Netflix’s Malcolm & Marie is a filmmaking feat, turning one of the most pared-down movie experiences into an emotional rollercoaster that is anything but boring. By minimizing everything else beyond the property, Malcolm & Marie makes its strengths shine all the brighter: the characters feel iconic, Zendaya and John David Washington have never been better, and the writing and directing feel virtuosic in the way they churn a single night into a memorable, cathartic experience.

Netflix selected Talenthouse artists to bring to life this emotional and relatable look at the complexities of relationships and the hard truth of seeing your partners true self. We talked with the selected artists to get an inside peek at their creative process and gain some creative tips along the way.

  

DAMI ADEBAYO
New York City

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Dami is a visual artist and art director based in NYC. His work embodies a surreal and conceptual aesthetic that brings disparate elements together to capture the contradictory conditions of life. 

What inspiration did you draw most from the film, Malcolm & Marie, that inspired your artwork design and why?
The emotions, romance & moods using a black/white cinematography in the movie laid the first foundation for inspiration. Secondly, the setting which is mostly in their home. I wanted to have fun with that by levitating the home and placing them inside in two different rooms to represent distance which happens in most relationships.                                                                       

What was your creative process when approaching your artwork design for this project?
Creative process was first understanding the core meaning of the movie, "A story about love" and not a love story, then researching elements, images, hue, layouts and theme then merging these to create a paint styled artwork.

What is your signature trick or tool that you feel gives more originality or impact to your artwork?
My unique ability to conceptualize ideas into something out of this world usually in a surreal way will definitely give it its own originality without deviating from what the movie is about.                                            

In your opinion, what is special about black love?
Black love is special in every way, our individual experiences in society are very similar to each other which brings a stronger bond, understanding and strength that releases the depth, purity and richness of the love we have for each other. 

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SHAE ANTHONY
Atlanta

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Shae started SHE IS THIS as a way to inspire women of color and beyond - young and old to not just embrace their skin but celebrate it and everything it comes with.

What inspiration did you draw most from the film, Malcolm & Marie, that inspired your artwork design and why?
The black and white natural look of the film and the scenes of Marie boiling the pasta water really set the groundwork for this design. Tensions boiling during what should be a happy night - these two characters dueling through love.

What was your creative process when approaching your artwork design for this project?
I immediately knew I wanted the two characters back-to-back in the foreground, so I started there. Once I achieved the look I was going for, I layered in the background elements that helped tell the story. I feel like this is how the movie will be viewed. You have these two main characters and you'll either love them or hate them, but underneath, there will be so many other layers that will bring them to life. 

What is your signature trick or tool that you feel gives more originality or impact to your artwork?
My signature "tool" would be the smaller details that I add in to complete a piece. I usually start with larger forms and shapes and then slowly add in things like small line-work that really pushes the design up a bit. 

In your opinion, what is special about black love?
Black love is special because so many times it's portrayed in a negative light so having a film that digs deep into it and shows a story that's not often told, is a much-needed oddity.

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MAX SANSING
Chicago

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Max Sansing is a Chicago-based fine artist and one of the city’s most prolific and talented muralists. His distinct aesthetic fuses the color-drenched dynamism of street art with the technical elegance of photorealism.

What inspiration did you draw most from the film, Malcolm & Marie, that inspired your artwork design and why?
The tension and pleading to each other to see their point of view to save the bind they have hits home with me cause I’ve been in this situation. There’s an underlying fear of love falling apart in the complex bond of a relationship. There’s a lot of energy that goes into loving someone and to see it fall apart due to lack of understanding is heartbreaking. 

What was your creative process when approaching your artwork design for this project?
I got a mid-century modern style from the film. The house is like a stage for the drama to play out. I wanted to hit those notes with figure arrangement and show the intimacy and the tension between the characters. I don’t combine the highs and the lows in the emotions in one interlocking organic image with clean black and with tones with a simple red circle representing tension. 

What is your signature trick or tool that you feel gives more originality or impact to your artwork?
I believe my composition and color choices are a string hallmark of my work. I often add many symbols in my portraits adding to the storytelling nature of the work. 

In your opinion, what is special about black love?
I’ve been married for about 3 months now. Black love is unique in that only with ups and downs that every relationship may encounter, you also have to deal with racial issues which from a cultural point can be a great bonding vibe but also there’s an empathy when dealing with hardships that only another black person can understand. The ideas of excellence, representation and parenthood are all things that can have a uniqueness in black love.

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