I made it to Eugene’s second con this fall, Eucon! And I saw many amazing artists. By coincidence the author of this book was there.
I picked it up a few months ago from a Portland Art store and I’ve been sharing it with my students to many “oohs” and”aaahs.”
She was charming and answered questions and talked about her career. She told us the secret to making believable animals in fantasy worlds and films is to base them on the structures of real living animals. She shared with us how she would go about designing a “jabberwocky.” (she would combine a pteranodon, a rahmphorincus, with an Ethiopian wolf, a long neck and a rabbit head) I asked her what does the jabberwocky eat with those rabbit teeth? She said, “little girls!”
She said she wanted to illustrate biology but got into film almost by accident when Lucasfilm’s art director saw her work in her school’s gallery. Here is a long video about her career.
My favorite part of the video is where she says, “keep yourself teachable.”
She is behind a massive free online course for designing fantasy animals, Creatures of Amalthea.
( maybe it’s an ad campaign for copic markers, but it’s pretty cool!)
I also met this fantastic Portland artist Kelly McMorris who illustrates for Disney, Scholastic and cricket magazine. Check her work out here. She has a blog where she talks about art technique! Wow, I could learn a lot from her.