By Blake Garris
Addict Clothing and Marvel have partnered together to create premium custom tees with designs from three UK illustrators at the very top of their game. We spoke with one of those artists Alex ‘Odisy’ Young who produces detailed illustrations, pointillist canvases and huge murals all influenced by his background in comics, skateboarding, graffiti and tattoo culture about his Iron Man design which you can see below.
Marvel.com: How did you get involved with the Addict Marvel series?
Odisy: Jay [Hamdaoui] from Addict knew my work as a graffiti artist and illustrator. He got me involved doing the Avengers Assemble billboard painting. From there I was asked to do some t-shirt designs.
Marvel.com: Tell us about your experience doing the Assemble Live project.
Odisy: The Avengers Assemble billboard painting was great fun (apart from the rain). Me and my boy, Tizer, spent four days painting it with people tweeting in and voting which Avengers characters they wanted us to paint next. It was filmed and there was a live feed online, followed up by a time lapse of the four days.
There was a lot of positive feedback from people on the street as well as online. It really meant a lot to me to do a painting for Marvel having been a fan for so many years.
|Addict Iron Man shirt designed by Odisy|
Marvel.com: So you've been a fan of Marvel for a while now?
Odisy: I've been a comic collector and a big fan of Marvel since I was a kid.
Marvel.com: Do you have any Marvel comics in your collection that you cherish more than others?
Odisy: I have a copy of The Amazing Spider-Man #301 which, in my opinion, is one of the best Spider-Man front covers of all time. It is an incredibly dynamic pose and a stripped back graphic background. As an illustration is could be transferred to a poster, t-shirt, tattoo etc. without any changes. It was an instant classic. This was Todd McFarlane at his Marvel best. His illustration style and storytelling in The Amazing Spider-Man shook the comic world at the time and made him the most talked about name in comics. I spent a lot of time back then copying his panels. I'd say my copy of #301 is well loved. Others might say it's in very bad condition. Either way it's an important book for me both as a comic fan and an illustrator.
Marvel.com: Do you have any other favorite Marvel illustrators?
Odisy: Of course, Jack Kirby. Where would we be without Kirby? Steve McNiven -- incredible figurative work. John Buscema. Alex Ross. Bill Sienkiewicz. Jim Lee.
Marvel.com: Where did you come up with the idea for your designs?
Odisy: I tried to draw on my experiences in different artforms to come up with my ideas for the designs, not just comic artwork. Marvel already does "The Marvel Style." I wanted to add some of the dynamics and flow from graffiti as well as some of the techniques I know from working as an illustrator. I exaggerated the characters' movement, shape and environment to add my own twist while still staying true to the core of the originals.
Marvel.com: For your Iron Man design, did you use Mark Silvestri's cover as inspiration?
Odisy: That cover was definitely an inspiration. I wanted to do a classic Iron-Man-flying-towards-the-viewer composition and make it like the scene in the first movie where he's being chased by two planes. I added background elements to make it look like a target.
Marvel.com: How did you decide on which characters to use?
Odisy: I chose Spider-Man because there's a lot of scope with him. His webbing was always going to be a useful illustrative element. I wanted to get a city in there and he sees the city from all angles so it was an opportunity to really abstract that.
Iron Man is metal and he flies. That's mad cool. Fighter jets, missiles, high octane speed... It's a no brainer.
Marvel.com: Can you tell fans about your background in art, especially graffiti?
Odisy: I've always been drawing. I got into graffiti properly in the early 90's. I went to art college in the late 90's studying illustration. In mid 2000's I started doing more large scale mural work and travelled to different countries to paint with my crew. I currently work as a tattoo artist, illustrator and graffiti artist in London.
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