If you’ve picked up the new issue of SciFiNow (on sale 14 December), you’ll have seen the latest instalment in our collaboration with the folks at Poster Posse: Matt Needle’s mesmerising take on Rod Sterling’s The Twilight Zone.
We took the chance to pick his brains about his style, inspirations and dream commissions…
How long have you been working as an illustrator and what’s your background? Is this something you learned through education or another route?
I’ve been working as a Freelance Designer and Illustrator for about 10 years now. I started out whilst in university, got a few features in magazines and a profile in Computer Arts, then started creating alternative film posters in my spare time and sharing them on social media. From there I just started getting cool projects to work on whilst creating my own stuff on the side.
Judging by your social media activity, film/TV isn’t just part of your work, it’s a big part of your life, talk a bit about that?
Film/TV is a huge part of my life. I’m obsessed, although I don’t have as much time as I did to go to the cinema now I have a newborn son. But I try to watch most of the new releases; they inspire my work and entertain me greatly. TV itself is in a boom period, but there’s just so much to watch. I’m a big fan of sci-fi/horror/drama/comedy shows (currently loving Haunting Of Hill House and Daredevil on Netflix).
Being a Cardiff native, is Doctor Who something you are invested in?
I was a huge Doctor Who fan growing up, and have watched a fair bit of it since its return over a decade ago, but I’m not a massive fan. I dropped off a bit with Matt Smith and Peter Capaldi’s versions, but gave it a chance with Jodie Whitaker and I’d say she’s already one of my favourite incarnations of the Doctor.
How did you tackle the Rod Serling illustration? As someone with so much content to draw from, was is difficult to hone in on his essence?
He’s created so much fantastic TV/film that it was tough. But I thought I would focus mainly on The Twilight Zone since that show is one of my personal favourites. I also love The Night Gallery as well, but it’s less iconic than TZ and I wanted to create a piece that would resonate to a wider audience.
What elements of your profession give you the most satisfaction?
I love nothing better than getting a new brief and setting off on a journey to create something new. I work mainly in collage/vector minimalism style but am trying to fuse the two together more and more. I also love working on film posters and Magazine illustrations, but of the experimentation within the mediums and striving to create something fresh yet memorable.
How long have you been a part of the Poster Posse? What’s it like being involved with this awesome creative collective?
I think I was brought onboard just after the first project (World War Z), so probably 5+ years by this point. I’ve worked on almost all the tribute drops and had several great projects with the likes of Disney/Marvel/Fox through them. Everyone in the group in uniquely talented and super supportive of each others endeavours. It’s almost like a family of sorts.
What upcoming sci-fi films are you most excited for?
Probably Godzilla II: King Of The Monsters and Star Wars: Episode IX.
Is there a dream sci-fi IP you’d like to create work for?
I’d love to work on some Twilight Zone stuff in an official capacity. Maybe something to coincide with the reboot that’s coming.
Do you have any other work/projects you’d like to shout about?
I’m currently working on a lot of editorial illustrations and I am loving that. And I’ll be making a start on my yearly Oscar based project “For Your Consideration 2019” where i create a series of alt art posters for the years hotly tipped Oscar contenders (coming Jan/Feb/March).
Where can people find you online?
www.mattneedle.co.uk and @needledesign on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram
See more of Matt Needle’s work on his website and in the latest issue of SciFiNow.