I love being there for that moment when an idea transforms from a tiny spark into a roaring flame.
Concept art can take many forms, from rough doodles and sketches through to highly finished imagery that is practically illustration. But, more importantly, it is the expression and communication of ideas that will breathe life into something new.
I’ve produced concept art in various forms for movies, toys, video games, animation, comic books, football mascots, food packaging, household products, exhibition stands and promotional pop-up stands. Sometimes that can just mean creating a character to promote the product, or it can mean being part of the creative process of developing the product from the get-go.
No matter what my level of involvement is, though, I always keep in mind that it’s about the idea and not the level of visual execution. A weak concept beautifully drawn will always be a weak concept. All dazzling illustration will do to a poor concept is momentarily distract you from the truth.
I think it is more important to produce as many strong, rough concepts as possible in the time given, rather than one or two highly-polished poor ones. All that said, sometimes finely-drawn visuals are required to help sell an idea, as with a movie pitch or toy products, and here my background in illustration serves me well.
One of my earliest concept art projects was for Mattel’s Cybersaurus (a range of cyborg dinosaurs), which opened the door to producing concepts for videogame characters. Speed Freaks was one of the first games I worked on, followed by titles such as Tomb Raider, Kya, Zapper and Clive Barker’s Jericho. Whether it is being commissioned to refine the physique of Lara Croft, revamp My Little Pony for Hasbro or developing a CGI FROG for an Evergreen garden product TV commercial, my level of commitment will always be the same. The aim is always to produce the best solution to the brief within the time and budget given.