Marc Taro Holmes knows an awful lot about art. I’m not just talking about last December when he up and got himself elected to the Canadian Society of Painters in Watercolour, or more than twenty years ago when he got his BFA from the Alberta College of Art and Design in Calgary.
I’m talking about his more than fifteen years as an Art Director and Concept Artist for tiny outfits you’ve never heard of, such as Electronic Arts, Microsoft, Disney, and BioWare where he worked on games such as Dragon Age Inquisition, Neverwinter Nights, and Baldur’s Gate. He’s still doing contract work for game design on characters, costumes, and fantasy-historical settings.
Back thirty years ago, he and I belonged to an informal group of young science fiction, comics, and fantasy artists in Edmonton that I nicknamed “The Sketchmen” because we were all so enamoured with Alan Moore’s and Dave Gibbons’ Watchmen. That group included painter Jaemi Hardy, and cartoonists Adrian Kleinbergen and Nigel Tully.
Now Marc Holmes is the author of two books including The Urban Sketcher and Designing Creatures and Characters: How to Build an Artist’s Portfolio for Video Games, Film, Animation and More. That second book, his latest, is a gamified approach to getting into professional artistic design. Holmes’s spectacular art and engaging exercises offer a truly fun and competitive means to get good quickly.
In today’s show, Marc Holmes discusses:
We spoke by Skype on November 10, 2016. We began by discussing 1980s superstar Marvel artist John Byrne, best known for his work on X-Men and Fantastic Four, and why art in comic books has gotten better every generation.