I’ve been long obsessed with fantasy art, drooling over the level of creative detail artists were able to depict in creatures and characters that didn’t exist, crafted by each artists’ imagination. So when I started the “Artist Spotlight” feature, I already had a list of people I’d want to showcase right off the bat. On the top of that list was a guy whose work I’ve been following for years. Some of you know him as the famous Wheel of Time character artist. That’s right, I’m talking about the oh-so-talented Seamas Gallagher. But… who is he really? Outta This World interviewed him to find out.
When did you realize you were an artist?
I’ve always enjoyed drawing ever since I was a little kid, and so far I have been fortunate enough to continue doing it as a bigger kid!
Describe your style and the materials you use
I would like to think that I try and strive for a more stylized approach to my own personal work. At least that’s what I enjoy doing the most. These days I’m almost exclusively working digitally on a Wacom tablet, but occasionally I pick up an actual pencil and paper and do some “old school” sketching.
What artists have inspired you throughout your career, and how?
There are so many talented people out there, it’s hard to name all of them! However, to name a few: Frank Frazetta, because his iconic fantasy images were always a favorite of mine as a kid; J.C. Leyendecker, his style and design is phenomenal; Claire Wendling, whose style I really enjoy; Iain McCaig, an all-around bad ass; and Eric Canete, whose stylization blows me away.
You’re obviously a Wheel of Time fan. How long have you been a fan and how has WoT inspired you?
A good friend of mine turned me on to The Wheel of Time when I was in art school, sometime around 2001. I’ve been hooked on the series ever since I finished The Eye of the World. Being one of my favorite fantasy series, I was inspired to visually portray some of the characters from the series. I think I’ve gotten to a fair amount of the main characters, although there are still a lot more I’d like to sketch out!
Who was your favorite Wheel of Time character to create?
This is a bit cliché, but each one so far has been a lot of fun; however, there have been specific characters that I had a strong gut reaction as to how I envisioned them in my own mind. For example, for whatever reason, Sammael was one such character. He was pretty fun to draw, but I also very much enjoy drawing the “bad guys.”
View Seamas’s vignette tutorial for creating characters like the one seen below.
What’s the best compliment you’ve ever received on your work?
Any compliment is nice to receive!
If you could have any other profession in life, what would it be?
Truly, I can’t imagine doing anything other than what I do. I feel very fortunate that my livelihood is something that I really enjoy. Except for maybe a professional beer taster. That’s a job, right?
What do you do for fun, besides art?
I haven’t had much free time as of late, but when I do get a chance, I like to play video games, read and enjoy an occasional tasty beer.
What advice would you give an artist that’s just starting out?
Draw stuff. A lot. For myself, I found figure drawing to be invaluable knowledge to possess. I also find it helpful to constantly check out cool art by talented artists, not only to get inspired, but to challenge yourself to be a better artist.
Where you can find more artwork by Seamas Gallagher
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Outta This World captured Brandon Sanderson reading the first few pages of “Distinctions,” the Towers of Midnight prologue, off his laptop during the TOM panel at Dragon*Con (2010). Towers of Midnight is book 13 in The Wheel of Time series. My apologies for the slightly shaky camera. This was completely impromptu!
This is only part of the prologue too! You can purchase the entire piece at Tor.com. Brandon Sanderson has also posted the the first Mat chapter from Towers of Midnight, “The Seven-Striped Lass,” on his website.
Videos: Towers of Midnight: The Making of the Book Trailer (3 parts)
Seamas designed the Tower of Genji in the Towers of Midnight book trailer and is famous for his Wheel of Time character renditions.
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Faerieworlds deserves a huge thank you for it’s kindness to Mother Earth. This unique festival focuses on the environment and social organizations that work towards creating a better future for mankind. All of their materials are printed on recycled paper, foodware is compostable, and the food caters to organic and vegetarian foodies (like myself).
Faerieworlds is hosting another incredible event: FaerieCon Nov 12-14, 2010 in Maryland.
Mythic Journeys (DVD)
Mythic Journeys, a film about the power of myth and the essence of being human, was featured at Faerieworlds this year. This animated documentary won Best Animation at Dragon*Con and uses puppets designed by Brian & Wendy Froud. Find out more on the Mythic Journeys website.
Watch the trailer here!
