Wednesday, May 23, 2007


Sometimes when you do a set of illustrations for a client, not all of the drawings make it into the final product. As an example, HERO Games (the guys who make Champions) commissioned a bunch of artists, including me, to create illustrations for their "Aliens" book. One of my assignments was to draw the sale of a robot. Other than that, the details were up to me, so I decided to portray a grizzled space vet purchasing a 'bot designed for mining operations. As I got started, it occurred to me that fantasy dwarves are well known as experts in mining, and so the robot turned into a mechanized version of Gimli. Here he his spotlighted:

I loved the way he turned out. Even today, years later, this drawing makes me chuckle. Something about his little metallic beard and those angry eyebrows -- man, I just kill myself sometimes.

As I said, though, sometimes the complete composition never makes it to publication, and that's what happened in this case. I believe they had accidentally assigned the scene to two different guys, and the other one came in first so it's the one that made it in. As a result, you get to see it here in Nerd Country for the very first time!

I'm still trying to figure out how to work one of the donkeys into an illustration, I'll be sure to let you know if I manage it.


carlsonjok said...

Well, to, umm, carry over a theme, you could make a sheath cleaning robot set in some futuristic Tijuana entertainment venue.

Or not.

Anonymous said...

I read a short story written by Nathaniel Hawthorn years ago that I still vividly remember. It was about a artist who worked as a clock repairman. In the story he creates a 'masterpiece"- a mechanical butterfly that flies. It is beautiful and, I assume, to Hawthorn represents the perfect art. In the end it is destroyed via blind ignorance. What I most remember is that the clockman (artist) is not upset. To paraphrase (its been 20 years since I read it!)

It was in creating it that I was paid in happiness. Once it was completed I didn't own it anymore.

Again, that's not how Hawthorn wrote it, but it's what the wisdom of the message I carry with me. It must be something to watch something you created take on a life of its own. Way cool to us schmucks with no talent!!