Exclusive: Interview with MARVEL'S: AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D. Concept Artist Phillip Boutte Jr.

Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D (2013) "Lorelei"concept art Phillip Boutte Jr.
Check out my exclusive interview with Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D concept artist Phillip Boutte Jr.!

Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D is one of my favorite shows this year. It's still in a ratings slump, but the series is taking it to the next level to bring in viewers. ABC is creating a multi-episode event known as "Uprising" and Ian de Caestecker, who plays Agent Fitz on the show, says the show is becoming "lot more exciting and more appealing."

"I think the first half of the season was quite episodic, de Caestecker said, "Now we are starting to get into much more of week-by-week development - rather than just an episodic story of the week - which I find a lot more exciting and more appealing. There are a lot more things coming out about each character in the latter half of the season. I think it is really hitting its stride and turning into the show that it wants to be."

Guest stars are a big part of the rest of the season. This week Lady Sif (Jaimie Alexander) will make an appearance and the last episode "T.A.H.I.T.I." had an appearance by Elena Satine as Lorelei the sister of Amora the Enchantress. Over the weekend ABC tweeted concept art of Lorelei and I had an interview with concept artist Phillip Boutte Jr. who talked about working on the show and the challenges and joys he has working closely with costume designer Ann Foley.

Boutte Jr. is a professional costume concept artist who's worked on major Hollywood movies like Man of Steel (2013), Inception (2011) and X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009).

Click on the images to enlarge

Maurice Mitchell: It's great to talk to you again Phillip! I guess the first question is how did you start working on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D ?
Phillip Boutte Jr.: Ann and I have known each other since the beginning of my career back in 2007. We have always gotten along and enjoyed working together. When she took the job on S.H.I.E.L.D, she contacted me to do an illustration for the character Mike Petterson. I was so excited not only to work on the show but to get a chance to work with Ann on her first big venture in the land of television.

MM: What's it like working on the show?
PB: Working on the show is great! I love the crew and we all get along well. It has been a great learning experience for me. I have been able to not only work with Ann as she fleshes out a design but I get to work with Kelly, the cutter fitter as well. He is responsible for making a lot of the garments that end up on the characters. Because everything is custom and made to order, it is very important for me as illustrator to draw things that can realistically be made.

MM: You've been designing mostly original costumes so what's it like adapting characters from the comics?
PB: Ann's design process always starts with what is real and a lot of research. She studies the comic character's look, then turns to fashion and history to translate the character's look into reality. I really appreciate the amount of work she does to get a character just right. She also, very much so, cares about the source material which is a big plus on my nerd radar. She wants to know that the character will be recognizable to fans but she also wants to make sure they look like they fit into the world without being too over the top or too overly designed. She balances that nicely so it makes it easy for me to illustrate the characters that I love so much. I feel like the designs are always respectful and don't stray too far away from who the character is.

Also, you should see how much Ann and the team are able to do in such a SHORT amount of time! It's mind boggling.

MM: It is mind-boggling considering the speed of television. What was the inspiration for Lorelei's costume?
PB: Ann wanted her to be chic, regal, and sexy. She wanted her to feel otherworldly. An enigma to this world. She also, again, very much so wanted her to feel like the character off the page. We did several renditions of her based of her many iconic looks from the pages of the comics. The one that stuck immediately was the one shoulder gown look. From there, everything else seemed to fall into place. Ann also wanted to make sure the color of her garment matched as closely to what we see in the comic as possible.

By making the decision to use Chiffon, it gave her the ability the layer the color you see with slight variations of blues, greens and teals. The end result looks beautiful and much better than it would if she only used one flat color. That's the magic of costume design in a nutshell! LOL

MM: How closely do the costumes on the show match the concept designs?
PB: For folks reading at home, keep in mind that all these sketches were done prior to the costume being fabricated. I say this because since they look so photo real, I get a lot of people asking me if I touch them up or paint them after completion of the costume.  The sketches presented are what Ann and I take to the producers to get them to sign off on the garments. From there, Kelly gets to work shaping them into reality.

I'm very proud of the work I have done on the show as it is detailed, precise, and matches the end product almost to a tee.

See more of Phillip Boutte Jr.'s inspiring portfolio at http://phillipbouttejr.carbonmade.com and learn more about Ann Foley's brilliant career on her IMDb page. Plus, check out an interview she had with Tyranny of Style about working on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

Click on the links if you want to see more of Phillip Boutte Jr.'s work or Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D on my blog.

Thanks to Jay Jayson (Nailbiter111) for the heads up on the tweet!

What do you think of the concept art? If you've seen Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D what did you think?

Official Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Series Synopsis
Clark Gregg reprises his role of Agent Phil Coulson from Marvel’s feature films, as he assembles a small, highly select group of Agents from the worldwide law-enforcement organization known as S.H.I.E.L.D. Together they investigate the new, the strange, and the unknown across the globe, protecting the ordinary from the extraordinary. Coulson's team consists of Agent Grant Ward (Brett Dalton), highly trained in combat and espionage; Agent Melinda May (Ming-Na Wen), expert pilot and martial artist; Agent Leo Fitz (Iain De Caestecker), brilliant engineer; and Agent Jemma Simmons (Elizabeth Henstridge), genius bio-chemist. Joining them on their journey into mystery is new recruit and computer hacker, Skye (Chloe Bennet). Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Marvel’s first television series, is from executive producers Joss Whedon (Marvel's The Avengers, Buffy the Vampire Slayer), Jed Whedon & Maurissa Tancharoen, who co-wrote the pilot (Dollhouse, Dr.Horrible's Sing-Along Blog). Jeffrey Bell (Angel, Alias) and Jeph Loeb (Smallville, Lost, Heroes) also serve as executive producers. Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is produced by ABC Studios and Marvel Television.
Starring: Clark Gregg, Ming-Na Wen, Brett Dalton, Chloe Bennet, Iain De Caestecker, Elizabeth Henstridge
Created by Joss Whedon, Jed Whedon, Maurissa Tancharoen
Cinematography by David Boyd
Series airdate: September 24, 2013
Official Website: http://www.agentsofshield.com
© Copyright ABC Studios, Marvel Television, Mutant Enemy. All rights reserved


  1. Another great post. Love the artwork. I don't know the show but you've piqued my curiosity.

  2. Thanks! Try and catch it on Tuesday nights.

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  3. Beautiful artwork!

    The Enchantress's name is Amora, not Aurora.

  4. Whoa. Thanks for the correction!  Its been fixed.


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