Sunday, September 13, 2009

GoK Artist Interview - LilyM

We reveal female dynamo and Titan creator LilyM
Thanks for taking the time for this interview Lily, could you start by telling us a little
about yourself ?

I’m 24, born and raised in Upstate New York. I moved to Melbourne, Australia with my family when I was 14.
I have always loved creating things. I spent every spare moment as a small child up right up until the end of University filling the sketchbooks which fill my room. I started with drawing, moved from working with clay to painting and then to sewing. Over the years I’ve enjoyed a range of artistic styles and mediums of expression, and I’m always interested in trying new techniques and mediums.
I studied Graphic Design at University, uncertain of which career to follow. I got a job as a concept artist for a Games Design Studio straight out of University, and after 2 years I returned to graphic design as a freelance artist.
I still spend every spare moment I have working on one side project or another. I’m currently learning how to build websites in the process of building my own, designing and making soft toys, trying my hand at jewelry making and finishing off a small sculpture. I’m always interest in new commissions if people wish to contact me.

Which artists influence or inspire you?
Jim Henson (Muppets Creator), artist from the Art Nouveau movement like Alphonse Mucha and Gustav Klimt, Art Deco illustrations, Frank Frazetta (Legendary Fantasy Artist), and a great many Disney and Warner Bros. artists.
As I headed into my teenage years I was introduced to comics. Wendy Pini (ElfQuest), Joe Madureira, Casey Jones, Chris Bachalo, J. Scott Cambell, Joe Quesada, have been a huge influence on my style of drawing from those early years. I later discovered Jamie Hewlett (Tank Girl), Mike Magnola (Hellboy) and David McKean (Sandman, MirrorMask) all of whose distinct styles influenced my approach to illustration.
Recent inspiration comes from great comic book artists like Adam Hughes (Catwoman, Wonder Woman), Ashely Wood (Popbot, Spawn), Oshitaka Amano (Final Fantasy, Vampire Hunter D), James Jean (Fables, The Umbrella Academy), Chris Sanders (Lilo and Stitch), and counter culture artist like Glenn Barr, Derek Yaniger, Audrey Kawasaki, Angelique Houtkamp, and Shag. I’m also a fan of classic pin up artists like Gil Elvgren, Alberto Vargas and George Petty. I am fascinated by art history and old commercial art and I’m constantly inspired by the works of master painters, photographers and illustrators from the past.

What was your introduction to Game of Kings and what decided you on getting involved?
One day I got a Bmail from Simon (who was helpful and encouraging from the moment I joined RedBubble, (he made the first comment I ever received!) asking me if I wanted to take part in a new series he was working on. I thought his previous series were so original and so well executed. How could I refuse the opportunity to work with such amazingly creative people?! To create something original! To really get involved in RB community (despite my hermit-like tendencies)!

What has been most noteworthy about your involvement to date?
I am in awe of the creativity and support I found in the GoK forums. The collaboration and development of ideas between so many and such different artists that has happened there is a rare and wonderful thing. And I can’t believe that what started out as a “new take” on chess pieces has exploded into a whole world full of stories and meaning.

Is there anything you’d especially like us to know about your characters?
I wanted to create characters that told a story, that were not just pretty images. I went back to look at the origins of chess for inspiration and found that in its most ancient form it was developed in Persia. The name “Rook” comes from the Persian word “Rokh” used to describe their armored war chariots. I can imagine stories of monstrous moving castles inspiring images like this in the minds of people of the ancient world. For my rook’s pawn I wanted to create more then just a simple pike man or solider. My pawn is based on the ancient Arabic Djinn (a lesser type of angel), which became known in the west as a Genie. The Djinn remains concealed and its power could be good or evil. My pieces are formed from nature, one of rock and one of sand. I wanted them to demonstrate the enormous power like that of nature, not violence. Chess is a composed and strategic game.

Is there anything else you’d like to add?
It has been an honor and a privilege to work with everyone on the GoK project. You are all amazing artists and I have been truly flattered by your praise and grateful for your advice. Thank you, Simon for inviting me to be a part of something special, your endless enthusiasm and creativity is an inspiration. I’d also like to thank my wonderful partner, James, for his continual support and encouragement.

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