When the Time Beards invited me to do a piece for their Kurt Russell “Deep Cuts” Art Show, I knew I wanted to do something non-print and considered doing everything from 3D prints, laser cut acrylic, and wood cuts.
I also had a hard time deciding which movie to pick and had started digitally illustrating Lo Pan from Big Trouble in Little China, intending to have him cut out of acrylic and back lit to look menacing.
While looking for laser cutters to cut acrylic, I took a second look at Kurt Russell to see what other pieces I could create and realized what I loved about his characters was their goofiness and their varying beard lengths and glorious manes. So I decided to set aside Lo Pan and do the different personas of Kurt and chose Escape from New York’s Snake Plissken, The Thing’s J.R MacReady, Big Trouble in Little China’s Jack Burton, Deathproof’s Stuntman Mike, and The Fox and the Hound’s Copper, although Copper was never finished :(.
The easiest thing about this project was the vector illustration. I even streamed a few on Twitch. The painstaking part was having an idea of cut out art pieces come to life; from getting the individual pieces cut to priming an gluing the pieces correctly to painting and varnishing. Pagoda Arts here in SF did a wonderful job cutting out the wood pieces with only a single day turnaround at an affordable price. If you’re looking for a good place for laser cuts, I highly recommend them. After receiving the wood cut outs, I primed all of the individual pieces, gessoing and sanding 2-3 layers, glued the layers in place, and painted them with acrylic. I also spent extra time detailing each piece like hand stippling Snake and Jack’s beard.
The show itself was a success. There was never a dull moment, the venue constantly being packed with Kurt Russell and art fans. We were honored with some GoGi wine, Kurt Russell’s winery’s wine, to christen the show and some warm words of wisdom from Kurt himself. The other art pieces were absolutely stunning and the artists behind them were even more so!
Prints from the show are available via Little Print Monsters!