When Mother wanted to achieve an authentic 60s look for its recent poster campaign for Stella Artois 4%, the agency turned to illustrator Robert McGinnis, who created classic posters for films including Breakfast At Tiffany’s and Barbarella, as well as Bond movies Live And Let Die and Thunderball.
“Because Stella Artois 4% lives in the 60s Riviera, we tried to make the work look as genuine as possible, so it becomes a homage to that era rather than just a parody of it,” say Gustavo Sousa and Rodrigo Saavedra at Mother. “Robert McGinnis is undoubtedly the best film poster illustrator of the 60s, and probably one of the best poster designers ever, so it wasn’t a hard choice. In fact, we had been referencing his posters when we started looking for illustrators, but we thought he was retired. Eventually we thought ‘what if we try it?’, and we decided to give him a call. Like we expected, he was retired, but to our suprise he told us he was willing to come out of retirement to do this project.”
Shown here are the finished posters for campaign alongside a number of McGinnis’s preliminary sketches. Working alongside Mother producer Carole Smila, McGinnis initially submitted pencil sketches of ideas, before completing comprehensive colour renderings of the chosen sketch ideas, and, finally, the finished paintings.
Despite his supposed retirement, McGinnis’s skills are still much in demand. “Not much has changed in my daily routine,” he says. “Here are the jobs I recently completed: two movie posters – one for The Incredibles and one for the Japanese action/suspense movie K-20; a poster of race-car driver Parnelli Jones, a Western (cowboy) painting commission; a lady’s formal portrait; and three Western paintings for an upcoming show at The Eiteljorg Museum.” He also paints book covers for the Hard Case Crime detective novel series, and recently did a painting of Paris Hilton, “at the request of a daughter,” he says.
As to what he thinks of illustration now, McGinnis remarks: “It’s difficult for me to comment on contemporary illustration; so many artists are working with computers, rather than by hand with brush and pigment. Their results are amazing and wonderful, but I prefer the old classic approach to painting.”