Tuesday 10 April 2012

I is for Industries, as in SLA Industries - a.k.a. Dave Allsop's art

Dave Allsop once illustrated a Black Templar story of mine that appeared in Inferno! magazine (and available again as part of The Armageddon Omnibus) called Sanctuary. Here's the picture:

Chaplain Wolfram - kicking bottom and taking names

How cool is that?

Dave did a few pieces for Black Library, back in the day, but he - or at least one of his creations - is in the news again at the moment. And very exciting news it is too!

Anyway, Dave is another of those wonderful artists who've kindly agreed to be a part of Artists' Month here on www.JonathanGreenAuthor.com, so on with the interview...

1. How did you start out as a professional artist?

I've been working in the games industry since 1993 through a variety of different jobs. I've been a games designer, writer, graphic and concept artist, but I've been working as a freelance Illustrator since 2003. I was getting tired of video game work so I decided to pack that in and go back to just straight art, and I've been here since.

2. What was it that gave you your big break and led to what you are doing now?

My big break was getting on board with Magic the Gathering. I'd done concept art on Phyrexia back 1997 but in 2000 I started getting actual card illustrations to do.

3. What is your preferred method of working? Which medium suits your style best?

I work solely in Photoshop these days. When painting I've always been digital, but until recently I did the sketch phase in paper and pencil. Now I do all my sketches in Photoshop as they're easier to alter and manipulate. Plus I don't have the hassle of scanning it all in.

4. Which setting do you prefer – Warhammer or Warhammer 40,000?

Oh, that's a difficult one - I guess WH40K, as I'm more familiar with the setting. But I really like the grittiness of both.

5. What is the appeal of working creatively within these settings?

I've not produced art on Warhammer for quite a while, but when I did I just liked how grim and detailed everything was. GW has spent decades honing and defining their style. The imagery is instantly recognisable and great fun to work on. I grew up on the GW settings.

6. How did you set about illustrating the Black Templars short story Sanctuary for Inferno! magazine?

I was always a fan of the genestealers, and I wanted to get across the unstoppable force of them, they just keep coming and coming. In the art I tried to have the genestealers literally swarming the Chaplain, so the illustration is intentionally crowded. In a way I wanted it to harken back to Space Hulk, which is all confined spaces and claustrophobia.

7. How does working for Wizards of the Coast compare to working for Black Library?

Both have distinct visual styles, but the tone is very different. My art for Wizards tends to be brighter and more colourful. My work on Black Library tends to be closer to my own style and preference - dirty, high contrast and bleak.

8. Of which piece of work are you most proud?

Probably the new cover for SLA Industries.

9. Is there anything you haven’t illustrated that you would still like to?
Chaos (40K or WH), particularly Nurgle. A few classic D+D monsters I've not done yet. My own version of the Cthulhu Mythos.

10. What are you working on at the moment?

Several art commissions for Paizo, and getting ready for Conpulsion in Edinburgh on the 6th of April!

11. What advice would you give to any aspiring artists wanting to follow in your footsteps?

Work on your art every day, and for as long as possible; most of your learning will come through repeated effort and challenging yourself. As far as working professionally, prove to your art director that you are eager, reliable and punctual. If you can be all of these things, more work will follow.

You can find more of Dave's art here, at his website, and here, on DeviantArt.

Thanks again to Dave for being involved - and good luck with the movie!

All images shown are variously copyright Wizards of the Coast, Games Workshop and Dave Allsop, all rights reserved, (c) 2012.


MJ said...

Great illustrations!

-MJ A to Z blogger http://creativelyspiltink.blogspot.com/

Anita said...

Great illustrations & Dave's a great guy. I haven't role-played for years, but SLA was always my favourite & I was lucky to meet Dave, Jared & Tim.