How to Make Faerie Wings – step-by-step (episode)
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Be sure to check out our other post with a VIDEO: Towers of Midnight Prologue read by Brandon Sanderson (Dragon*Con)
Ages come and go, but one thing is for certain: with the premiere of the incredible Towers of Midnight (ToM) book trailer that gave its audience chills; a reading of not one, but two scenes from the new novel by Brandon Sanderson himself; the unveiling of Todd Lockwood‘s epic eBook cover for The Gathering Storm; and the first official Dragon*Con sponsorship by Tor; this was one of the most exciting years for The Wheel of Time (WoT) fans in Atlanta.
Here are some of the highlights… so far!
Towers of Midnight book trailer premiere
Warning: Some spoilers!
The book trailer premiered during the Towers of Midnight panel on Saturday afternoon. Aside from many excited fans, panel speakers and attendees included Brandon Sanderson (Co-Author), Jason Denzel (Director of ToM book trailer, Dragonmount.com), Jennifer Liang (Director of WoT Programing, Dragonmount.com), Jake Ro (Dragon*Con staff) and Sarah Bernard (ToM actress, Moraine).
Visit Dragonmount.com for a complete list of credits.
Watch Outta This World’s non-spoiler cast and crew interviews discussing the making of the book trailer (two more episodes coming about characters/costumes and location/set).
Photos: Panels, book signing & fans
eBook cover discussions & unveiling of new art
The Gathering Storm cover art was unveiled at Dragon*Con and created by Todd Lockwood (below).
Tor Art Director Irene Gallo and Dragonmount’s Jason Denzel (below) led the discussion on eBook cover artwork, including how each cover was created, choosing the perfect scene, working with each artist and fan reactions. Tor often consulted with Denzel, who Gallo referred to as her Associate Art Director, on each book cover’s scene choice. “Jason has helped me understand the emotional impact of each scene,” comments Gallo.
Each book cover goes through several rounds of reviews and changes to get it “just right.” For example, The Path of Daggers cover shows only three Aes Sedai instead of the thirteen that appear around the Bowl of the Winds in the book. “We’re always trying to split the balance between the storyline vs. a very visual scene,” Gallo adds. She felt the cover would appear crowded with all thirteen women.
Fan responses range dramatically from good to bad. Some absolutely loved Mélanie Delon’s A Crown of Swords cover with Lan rescuing Nyneve, while others disliked it. With The Path of Daggers cover, Gallo says fans went crazy over the womens’ appearance. “There was a lot of hair debate,” she says. Denzel responded, “There was a lot of boob debate!” It goes to show WoT fans care.
Denzel wasn’t the only one who helped during the process. Harriet McDougal, Editor, described exactly what some of the characters should look like. “It’s really tight curls, like a poodle, ” she once said about Perrin’s hair.
Gallo has provided several write-ups describing the process of creating each cover with a purpose of engaging The Wheel of Time community. “It’s not a magical process,” she says. You can find links to the entire collection of eBook covers, along with Gallo’s write-ups as to how each was created, on Dragonmount.com.
Be sure to check out our other Dragon*Con post here: Dragon*Con 2010 Photos: Parade, Costume Contest & Hallway Mania
- Towers of Midnight Prologue read by Brandon Sanderson (Dragon*Con)
- Towers of Midnight: The Making of the Book Trailer (part 1)
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Where else can you go to get your Star Wars, Star Trek, Tolkien, Wheel of Time, Dr. Who, Steam Punk, Harry Potter, Superhero, Comic, Gaming and Pirate fix? (Whew!) Why Dragon*Con, of course.
What’s donned as the largest sci-fi and fantasy convention in the world, or Disneyland on crack as I like to call it, is a four-day adventure into the deepest depths of Nerdvana. There’s almost too much to see, from art to panels galore to celebs and much, much more. The good news is that there are shorter lines than some of the other Cons (ehem, you know I’m talking to you Comic-Con), and you actually have a chance of getting to see what you came for.
However, despite the geek overload, I went (primarily) for one thing: COSTUMES! Here are the multitudes of photos I took from the parade, costume contest and creations seen wandering the hallways.
Stay tuned for Dragon*Con video highlights, plus more photos of The Wheel of Time and True Blood!
PS. I was kidding about Comic-Con (not). We attended that too. In case you missed it, be sure to check out our special Comic-Con episode.
Dragon*Con Hallway Costumes
Dragon*Con Costume Contest
*Select photos of some of the contestants