Making A Glow In The Dark Poster

In 2013 for a brief moment in time you could purchase Clinton Reno’s “I Want You To Hit Me As Hard As You Can”. It went on sale for $30 and was sold out the same day. According to this Reddit post only 40 were ever made. The poster became a sort of obsession for me. One that I revisited over the years.

When the poster was first offered up for sale, I was a penniless PhD Student and couldn’t afford a cup of coffee, let alone $30 for a poster. By the time I decided to buy it anyway it was sold out. The next week it went for $150 on e-bay. Last year I found one for $700. I am not going to pay $700 for a Fight Club poster. That is against the whole point of the movie.

After so many years, I decided to take some liberties, and reproduce a copy of it. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery after all. The problem was that I didn’t have access to anything that you would use for this kind of project. No screen printing equipment. No photo emulsion solution… Figured out these things were not easy to find in Denmark. So I had to come up with my own process.

I found some photos of the poster online, taken both in day light and in the dark. The resolution and the angle were awful. So I increased resolution with waifu2x. It is machine learning algorithm trained to increase the resolution of anime pictures. It generally does a good job of increasing resolution. Then I modified the two images with GIMP until they could be overlaid and would be correct when printed on a paper.

Printed the results, took some masking tape and started making a mask for it. Yeah no sane man should bother with this. I wouldn’t if it wasn’t my hobby project.

After this, I took some glow in the dark paint and applied with a wide brush. The first problem appeared when I tried to remove the masking tape. It damaged the underlying image… Oh well, I tell myself damage gives it a grungier look.

Here is the end result:

The glow in the dark paint dried with a thick residue, that is why even in the morning light you can see Tyler’s silhouette a bit.

So I went and got it printed on thick matte poster paper and tried again. This time I only used masking tape for Tyler and parts of Jack. Everything else I painted by hand. Larger scale and smaller brushes made for a better outcome.

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