The monster that’s seldom seen (but fun to say) evades capture even in art. Combining photography, type, and illustration, Eric successfully pairs the visual with the experiential, delivering that horrible feeling you get when seaweed brushes your leg, if not the creature itself.
An interview with our own Eric Bargenda on his silver-winning submission, Ogopogo, in the Graphis Poster Annual 2014 competition.
T+K: Ogopogo – an interesting word. Why the fascination with lake monsters?
Eric: I worked as a fishmonger for two years and it bred in me an appreciation for all scaly, swimming creatures. To this day, I won’t eat anything that swims. This includes vacationers.
T+K: You’ve combined a few design elements here that together create an interesting composition honouring Canada’s Loch Ness Monster. Can you shed some light on your work?
Eric: I wanted to have a a bit of a fun with the execution, which is why I went with the vector illustrations, specifically the skulls in the corners and motor boat. The murky black and white photo is a clear reference to all those retro amateur footage and stills that constitute the ‘evidence’ from childhood books and tv specials. The photo is eerie and establishes an appropriate sense of dread, while the supporting elements restore lightness.I think it contrasts nicely with the colour palette and illustrative approach.
Also, please don’t compare Ogopogo to Nessie. That’s just insulting.
T+K: Is Ogopogo real?
Eric: I can’t say for sure, but what I can tell you is that I swam in that lake a few years back and something felt wrong about it. Luckily, I remembered to pack my Holga camera that day because just as I surfaced after executing the perfect jack knife off the tip of our rental speed boat, I noticed three finned humps about 40 feet off the bow.
Being a guy who loves a good cryptozoological sighting, I hurried to the boat, dug out the camera and snapped a few pics. I did it! Now I would meet with Leonard Nimoy. When I got the pictures developed, the craziest thing — all the images were overexposed! It could be I exposed the roll of film during loading or the more logical explanation: aliens.
T+K: In examining enduring cryptozoological questions, what do you feel your design brings to the debate?
Eric: The truth. These things do exist and they will rise up and rule us all.
T+K: In a subaquatic cage match, where would you put your money – Nessie or Ogopogo?
Eric: Seriously? No contest, Ogopogo. That’s like asking who would win in a fight: Daniel Craig’s James Bond or the Smurf that wears the glasses.
T+K: You have an interesting theory on the use of hand-drawn type as a means of engaging the Sasquatch. Please expand.
Eric: I’d rather not go into too much detail but… The Brushman, or Na’in to his believers, is a very interesting man/beast. Raw, natural, hairy — organic before it was a trend. Basically, I believe what we know as hand-drawn typography today is based on primitive log carvings found in forests inhabited by the Sasquatch. I really don’t want to say much more right now, but you can download the fully illustrated theory on my website,www.hischeandthebeast.com, though it isn’t live just yet…
This poster received a Silver Graphis Award.
Size: 18 x 24″