Please describe what you do.
I’m a digital illustrator, incorporating a variety of disciplines from 3D art to a mixture of 3D and photo or a mixture of photo and digital paint and sometimes just digital paint. My work ranges from architectural jobs to background art and the occasional cartoony style illustration.
What are some of the projects you have worked on / clients or studios you've worked with?
I think the majority of my work seems to have involved zombies! Much of my work is of an urban, dark, horror vibe and so that attracts those clients. I’m currently working on a project that’s under NDA but features a very well-known zombie franchise. I’ve also worked on a couple of role playing games including Infected
by Immersion Studios and one called Zurvival
. I’ve also worked with Atomhawk Design in the UK on some background/concept art as well as a small game company in France called SDP Games, again doing background art, this time for a hidden object game.
What’s the most important tool you use?
I suppose it is Photoshop. With 3ds max being a close second. Nothing out of the norm really.
Whose work (both past and present) do you really admire and why?
I’m a little schizophrenic when it comes to art that I like - when you consider some of the art work that I do. Possibly my favourite digital artist is Nathan Fowkes, best known for vivid, vibrant and colourful environments for the likes of Dreamworks (so not at all like my work!). His work is so realistic and alive in terms of accurate and beautiful lighting. I also love Luc Desmarchelier, known for his concept art on Hotel Transylvania. His environments are epic, even when just done with a pencil. I love fictional architecture design and he does that brilliantly. Then there’s always Craig Mullins, obviously. I also follow a few current traditional artists because their brush work is incredible, whereas the norm seems to be to study the old masters and maybe leave out the living ones.
What do you like to do away from the computer?
Well, in recent years I haven’t done much away from the computer because I’ve been busy learning how to paint. I’m fairly new to it really. But I’ve just moved from the UK to Seattle and all I want to do is travel around and see new things. The whole of North America is mesmerising and I want to make sure I get out and see it!
Is there something you are currently working on, or are excited about starting, that you can tell us about?
Well, there is something I’m working on and I am excited about it, but alas I can’t talk about it! I’m also trying to come up with my own IP ideas as I’m a reasonably competent writer. So I would like to marry the writing with the art and come up with something weird and unusual.
Can you tell us about the above image?
So the ‘Distracting Zombies
’ image a.k.a. The Ikea piece
(hehe) was done as a promotional piece for the Infected
game I mentioned earlier. I was given pretty much free reign to do what I wanted with a few parameters such as conveying a world that, yes, had zombies in, but also looked like it had been shelled and destroyed a little. I don’t know where it came from but I was doing some not-so-good thumbnails and then somehow found a picture of an Ikea at night with a shopping trolley outside it. And I thought that would make a good setting for a zombie apocalypse because we all recognise the brand. So if we destroy that common, universal, household brand then we can convey ‘apocalypse’ in a way that everyone can immediately relate to. I guess it would be the same if it were a McDonald’s.
This piece started out in 3D and this is the final 3D block-in before it went into Photoshop.
I guess it’s fairly obvious what steps go next – just lots of photo-bashing and painting. The process was very simple but the idea is often the thing that perplexes me when I see an image I like. Where did the idea come from? This one started out as a very crude thumbnail (excuse the low resolution).
But with the Ikea, the shopping trolley and then the guy looking out from under the relative safety of the destroyed shop, to the new and devastated world outside, I knew this was going to work. What’s funny though is, fairly early on in the production phase, maybe even in the Photoshop phase, I was about to give up on it as I wasn't sure it was going to work out as planned. I gave it one last push and, once it was finished and released to the forums/galleries it turned out to be my most successful piece to date.