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WeLoveFine: Jerry Bennett Q&A, X-Men Design Contest Winner

Hear from Jerry Bennett, the Judges' Pick from WeLoveFine's X-Men design contest!

Mighty Fine recently spoke with Jerry Bennett, Judge's Prize Winner of WeLoveFine's X-Men T-Shirt Design Contest. Awarded by Marvel's own Executive Editorial Director Ryan Penagos, aka Agent M, Bennett won $400 and his very own shirt design that you can buy at the WeLoveFine.com store.

WeLoveFine: Hi Jerry! For the folks who are meeting you for the first time, tell us some of your background -- where you're from, your design experience, etc.

Jerry Bennett: I'm a lifelong OKIE. Born and Raised in Oklahoma City. And with the Internet, I'll never have to leave if I don't want to.

My design experience is heavily influenced by my love of comics. I grew up on Marvel Comics, beginning with Transformers (I had that title and Web of Spider-Man mailed to me when I was a pup!)

Jerry Bennett's winning design for WeLoveFine's X-Men contest
: Where did the concept for "Science is a Beast" come from for the X-Men vs. Wolverine Contest?

Jerry Bennett: Knowing Hank McCoy's penchant for all things science, and the popularity of science in the social media world, this design just made sense.

WeLoveFine: Did you know when you started that Beast was the character you wanted to design into, or did you have other ideas for additional characters as well?

Jerry Bennett: Oh, my mind was exploding with ideas, but there's only so much time. I actually designed and created four entries (One a collaboration with Matt Parsons) that were rated rather well in the contest.

WeLoveFine: Are there particular comics artists that influenced this design, or who influence your work in general?

Bennett: My work is constantly influenced by the likes of Stuart Immonen, Olivier Coipel, Chris Bachalo, Chris Samnee, Leinil Yu and many, many more. They also happen to be drawing the very comics I'm currently reading, which tends to influence my work.

Jerry Bennett's winning design for WeLoveFine's Avengers contest
You were also a winner in WeLoveFine's Avengers design contest last year! Given a choice, which team of Marvel heroes is your favorite to draw (or do you have one?)

Jerry Bennett: May I plead the fifth? Actually, I love drawing all of them.

WeLoveFine: Building on that, are there other Marvel teams/characters you haven't drawn yet that you'd like to have a crack at?

Jerry Bennett: Spider-Man would be the ultimate dream! But, I'd love to take a stab at the Guardians of the Galaxy, as well. Honestly, I'd be in seventh heaven if I got to draw any team at Marvel Comics for a living!

Marvel.com: Do you find it harder to design for a t-shirt or other apparel, or is it easier to have a specific style parameter like that in mind?

Jerry Bennett: I love the unique challenge of designing something that someone would actually want to wear on their chest. People usually wear shirts with designs to make a statement or to proudly showcase things they love for all the world to see. It's a blast when I see people sporting my designs proudly on their social media pages!

WeLoveFine: What current styles and trends in the wide-reaching realm of fan art and online design do you find exciting, and who are some other up and coming designers whose work you admire?

Bennett: There are too many exciting trends to list, but the Nouveau and Cereal Box designs have been awesome to see for certain. I'm always a sucker for clever mash-ups, too. The list of designers I admire is too long to list, but I will say I'm part of an elite shirt design group called the RBC, and they are chock FULL of amazing artists! They've been an inspiration to me on this shirt design journey!

To check out Jerry's t-shirt design and other Marvel-inspired shirts, visit WeLoveFine.com.
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