Printing with Pride: Aiste Stancikaite’s sensual homages to queer cinema – Features

Printing with Pride: Aiste Stancikaite’s sensual homages to queer cinema – Features

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A unique illustrator and designer team up honours the fine art of cinema posters, just in time for Pride Month.

LGBTQ+ Pride Month is sadly known more these days for bandwagon jumping retail stores getting out the rainbow colours than actual artistry, but one of our favourite agencies and artists is taking good care of that.

In a unique crossover between illustration and design, pencil marvel Aiste Stancikaite has collaborated with three studios for the Grand Matter-headed Alternative Stories project. Celebrating three films that dared to explore gender, sexuality and self expression, Aiste teamed up with Chris Clarke, iWant Design and Polytechnic for a loving celebration of both Pride Month and the art of the movie poster.

The movies to get that gorgeous Aiste aesthetic are The Danish Girl, Call Me By Your Name and Paris is Burning, and when we in the Digital Arts office were lucky to get a few prints in the post, we instantly reached out to Aiste to get the lowdown on the project.

Posters and type

“We wanted to create a series of film posters with the common themes of diversity and inclusivity, examined from different angles through different stories,” Aiste tells me by email.

“The project is a homage to the art of cinema posters. Each poster has a cinematographic composition which interacts with the different approaches to typography. It shows the variety of expression within the realm of film posters.”

Detail from Aiste’s work in progress for her Call Me By Your Name print

“It’s also a celebration of the uniqueness and diversity found in human stories. The films we chose included themes through LGBTQ+ experiences, which are still highly under-represented within the film industry. It was a great opportunity to develop a project with a meaningful message, as well as create and experiment within new aesthetic collaborations.”

Process and partnerships

“The creative process was slightly different with every studio. Polytechnic had a very clear vision of the poster they wanted to create for Paris is Burning, which I also really liked, so I followed their art direction whilst sharing my input for the imagery.

“For the Call Me By Your Name poster, Chris Clarke and I started by discussing some themes to focus on and took it from there.

“After a few rounds of sharing visual ideas, we found the perfect composition where the typography sensitively nestles within the form of the body, creating the perfect balance with the drawing.

“While working on The Danish Girl, I suggested a composition I’d like to explore, which John at iWant studio was happy to work with. He created the beautiful typography as a response to my drawing, with the subtle interaction between the two parts also referencing the themes within the film.”

Blurring the Boundaries

“This project is a great example of illustration and design coming together. My work tends not to be conventionally illustrative – my goal is often to create an image that can be applied as an illustration, yet also stands strong as artwork in its own right.

“Coming from a painting background, it is often a challenge for me to think from a designer’s perspective. It’s been great to see my drawings taken to new levels through the carefully matched typography and design elements brought in by the design studios.”

Pencils

“I do use Faber-Castell pencils for most of my colour drawings,” Aiste tells me when I notice the brand’s pencils in her work in progress shots.

They have a broad spectrum of rich, warm colours readily available in the art supply shops near me. It’s a German brand and I live in Berlin, so if I run out of a specific colour halfway through a drawing, I know I can easily find a replacement.

“I’d like to try out other brands too, but so far this has been the most convenient and gives great results.”

Pride is Eternal

“The release happened to coincide with Pride month, which really helped bring the message to life. However, I believe that the focus on these themes shouldn’t just be limited to one month, but be an ongoing conversation,” Aiste reminds us.

“For me personally, it is important to push for a society where I have the freedom to express myself without fear or the need for explanation, and where expectations and opportunities are not predetermined by gender or sexuality. Pride Month is a great opportunity to come together for these ideals, but it shouldn’t end there.”

Check out the prints here at Grand Matter.

Read next: Fleabag artist Jennifer Dioniso on how cinema inspires her timeless artistry


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