Friday, September 30, 2011

Nothing Is Beatle-Proof!

(click image to enlarge)

by Jessica Messerschmidt

At first I struggled to find a topic mostly because I wanted to post about something that would interest people and not just inform. Not that informing isn’t important! I stumbled upon the idea for this blog entry in my "History of Rock and Roll" class (which is an awesome class I might add). Sooo… being a fan of the Beatles, as I am sure many of you are also, I'd like to talk about the 1968 Beatles movie “ Yellow Submarine”.

Heinz (ketchup!) Edelmann, was the man who designed and illustrated the comically hallucinogenic landscape of Pepperland for the animated film. This is the work that he became famous for. Unfortunately he is not with us anymore. He was 75 and lived through the 60s and 70s so I am sure he lived a bad-ass life.

In the 1960s he was experimenting with a stylized, soothingly fluid, almost Art Nouveau like manner with a modernized twist. The style of his work specifically for this film was typical for the era in its graphic, psychedelic and whimsical ways. The use of color and organic feeling corresponded perfectly with the nature of the time and music interpretation. The work was extremely imaginative. Nothing made sense but at the same time it made complete sense to the minds that chose to interpret it.

I’d like to say that this style and all that has influenced it is inspiring to me specifically. In my work I tend to lean towards a very stylized and colorfully graphic approach. It’s a way that I can try to entertain instantly with a playful and eye catching design.

Ironically once the film was complete, he altered his approach to avoid being categorized as a psychedelic artist, becoming considerably less airy and decorative and turning to what was on the surface his darker side. This in particular is something that I am sure many artists have a problem with.

I'll leave it with this: One of the first things Edelmann would tell a student was not to pursue a career in illustration. He believed that illustration was the quickest way to penury because, he would argue, illustrators were never adequately paid, unlike their colleagues in advertising.


(click image to enlarge)

1 comment:

  1. Nice post, Jess. As a big Beatles fan myself, this just made me realize I've only seen the Yellow Submarine once when I was like 10... I should really watch it again!