: Finally, what can you tell us about what you have coming up? Where can we keep up to date on your projects?
Mark Englert: I have some really exciting stuff coming… including a poster I sketched out back in December after coming home from the midnight premiere showing.
Robot’s PJs:Thank you!
Mark isn’t just a good artist drawing fun things. He puts a massive amount of thought into the color and composition of his pieces. To learn more, I recommend reading this post on how he came up with the composition for his Jurassic World print and this post where he details the initial creative process for the poster including collaborating with director Colin Trevorrow.
Finally, Mark just put up a new post today detailing the process for creating this print. Really interesting read!