FANTASY ILLUSTRATOR: Tom Kidd
A few years ago I had the pleasure of hanging out with fantasy illustrator TOM KIDD. We had been a part of an online art group that had recently shut down but we still kept in touch years afterward. On a visit back to the east coast he invited me to spend the day with him to record an audio conversation. To both my interest and surprise he’d invited another fellow illustrator who I’d never heard of before named, ABE ECCHEVERIA.
Tom Kidd and his alter ego GNEMO have been providing illustration work since the early 80s. Inspired by the Beaux Arts movement and Parisian architecture his imaginative worlds are filled to the brim with airships, statuary and scenes both traditionally science-fiction and completely his own. What I like about Tom’s work is that it is fearless in its lighting and detail. His sweeping color palettes and his attack on any subject. His work strikes me as someone who is both inquisitive and restless, wanting to explore and make pioneering discoveries by tearing down the veil of our reality. His are the paintings I craved as a kid–something that you could get lost in and were filled with countless stories.
Tom has several collections of his works in books like KIDDOGRAPHY: The Art & Life of Tom Kidd, and Otherworlds: How to Imagine and Create Epic Scenes of Fantasy. Both of these books are featured in the video and are well-worth purchasing.
Because we spent much of time riffing off each other and talking about dozens of artists, I felt compelled to create a video version of this audio interview. The undertaking was immense. I had no idea how many resources I would need to collect to fill ups part 1 and 2. In fact, I would keep in mind that these audio pieces on their own work fine. The video, just adds context…a lot of context. Also included is another part of the interview which was recorded back at his studio in Connecticut. And of course…a few outtakes which didn’t fit anywhere else. All told…to give you some idea, for a roughly 2.5 hours of interview I’ve put about 60 hours worth of work into these pieces. It was both for my own edification as well as to hand-craft something special. As slow as some of the Ken Burns’ style stuff is, keep in mind it’s primarily to be played while you’re working on something else.
[My fellow artists will totally get this. 🙂 Respect!]