Those of you who have followed my work, or know me personally, know how much film and music influence my art. Movies, Music and the Visual Arts are three entities that, when brought together, create a fully-emotional experience for the audience. Needless to say, I was overwhelmed with gratitude for the chance to create the illustrated poster and outdoor campaign for Paul Thomas Anderson’s new film, Licorice Pizza.
This project has been quietly underway for over a year. Working with a filmmaker and movie studio provided a different process than I’m used to. I normally create in isolation, surrounded by my thoughts and the clamor of street life outside my window in Honolulu. This project was a collaborative experience (albeit virtually), with a creative crew operating out of Los Angeles. The process was refreshing in that I got to receive real-time feedback and exercise a new way of storytelling. The team was lovely in guiding me, but also giving me a lot of creative freedom. Did I mention, illustrating some of my favorites in Hollywood (The Haim sisters, Maya Rudolph, Sean Penn, Bradley Cooper…whaaaaat?) was a dream come true?
Like much of PT’s work, Licorice Pizza is set in the world of 1970’s California. Warm tones, sun-kissed skin and poppy retro graphics seduce me in ways no other era can. As with all my projects, I set the mood in my studio with a playlist of songs which would be featured in the film. Nina Simone, and David Bowie, as well as the music of Haim. All of these evoked the lovelorn, nostalgic tone which became the soul of this image.
At its essence, the story is about a teenage boy in love with an older girl. She is out of reach, but irresistible. Alana Haim’s character is in many ways the archetypal heroine in all my works. She is confident but approachable. Aloof but warm. Mysterious yet familiar. I had a vision of her right away, with a knowing smile, bouncy amber tendrils and eyes that pierce the soul. Cooper Hoffman’s character is optimistic and a little bit cocky. Each of them keeps the other very much on their toes.
As I look at my officially-released images for this film, I can’t help but see the endless hours, inspiration and love fused into them from both sides of the Pacific. I am both humbled by the opportunity and excited for the new doors that may open. My sincerest thanks to the creative team in Burbank for their support (and new friendships) and to PT Anderson for believing in my work.
Mahalo, Muchas Gracias, and GO SEE LICORICE PIZZA!