Artist Dennis Loren had a productive 2013 with the addition of five designs to the Moonalice poster series. When Dennis wasn’t busy designing posters, he managed to squeeze in two trips back to his hometown of Detroit for a couple of weeks. It’s always a delight to chat with Dennis, and we recently sat down with him and discussed some of his highlights from the past year. Dennis shared what his favorite poster design from last year was and gave us a little insight to the other posters he designed for Moonalice in 2013.
Hello all Moonalice fans, Dennis Loren here. Our webmaster Nick Cernak asked me to say a few words about my favorite poster that I created for Moonalice in 2013. The funny thing is, I like them all for different reasons, but if I had to choose my “hands down favorite,” I would have to pick the one I did for Moonalice’s April 26th, 2013 gig at the Golden Sails Hotel in Long Beach. This was also one of Roger’s favorites. He sent me an email after he saw it and said, “I love it, Love it, Love it. It has just enough of a Winnie the Pooh vibe to make my day.” It made my day that he liked it so much that he dropped me a line to tell me this. I like making posters that tell a story in one panel. The viewer is always welcome to make up their own story, just as Roger does with his clever Moonalice legends that accompany each poster.
My story behind this poster goes like this. After my mother Dorothy passed away in 1950, my dad, brother David and I moved into my grandparents house on the Southwest side of Detroit. One of the things that I have always liked about tree lined neighborhoods in the Detroit area are the squirrels. They almost become part of the family whose tree they live in – ha!!! My grandmother Amanda use to give my brother David a pocket full of nuts just before he would go out to play in the backyard. She would tell him that if he saw the squirrel come out of the tree, he should hold a couple of nuts in the palm of his hand and just maybe the squirrel would come over and take the nuts out of his hand.
One day back in the early 1950s I was sitting on the back porch reading. David soon came out with a bubble blower and a bottle of soap bubbles. As usual, he was also carrying his stuffed tiger that dad had bought for him at one of the Detroit Tigers baseball games we all went to. I watched as David started blowing bubbles. It was almost a magical signal to the squirrel who came climbing down the tree. I said, “David look the squirrel wants some nuts. Sure enough he reached in his pocket for a couple nuts. Just as grandma had taught him, he calmly got down on his knees and reached out his hand with the palm open and sure enough the squirrel came a took the nut one at a time out of his hand. David would grin from ear to ear when this happened. There really is no moral to my story other than the joy & happiness that can happen with life’s simple pleasures.
All of my other Moonalice posters have stories behind behind them too, but I will just mention the themes that I write down as ideas to get me started with the creative process. With just a little visualization, it doesn’t take me very long to come up with a solid vision that I can bring to life using illustration or montage techniques. Often I use a combination of both Illustration and photographic images.
For my Moonalice 420 poster the theme was “Climate Change & The Environment.”
My 4th of July poster the theme was the very patriotic “Screaming Eagle Guitar Delivery Service” – ha!!!
The theme for the Albany, New York poster was “Urban Neighborhoods Returning To Nature Across America.” Detroit is a prime example of this, but so are cities around the country like Camden, New Jersey, The statue of Dante and his twin is a metaphor for how a person thinks about this situation as either “Heaven or Hell.”
And last but not least is the December 13th Long Beach poster. The theme for this image is “Inventions,”
“And by the way, aren’t the poster designs by ALL the other Moonalice artists just wonderful? I want to thank both Chris Shaw & Alexandra Fischer (the Moonalice art direction dynamic duo) and Moonalice for all the freedom they give me to come up with interesting imagery for my poster designs. If you have been in this business as long as I have, you know what a tremendous thing this is. There are no ‘focus groups’ or ‘design committees’ to shoot down that initial inspiration or ask you to change this or that. When artists have this kind of freedom – in my opinion – they come up with their best work.”
Fans can expect to see more amazing work by Dennis in 2014. Join the Moonalice Mailing List to stay updated with future events.