Tavis Coburn discusses how he created his incredible retro BAFTA posters

An Education

"It's a mixed blessing because, despite the huge amount of labour I put into creating an illustration from scratch, I still get a lot of people asking me where I find all my 'collage material', believe it or not."

DA: What inspired the artworks?

TC: "I find magazine, book, and poster design from the 40s and 50s inspirational and I've studied enough of it that I'm sure the sensibilities of that era come through in my sense of design and how I paint. I used to shoot reference photos on film and paint with gouache and screen print all my work by hand but over the years I've devised a way of working that feels pretty similar but is 100 per cent digital.


"I build 3D models for reference in Cinema 4D. I paint in Corel Painter. I use a Illustrator, Photoshop, and InDesign to pull pieces together. I can work a lot faster today and it's still got the same feel that I've come to be known for."

DA: How would you describe your overall style?

TC: "I'm a real fan of what you might call the 'history of design'. Sifting through all the great work that was produced by generations of master designers and illustrators before I was even born has introduced me to different ways of working and thinking and approaching projects.

In The Air

"I sometimes feel like all I really need to do is filter all that learning through 'Me', that is to say my experience and the techniques and ways of thinking that I've developed over my career, and out comes something that I think is fairly unique. You can see my influences but I think my work has just as much of 'Me' in it as anything else."

Tavis also took use through the creative process of how he created two of the artworks: for The Hurt Locker, and Precious.

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