EXCLUSIVE! Artist Justin Besana on meaningful elements in ‘Darna’ poster

Published July 14, 2022, 4:28 PM

by Stephanie Bernardino

Fans have long been aching for Darna’s return.

This is made obvious in their reaction to the release of anything related to the series.

In fact, its trailer went viral.

The official poster also trended on different social media platforms.

It’s creator, graphic artist Justin Besana talked about it recently with Bulletin Entertainment.

According to him, the poster connects to the teaser and it’s heavily inspired by Darna’s first-ever transformation scene in the upcoming show.

“It’s really faithful to the series,” he said.

He’s happy that people were able to decode most of the symbolic imagery he injected into the poster — Darna’s silhouette in seeming take-off position, Darna’s insignia as represented by the ruins, Filipino elements such as the jeep and a tricycle, and the snake, which symbolizes Valentina.

“For me, visual storytelling is important so we made sure that it’s engaging. That’s why we injected a lot of subtle, meaningful elements into the poster,” Justin explained.

“Safe to say that it’s effective. Nag-viral siya. It generated discussion online and that’s something you cannot do forcefully,” he added.

Successful as it was, Justin admitted he was jittery days prior to the launch.

“The pressure kasi is there since it’s a tentpole project,” he said.

“Fast forward to the launch, reviews are in, and we were really happy with the positive feedback. Bumalik yung anticipation sa Darna kasi parang nag-die down for a while.”

Note the poster was dropped randomly.  

“Even countdown, wala talaga,” Justin maintained.

But there’s one thing that fans did not notice.

According to Justin, the whole composition is inspired by the national flag.

You have to rotate it counterclockwise to see it.

Justin reiterated, “Of course, not everyone will like our work but the magnitude of support we are getting is far more intense than the bashing we receive.”

He takes the criticism with a grain of salt.

“Siguro I accepted the fact that it’s also part of the whole experience, our field, and we learn from them.”

Justin thanked everyone who have been supportive of their work.  

“I’m just at the forefront of the poster-making but it’s really a byproduct of our team’s hard work,” he said. “When you appreciate me, you appreciate the whole team, and we are so grateful for the continued support.”

Justin is also the designer behind the posters of ABS-CBN’s “Flower of Evil” and “The Broken Marriage Vow.”

Helmed by acclaimed filmmaker Chito S. Roño with director Avel Sunpongco, “Mars Ravelo’s Darna: The TV Series” will start airing this August.