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Meet the artists

Each of our special edition Love BFI Film Classics features specially commissioned cover artwork. Read on to find out more about the cover artists, the concepts behind their designs and how these designs were created.

Doctor Zhivago | Brief Encounter | When Harry Met Sally... | In the Mood for Love | From Here to Eternity| Gone With the Wind | L'Atlante

Michał Janowski

Doctor Zhivago

Doctor Zhivago

Your background
I graduated from the University of East Anglia where I studied Fine Arts. Painting is my passion but I also enjoy working as a freelance 3D artist and graphic designer. Book cover design also has a special place among my interests therefore I was very glad to participate in this project. I live and work in London.

Could you explain the concept of your cover design? How does your artwork convey the themes/motifs of Doctor Zhivago?
The structure of Doctor Zhivago has many layers. Thinking about a book cover I decided to concentrate on the drama of the individual. The visual language I use is strongly associated with figure/portrait painting. It seemed natural to choose Omar Sharif as the subject matter.

Self-preservation plays the main role in our life. Fear, expressed in eyes, is part of this mechanism. People have potential to do both good and bad. Unfortunately, no matter how hard we try we can’t remain just pure. It also depends on environment and the circumstances. The luck of choice in a dangerous situation might push us to act against our beliefs. In my opinion it is very well expressed in Doctor Zhivago. To emphasise this inner
struggle of a sensitive individual I decided to tear the artwork in half.

What techniques and materials did you use to create your artwork?
I used charcoal to reflect on classical nature of the book.

What inspires you?
Generally speaking it is very important for me to create. The ability of expression inspires me the most. I think that people trying to manifest their presence in many ways. Painting is one of the possibilities. I work from life, photographs and collages. I also use film as source of inspiration.

WEBSITE: www.saatchiart.com/Michał_Janowski

Rania Moudaress

Brief Encounter

Your background
I was born in Damascus, Syria in 1981, the daughter of the internationally recognised painter Fateh Moudarres and art critic Shouckran Imam. I discovered the world of art at a very early age through the time spent at my father’s atelier. Every day after school I used to sit in one of my father’s spaces and experiment freely. I always thought I would become a ballet dancer since I started studying it from a very early age with two dancers from the Bolshoi but as time passed and since the cultural scene was in decline I moved towards the individual arts. I graduated from the Paris American Academy of Fashion and Art and worked in the theatre as a theatrical costume designer throughout my studies. Working in the theatre was the most natural passage where creating a costume grows out of the reading and dialogues with a director and actors, and the magic of words coming to life.

Brief Encounter

Could you explain the concept of your cover design? How does your artwork convey the themes/motifs of Brief Encounter?
I was thrilled to take the challenge of creating an artwork that would reflect the mood/ambience of Brief Encounter. I wanted to share the perspective of the female character in the film, and the weight of such an encounter on a fragile, ordinary woman of that time. It was a challenge that carried different interpretations – considering the period of the film and its locations, the rush of emotions and the sense of anxiety of such a brief romance and what it could lead to.

What techniques and materials did you use to create your artwork?
I chose to work on a miniature to be more authentic to the book appearance, which was a challenge since
I am known for my largescale artworks. I used Indian coloured ink, gold leaf and charcoal.

What inspires you?
What inspires me changes. Always nature as the nourishing mother. Perhaps the beauty within others. My mother and the world of literature and philosophy I found myself growing up within. My father’s complete and utter freedom in life and art and his unique individuality. My son Alan and the magic of being a child. Music as a peaceful elevated method of expression. Dancing and human bodies. It’s infinite and often unexpected what can inspire us if we let go and be aware to intuition.

What are you working on now?
I'm always painting and experimenting with different mediums and materials.
I’m currently working on a series of children books ‘still in the making’, art therapy for children and adults, and preparing for my seventh solo exhibitionam going to spend the next few weeks painting.


When Harry met Sally...

