Kekai Kotaki grew up in the big and beautiful island of Hawaii. Distracted by the all the sunshine and picturesque views, he moved to Seattle to attend art school. His first artistic job was as a lowly texture artist at ArenaNet, the makers of the Guild Wars franchise. A favorable mix of talent, oodles of hard work, and a dash of luck, he was made a concept artist. He spent a little more than eight years at ArenaNet before taking a big plunge and went solo. Nowadays, he can still be found at Seattle enjoying his growing career as an illustrator. His list of clients include prestigious names like Tor, DC Comics, and National Geographic. Kekai also travels the world doing workshops.
Shania McDonagh is a 16-year-old prodigy who has been consistently winning the Texaco Children’s Art Competition for four years in a row. She entered when she was but 12 years old and hasn’t lost since. Most other entries never even came close to her level of skill. This young Irish artist has gained the attention of the online world and is slowly gaining the respect of the professional art world as well. Shania called her most recent piece “Coleman”. The original image was a phottgraph taken by James Fennel of one Coleman Coyne, a fisherman and seaweed harvester. I daresay Shania’s work is even better than the photo.
Mark Evans grew up on a farm in the Welsh mountains. He was an outdoorsy type of kid who would rather cliff dive, rock-climb, and generally wander around in the woods. He was seven when his love affair with knives got started after his grandfather gave him his first knife. His involvement with leather, on the other hand, started when he tried cleaning off blood from a brand new leather jacket. He was trying to get the blood off when he accidentally ‘scratched through the blood into the surface of the jacket, right into the suede. He then spent the next couple of years perfecting this new technique which did not have a margin for error. Should Mark’s scalpel slip and cut through the hide (and usually, a finger or two), he’ll have to do the whole thing all over again. He said: “I think I’m most alive when something’s at risk. It’s nothing like painting where the artist can just paint over any mistakes. I have nowhere to hide mistakes, zero margin for error. But I love that, the risk of it, knowing the pressure’s on all the time. What is done cannot be undone.” Click here for more »
Jose Vergara is a 19-year-old Texan whose hyper-realistic pencil drawings of the human eye has caught the attention of art overs everywhere. While they may not be mistaken for actual eyes, or even photographs of eyes, Jose’s drawings are incredibly detailed. Eyes are not the only thing he draws, he has also drawn a pair of lips, and masterful portraits of popular fictional characters. He is quite talented for his age and I can’t wait for his talents to be in full bloom. When looking for him in the net, you might want to try using his handle Redosking.
Siddhartha also goes by the name theSong on deviantART where he poses all of his work. This Spanish digital artist is slowly getting worldwide attention for the amazing composition of his work. They have a dream-like quality to them which manages to strike a nerve with the viewer. A good example of his work would be the one above where the little girl-turned-tin-can-knight explores the woods on her shaggy pone and meets a wise old bear. Each of Siddhartha’s images are rich with nuance and meaning.
Isaac Orloff is a freelance illustrator who works primarily animation. He’s a rather well-sought after visual development artist in San Francisco. Aside from illustration, Isaac also loves doing a bit of T-shirt design. The untold story in each of images is what makes his work stand out. A cluttered hallway, a boy-turned-wild-thing roasting a marshmallow instead of sleeping in a pile, and a squid losing at poker. Each image provokes the viewer into imagining the story behind the image.
John Wallin Liberto is a Senior Concept Artist at 343 Industries in Washington. He is still relatively new in the industry but he has already worked in some of the biggest games and movies, notable the Halo franchise, Harry Potter, and Alien vs Predator. He was also responsible for the artistic concept behind Shania Twain’s “Gonna Getcha Good” music video. Christian is also a flight amateur and his handle in most artistic communities is ‘Capt. Flush Garde’. He currently lives and works in Sweden.
Noel Badges Pugh is an artist and scientific illustrator with a knack for accurately drawing various flora and fauna.His work is reminiscent of the old school illustrations found in old textbooks. One of his more recent series is a field guide on different kinds of bees and wild flowers. What makes his work unique is the unforced realism of his creations. He’s not trying to trick your eye into believing they’re real, but his drawings are accurate to a fault. Noel keeps an extensive Tumblr account where he posts all his recent works.
Alice Macarovais a budding young artist from St. Petersburg, Germany.She specializes in elaborate ink and watercolour art which usually features animals. One of her most recent work is a pack of playful fox cubs framed in stylized vegetation. She was first brought to the attention of the online community by a friend of hers who admired her illustrations. A few years down the road and we’ll probably be seeing her work for sale in galleries.
Paula Duță is an exceptional illustrator who specializes in insect etymology.Her passion for drawing is obvious in the pains she took to highlight each detail of her subject. Wings, antennae, compound eyes, legs, thorax, – none escaped her scrutiny. Paula is actually an interior designer who describes herself as an ‘altogether happy person, dedicated to her work and enjoying life’. I’m looking forwards to seeing more of her awesome insect illustrations in the future. Paula currently lives and works in Romania.