“I Paint So That I Don’t Have to Talk”: The Art of Drew Struzan

Back in December when we were reflecting on all the Star Wars-related materials the Library has, I briefly touched on the majestic music of John Williams. Today I want to talk about another artist who was first introduced to me via Star Wars–Drew Struzan.

If that name doesn’t ring a bell, what about names like Indiana Jones, John Rambo or Harry Potter? Now there’s probably so much bell-ringing in your ears you should make an appointment with an audiologist. You might not recognize Drew Struzan’s name, but you’ve certainly seen his work, whether it’s in the form of an album cover, a book jacket or one of his over-150 movie posters.

Some of his most famous movie posters are collected in Drew Struzan: Oeuvre and The Art of Drew Struzan. From Hook to Hellboy, The Thing to The Walking Dead, Blade Runner to Batkid Begins, Struzan’s work is instantly recognizable and unquestionably beautiful. The books also include some of his studio work, like portraits of his grandchildren and his own interpretation of Baba Yaga. I’m someone who can barely draw stick figures, so I admire an artist like Struzan—his drawings and paintings almost look like photographs.

For more on Struzan beyond the art, I highly recommend the 2013 documentary Drew: The Man Behind the Poster. It reveals a placid, taciturn family man, like the sweet grandfather everyone wants. While the details of his early life are fascinating, hearing him talk about his work is the most interesting aspect of the documentary. Regarding movie posters, he says how important it is for a poster to not only sell the movie’s premise but also evoke the feeling or emotion of the movie. In a world where most movie posters consist of awful photoshopped giant heads, Struzan’s work has a classiness to it that harkens back to a golden age of cinema, when the multiplex was a portal to another world of imagination and wonder. Often imitated, but seldom replicated, you can look at a movie poster by Struzan and know exactly what kind of movie you’re going to see.

If you’re a fan of Steven Spielberg or Star Wars (read: everyone), or if you just like good art, you should check him out.



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10 responses to ““I Paint So That I Don’t Have to Talk”: The Art of Drew Struzan

  1. Pingback: I Paint So That I Don’t Have To Talk- The Art of Drew Struzan | Illuminite Caliginosus

  2. This is one of my all-time favorite artists, EVAH! I scraped up my money and bought both of those books as soon as they were released. Glad to know people are giving the man some love now.

  3. Kevin

    Great article on Drew – love his work. He also produced a DVD on his techniques giving you an over the shoulder look at his process. “Conceiving and Creating the Hellboy Movie Poster Art” takes you step by step through his process. The same process he used to create his famous poster art.
    It’s an art lesson all on it’s own. Brilliant!

  4. Ryan Curtin

    I love Drew!!!!! Love his work!!!

  5. Hello from Brazil Drew Struzan! I am a Great fan of you! Congrats for everything Drew! __Ancerg

  6. Pingback: April Recap | Eleventh Stack

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