Your background
We both graduated from Les Gobelins, a multimedia school in Paris, but we met later, working for the same company.
When Harry Met Sally..

Could you explain the concept of your cover design? How does your artwork convey the themes/motifs of When Harry met Sally...?
Our cover is a collage of the different textures and patterns seen during the movie, especially on Harry and Sally’s outfits. Harry is always wearing big sweaters, which are now funny and characteristic of the 80s. For the colours we took the yellow of the car. The symmetry of the collage fits with the parallel of the relationship in the movie.

What techniques and materials did you use to create your artwork?
We created the collage in Photoshop.

What is your earliest film memory?
Chr: Walt Disney’s Robin Hood or any comic movie with Louis de Funès.
Ma: I remember watching The Neverending Story at pre-school. It was a mix of fascination and fear (with this dreadful horse scene in the swamp of sadness).

What inspires you?
We are inspired by older designs and we like to find material in flea markets, like photography, old magazines, objects…

What are you working on now?
Currently we are working on websites projects, illustrations, and the decoration and identity of a new restaurant.


Jimmy Turrell

In the Mood for Love

Your background
I’m an illustrator and artist based in London. I studied at Central Saint Martins School of Art and I combine a love of handmade collage, drawing, screenprinting and painting alongside digital techniques.
In the Mood for Love

Could you explain the concept of your cover design? How does your artwork convey the themes/motifs of In The Mood for Love?
I wanted to hint at both the conceptual themes of the movie and the stunning aesthetics and colours that run throughout it.

I used the shot of the couple walking down the alleyway as the main focal point of the cover as I thought it showed a togetherness while also hinting at a distance and coldness between them. The ruins of Angkor Wat, Cambodia’s ancient capital, also serve as a motif for lost love.

What techniques and materials did you use to create your artwork?

Screenprinting and various collage techniques. In terms of methodology I try not to pigeonhole myself too much. If I see something interesting when mixing various techniques together I'll move forward with it.

What is your earliest film memory?
I would say The Wizard Of Oz. I was probably about 3 or 4 and distinctly remember being transfixed by the scene were Dorothy opens the door and walks from a world of monochrome into the Technicolor of Oz. That scene still amazes me to this day

What inspires you?
I guess this is a bit overused but everything really. The way the light makes a particular shadow on a building, the colours of The Byker Wall (the estate I grew up in), finding beauty in the inherent crapness of things, and London Town generally.

WEBSITE: http://www.jimmyturrell.com

Eda Akaltun

From Here to Eternity

Your backgroundFrom Here to Eternity
I’m a New York based artist from Istanbul. I studied illustration at Central Saint Martins in London, and during that time developed a love for traditional printmaking and collage, which led me to begin collecting paper ephemera, 50s fashion catalogues and old family photos to populate detailed compositions. I worked as a freelance illustrator for a year after graduating and did an MA in Communication Design at Central Saint Martins afterwards.

In 2010, I joined Heart Agency, who represent me both in the UK and the US. Since then I have worked for a range of design and editorial clients including Bafta, The New York Times, Herman Miller, Krug Champagne and BFI. I’m also a founding contributor of Nobrow.

Could you explain the concept of your cover design? How does your artwork convey the themes/motifs of From Here to Eternity?
I wanted to capture the serenity and beauty of Oahu, Hawaii where the film is set, as well as the general feeling of a catastrophe about to happen throughout the story. There is an affair that could unfold at any moment, army barracks that could be attacked and political struggles among the sergeants that disunite the men. I wanted to give visual clues within the illustration but tried to keep the look of a romance novel cover at the same time.
What techniques and materials did you use to create your artwork?
I used ink, acrylic paint and linotype to create textures and used my own photography from Hawaii, as well as the infamous film still of that kiss on the beach.

What are you working on now?
At the moment I'm working on my first picture book and I'm very inspired by David Hockney's set designs for opera, as well as Alice and Martin Provensen's children’s books.

