It’s been a hard few weeks and I’ve been very quiet as I gradually ease back into work.
Losing Dad was a massive blow and we’re still all trying to deal with it and get used to him being gone. I’ve had some amazing support from the rest of the family as well as some very understanding clients who totally understood why my output suddenly ground to a halt. One new client who I’ve never even met who has been through the same situation recently even offered advice and support which I had no reason to expect from him. So I’m massively grateful to everyone for being so amazing.
One of the things I used to do with Dad was call him up to tell him about my work, complain about the occasional awkward client, and discuss future plans. So it’s a hard thing to get used to.
I’m back at work now and getting back into my old routine. I’m still thoroughly enjoying working on the Dangerous Children graphic novel and one of the good things about it is the massive variety of designs it calls for.
An upcoming scene involves a dramatic chase scene with some futuristic/retro motorcycles. Hard surface modelling is always a bit of a challenge so it was really great to work on a few futuristic cycles. I’ve never ridden a bike in my life but creating these has kind of made me want to join a biker gang.
My last post told you about my little cat guardian Josh. For a few months he was a regular visitor and would chase off any other kitty who dared to cross the threshold. But he started to act a little strangely recently. He started to run from me and I wondered what I could have done to upset him. Then I encountered my neighbour who was trying to coax Josh out from under a parked car. Poor Josh was trembling and ran away.
She explained that the poor guy recently got beaten up by another larger cat and ever since he’s been a nervous wreck and running from everyone. I found him yesterday under my car hiding from the rain, so I went to say hello. He wouldn’t come to me, so I slid a saucer of milk and a piece of chicken under there. He wouldn’t touch it while I was there, but I found the empty saucer later. So hopefully he’ll learn to trust people again.
In the spirit of cat guardians, here’s another kind of Kitty. Hopefully she’ll watch out for Josh while leaping across the rooftops.
Having a great year so far on the illustration front. I’ve been working on an amazing project with author Mark Morrow. Mark is putting together an amazing graphic novel adaptation of his novel “Dangerous Children”, a tale of interdimensional travel, cyborg teenagers, robotic rhinos, and wall climbing jet cycles. So plenty of scope for an illustrator like me! It’s a really collaborative experience as I’ve been working with Dennis Fallon and his team of story board artists, and Shari Wickstrom who provided concept art. My job is to provide the final artwork for the whole novel.
The project also has some ties with LucasFilm and Star Wars veteran Gary Rydstrom who’s been offering guidance and feedback on the project. It’s all going really well so far!
It’s been a while since my last post as I’ve been having a really busy year so far. I’m really pleased to be working on a great sci-fi project for author Col Jonathan Brazee. Jonathan in a retired US Marine Colonel who now writes military themed sci-fi novels.
I love sci-fi so was delighted to have the chance to create some hard as nails space marines. The image turned out really well and I can’t wait to see it available to buy.
It’s been a while since I’ve posted but it’s been a busy few months. 2017 seems set to be the year things kick up a gear for me work wise and I’ve got some exciting projects in the works. One of my new jobs was secured on the strength of my monster work, so in that spirit here’s my offering to the old god Cthulhu!
I’m coming to the the end of my comic project and it’s been a huge learning experience. I’ve picked up a ton of new tricks and my workflow is a lot smoother.
The author seems pretty pleased with the results and is now in the middle of a rewrite to make sure the art and text blend together seamlessly.
I’m hoping to get more work in book covers after this, but also have plenty of comic work coming in too. Can’t wait to get to the end of this one and see the finished project. Just two more pages to go!
Really exciting to see the amazing reaction to my latest image in the ongoing Barmouth series. After showing the image on facebook, so far I’ve reached 10 thousand people in just a couple of days. That’s by far the best reaction I’ve had so far. The comments I’ve been receiving have been overwhelmingly positive.
“You make our town come alive with these drawings.”
“I love it.This picture not only captures the look of Barmouth, but also the character and “feel” of the place”
When I first started this series I had no idea if the local people would like my style and the fairytale look for the images so it’s really gratifying to see this reaction.
I’m not sure where to draw next, but I’ve had a few requests for the church and that means I might be able to fit in the famous (C)arousal cafe, complete with its oft stolen letter ‘C’.
In the 90s there was a pretty cool anime out there called “Guyver. Bioboosted Armor.” There were a couple of terrible live actions movies, but they never came close to nailing the awesomeness of the cartoon. I loved the design of the bio-suit and I was always doodling it while I watched the VHS tapes of the show.
When I first started getting into illustration as more than a hobby I attempted a version of the battered Guyver helmet. At the time I was pretty happy with it, but now it makes me cringe!
Last night I decided to take another crack at it, and it’s really gratifying to see I’ve made some progress over the last few years.
I was recently contacted to do a little job that turned out to be exactly the kind of work I love.
Sarah Mackie has written a great story of time travel set in an apocalyptic future full of natural disasters and personal tragedies. Weirdly it was titled “Out of time” which is the second time I’ve worked on a story with that title.
Sarah had a very specific idea of what the cover should look like and I managed to complete it in record time. I think character based images that are full of atmospheric lighting effects might be my speciality.
When it came to that nervous moment where I have to show the client the first draft Sarah came back right away with the words “WOW! Nailed it!”
I love to draw lighting. Maybe I should do an illustration of Thor! Or even Tesla!
I thought I’d do a little recap of how things have been going since I left the world of banking and started on my journey to become a professional artist.
Since taking the leap into full time illustration I’ve taken some pretty big strides with my work. I’ve shifted from being solely a photoshop artist to primarily using Zbrush 3D as my main piece of software. Zbrush gives a totally different effect from most other workflows out there, and by using it I can achieve incredible textures and detail including everything from atmospheric lighting to animal fur and chainmail.
Since going full time I’ve had a lot of great projects to work on including a children’s horror series published by Wayland, a number of fantasy covers, comics, children’s books and even a couple of projects from Hollywood writers and producers. Not a bad start. I’m finding that my best work is usually based around animals and I seem to be attracting a lot of authors who write about adventurous beasties such as this cover for Gila Basalo’s “Bugsintown”.
Aside from continuing to work on children’s titles, my other target is to work on comics. I’ve put together some pretty decent mock covers that I hope will cause a stir at conventions and land me some work.
To this end I’ve been lucky enough to find support and encouragement from one of the big names of the comic world, Charlie Adlard. Charlie is the current artist on the incredibly popular Walking Dead series, and he’s been kind enough to help promote, guide and nudge me in the right artistic direction.
It’s been a great year so far and I can’t wait to see what the next big project might be.