Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Concept Art(icle)

Concept Art(icle)

Like Law But With Less Bars and More Drinking Yourself To Oblivion

Being an Illustrator is similar to being a Lawyer. What's that you say? No... Illustrators don't "thrive on the misfortune of others". What I mean to say is... uh... no, we don't "melt when doused in water"... no, we don't "suck human blood", either. Wow... you people really hate lawyers!

What I mean to say, is in the same way that there are Estate Lawyers, or Criminal Law Attorneys, or Divorce Attorneys, there are specialized types of Illustrators. Illustration is such a broad market that people usually have a concentration. They become Children's Book Illustrators, Medical Illustrators, or Editorial Illustrators. Or the Only Guy Allowed To Paint A Bottle of Coke.

Given the choice, I always thought it would be nice to be a concept artist. I really enjoy that process of bringing the unreal to reality. Plus, I'm the sort of artist who works better loose than tight. I prefer not to draw from reference, or do complex modeling to put a picture together. Rather, I just sort of put marks on the page until those marks look like something. It's like... putting together a puzzle. As you can imagine, this leads to a lot of erasing, and a lot of wrong lines. In concept art — art that's explorative in nature — this sort of effect doesn't hurt the finished product all that much.

To my great luck, I currently have three jobs that require a decent amount of concept art. And since these are the jobs that are taking precious time away from this site, I thought it only fair that they give a little something back.

The Nebulous Frontier

A Spaceship

This first job is for an esteemed colleague's videogame. This particular game is future-iffic, as you can probably tell from this spaceship and the main article image. Before this, I rarely drew anything from the genre of Science Fiction, and I have to say it was pretty fun. It's always nice when you find these little pockets of "new" things that you've never drawn before. It's like discovering drawing all over again. Perhaps I'll try out Romance Novels next. I just happen to have the perfect model in mind. The chicks find him irresistable.

The Dim Ages

Anatomy of a Half-Timber House

This next job takes place in a sort of... Middle Ages setting. I'd call it a "Fantasy" setting, but there will be no Unicorns. Or Decicorns. Or any other sort of corn for that matter. I've really just had it with corn. I'm sure you all agree.

A Page From A Sketchbook

Most of what I've concepted so far are buildings and certain characters. Of all these jobs, this one is probably the most in-depth, and will soon be taking up my life in a similar fashion that Benjamin Button did. So look out for more art, and possibly my heart attack.

It's Only Raining Dogs

A German Shepherd

As you've probably guessed, this last job requires dogs. I can't divulge much about this project, but I can make up a lie for you.

A Bloodhound and Border Collie

It seems all three of these dogs are Supreme Court Justices, but one of them is in bed with Big Tobacco. There's this massive cover-up, and at the end, when the guilty dog is revealed, the authorities whack him really hard on the fanny with a rolled-up U.S. Constitution.

Actually... this isn't too bad a story. Justice, Play Dead!, I'd call it.

Comments on this Article

There are currently 18 comments.

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Wow, I'm really impressed with your spaceships. It seems really out of place with the rest of your work, but it came out great. You should start doing stuff for "analog".


Thanks for the long-and-informative posting, Kevin. I think it might be interesting to combine your three drawing categories into a 14th Century Canine Sci-Fi catch-all... could yield some very interesting work.


Justice, Play Dead!, sounds like the perfect pitch for a Disney film except getting the children to have a firm grasp of the higher rungs of our legal ladder.

Jaime G. Wong

This is great! Trying something out of your "field" is always refreshing and well worth the experience.

If you ever do some Magic: The Gathering cards, I'd buy them. And I don't play the game at all.


"Breastsummer," eh? I must admit that my immature nature helped me learn a new word today. And the office's internet filter did not like it. Not one tittle.


Gerren - I have to admit, drawing spaceships is more difficult than it was when I was a kid. Of course back then, I'd just draw flames coming out of a square. Sometimes, maybe a rectangle.

Mr Christo - Good idea! I could draw a half-timber rocket powered doghouse!

Dan - I suppose we don't want to educate kids on that... we'd see a disturbing rise in emancipations from guardians.

Jaime - I have to admit, I wouldn't mind drawing a wizard. They have magnificent mustaches.

Testmonkey - Did you spell it correctly? You might have accidentally put "Summer of Heaving Breasts".

glindon marten

These are really nice. The combination of spaceships and dogs really makes me want to see a remake of Star Trek, only with dogs running the star-ship. They would also love playing poker in their free time.

Cliener von Cleanskin

Following on from Glindon’s comments, you’re only one step away from the finest art form of all.


Wizard! Wizard! Wizard!


These are fabulous! I dunno who sleazier there, the king or the tort laywer he's with. I shudder to think of any artist being like a lawyer, but if I had to be a lawyer, I'd want to be a tort attorney. The very word "tort" just sounds fun to me, like "torque", or "cork". And I second the motion for the Puppy 14th Century Sci Fi; just so long as Ernie gets to be Captain. :-)


Holy majoly! You must do more Sci-Fi - these are all brilliant of course but the sci-fi is particularly 'gear'. By the by if you do move into the Romance Novel genre I think there might be another model up to the task.


Glindon - I think that new Star Trek remake has a dog. Or it might of been a horse. I can never really tell the difference between them when they're served as a meal.

Phyllis - Ernie would be a great captain. He comes with his own tiny brig.

BigA - Oh, there'll be PLENTY more Sci-Fi to come. And I like the idea of of specific Cornell & Cornell Romance Novel team. That'll be our hook. And at book signings I might be able to ride his coattails and sign a few breasts!

Captain Purple

"Justice, Play Dead" is the title to my still-in-development action adventure film. A rogue retired supreme court justice is pushed to the edge and responds to the terror that is visited upon a quiet northeastern village in a orgy of violence. We're still in talks with Brian Dennehy for the lead. I swear, why do I tell you ANYTHING in confidence, Cornell?


My suspicion is that he usually charges extra for coattail riding. Bring singles.


I'm a huge fan of German shepherds, especially this one. Why? Because he is smiling at me, that is why.


justice IS dead.


Gyahhhh! Thanks, BIGA. I clicked your "another model" link while sitting here in the office... gee, i'm getting funny looks from one of the guys on the systeminfrastructure (read BigBrother) team. nice. warn us next time, eh? NSFW!


Haha - well... just explain that you're getting pec implants, and needed reference. ;)

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