WEBSITE: www.edosatwork.com


Gone With The Wind

Gone with the Wind

Your background
My name is Von, a London based illustrator and artist. I set up studio HelloVon in 2006 and have since worked for clients around the world such as Nike, Adidas, Selfridges, Liberty, Film4, Canal, Paralympics 2012, Nokia, American Express, The Royal Mail, Time Magazine, Wallpaper*, etc. Alongside commercial work I also regularly exhibit original artworks and release limited edition fine art prints.

Could you explain the concept of your cover design? How does your artwork convey the themes/motifs of Gone With The Wind?
I went with a very close crop of Scarlett’s eye which, with the reflection of the fire in her pupil and the arch of the eyebrow, seemed to encapsulate the themes of inner strength, power, passion and defiance — how she rises almost phoenix-like from the ‘flames’ to overcome the various obstacles put in her way in the film.

What techniques and materials did you use to create your artwork?
My work is 90% hand painted and then scanned and composed/tweaked digitally.

What is your earliest film memory?
There was something about the square that the character Roger lived on in 101 Dalmatians that made me want to live in London. I have a very strong memory of how the pavements were reflective from the rain and for some reason it really stuck with me.

What inspires you?
All manner of things. Music is a huge inspiration and something I'm constantly listening to whilst I work.

What are you working on now?
Alongside some commercial projects I can’t really talk about yet I’m working towards a London solo show happening next summer

WEBSITE: www.hellovon.com

Richey Beckett


Your background
My career in illustration started out through my involvement in music – creating t-shirt artwork for various touring bands, and as the work got out there the number of commissions grew, so did the scope of the work – leading into record cover artwork, poster artwork, and then into movie posters and soundtracks.

Could you explain the concept of your cover design? How does your artwork convey the themes/motifs of L'Atlante?
It was clear to me that I wanted to illustrate the central character Juliette, played by the wonderful Dita Parlo, and really I just wanted to capture the exuberance she shows in the film. As the central character, the film shows her in a very transitional moment, her excitement and wonder as she becomes a young woman, stepping out on an adventure – so I really just wanted to tap into that and decorate the image in such a way as to celebrate her character.

What techniques and materials did you use to create your artwork?
I used traditional dip pen and India ink on paper. I've always worked with pen and ink but only recently switched over to dip pen, which although not the most cutting edge method of illustration, it gives a real authenticity to the line work – it's a very organic and honest (occasionally messy) way of working and in my mind, perfect for a project like this. In contrast, all of the colour is created digitally, although the digital brushes used for colouring are created from original ink and brush work.

What is your earliest film memory?
One of my earliest memories is watching The Never Ending Story at my uncle’s house in Germany. As the film was German-made (the biggest budget film to ever come from Germany at the time) it was actually released there first. We were visiting, and so we got to see the film before any of our friends in the UK, and my uncle serialised it over a few nights. It's a magical film, with moments of heroism and horror as well as sadness, but also wonderful special effects and great puppets and creatures. All of this really captured my imagination as a child.

What inspires you?
I've always drawn a lot of inspiration from nature; I collect a lot of books of natural history and ornithology, and start most days with a walk in the park or woodlands – these things genuinely light a spark of inspiration to start the day. But also, I collect and harvest imagery all the time, whether it be on my phone, computer or notebook – a lot of it I forget about instantly, but when the time comes to work on a project I'll go back to these files, or a particular piece or photograph might pop back into my head that is particularly relevant. Most of this reference work is very retrospective – vintage photography and models, religious artworks, patterns and decorative artwork.

What are you working on now?
Currently I'm lining up printwork for a trip to Austin Texas where I'm appearing at the MondoCon convention, which celebrates movies, comic books and poster art. When I return I'm looking to work on some largescale poster artwork for Disney and a series of quite elaborate gig posters for a few different bands, expanding upon my recent artwork for The Grateful Dead. All very exciting projects and wonderful opportunities to push into new territories and expand the scope of my artwork.

WEBSITE: www.richeybeckett.com