5 Minutes With MUTI

5 Minutes With MUTI

Cape Town based Studio MUTI who got their name from the traditional Zulu word for Medicine are one of the 9 artists exhibiting at The Great Guillermo. We chatted to them about their process, movies and the medication they need as designers to get them through the day.

How would you describe your style?

The answer would have to be: Eclectic. Each brief has its own means and nuances determining the direction and treatment of the design. This was a dream brief with great direction and colour palette to start the inspiration. We tried to honour Guillermo’s unique Gothic/Victorian vision by looking at 19th Century scratchboard illustrations and etchings from masters like Gustav Doré and even earlier artists like Albrecht Durer, applying those treatments to imagery from the film.

Which Guillermo Del Toro film have you decided to base your book cover design on and why?

Hellboy II: The Golden Army was a great choice. Being a fan of the Mike Mignola Hellboy character and comics, we loved the lush fantastical treatment Guillermo gave him on the Silver Screen.

How much of the film did you watch before getting a clear idea of how you were going to approach this illustration?

We watched the film once, then went through it again pulling out select elements that sung the key notes of the story. We made sure to include the characters that featured most prominently and who were not in the first film. This film (spoilers!…not really) is about an Elven Prince wanting to reclaim earth from man’s destructive grasp and restore balance to nature, by obliterating mankind with the use of a Goblin-built Golden Army. However mankind’s unlikeliest champion stands in his way! Hellboy!

How different was your design process knowing that the final image was going to be interpreted as a screen print?

Since the idea was to support the portrait and type elements of the book with detailed labyrinthine imagery, we worked super hi-res. We didn’t want anything to get lost or bleed so the end result required a super tight threshold image utilising only black and white, creating mid tones through contoured hachuring to indicate the forms.

Is this the first time you’ve made work in response to a film?

No, we’ve done artworks inspired by Sergio Leone’s ‘The Good, The Bad and The Ugly’ as well as Terry Gilliam’s ‘Brazil’ for the Not For Rental exhibition. We’ve also created tribute artwork to Quentin Tarantino’s ‘Pulp Fiction’ to honour its 20th anniversary.

Which 3 tools could you not live without?

1.Coffee, 2.Google, 3.Manga Studios for it’s amazing pressure sensitivity.

Close ups of the Muti Hellboy II screen print for The Great Guillermo
A sneak peek of the Hellboy II screen print by Muti and a shot of the black layer being printed.


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