At DMA he worked as a Lead Artist on Grand Theft Auto 1 and 2. In 1999, DMA was acquired by Rockstar Games, restructuring DMA Design into Rockstar North and moving offices to Edinburgh. McQue transitioned over to Rockstar and continued designing for the GTA franchise, operating as Lead Character Artist, Concept Artist and Assistant Art Director. McQue’s run with DMA/Rockstar ended in 2014, just shy of two decades.
As of 2014, McQue went back to freelancing. Working primarily in visual development for film, his clients include 20th Century Fox, Paramount, Warner Bros. and Sony Pictures. He has also released a couple of artbooks, “A Book of Drawings by Ian McQue” and “Chroma: A Book of Speedpaints by Ian McQue.” Both books, as well as McQue prints, are available on his store, which should be back up in December.
Ian McQue will be speaking, demonstrating, along with reviewing portfolios, as of tomorrow, at this year’s CTN animation eXpo (CTNX) at Burbank, California. If you are lucky enough to be attending, be sure not to miss him.
A year before graduating from the CCS, in 2008, Knisley released her first book, French Milk. Published by Simon & Schuster, French Milk is a very personal comic journal detailing the six-week trip that she and her mother took in Paris. During a milestone birthday for both, it also deals with their shifting relationship.
It was Knisley’s second book, Relish, that really captured people’s attention. Drawing inspiration from her mother again, Relish is a tale through the eyes of a young Knisley growing up with a chef for a mother and the importance that food and cooking had during her childhood. Released in 2013, published by First Second, the book was a New York Times best-seller, an American Library Association award winner in the YA category, and has since been translated into five languages.
That same year Knisley moved back to Chicago, but thanks to the success of Relish she travelled all over America. A special guest at San Diego Comic Con, Toronto Comic Arts Festival, MoCCA Arts Fest, New York Comic Con, Miami Book Fest and many others. Part of her country-trotting includes teaching and giving lectures on comics at conventions, after-school programs, camps and workshops.
Knisley has contributed to various anthologies and worked with mainstream comic publisher Marvel, Valiant and Boom Studios. Amidst it all, continuing to write and publish her own autobiographical stories, An Age of License and most recently Displacement. Presently, she is at work on two graphic novels. The first is Something New, a journey into the dating world, through the heartbreak and headaches, all the way to the wedding aisle. The second is another venture into Knisley’s youth as she relives her high-school years in New Kid.
Lucy Knisley works offers an open and frank window into her life. Her style, cartoonish and vibrant, helps add humour to sensitive subjects. She observes and draws scenarios, emotions and nuances that make the story that much more relatable and captivating.
Andreas Deja is an animator and the genius behind some of your favourite Disney villains. Born 1957, in Gdansk, Poland, he and his family moved to Dinslaken, Germany, in 1958. When he was eleven years old he watched Disney’s Jungle Book for the first time. Its impact was instant and everlasting, right after seeing the movie, Deja was inspired to become an animator. Around the age of fourteen he began to attend life drawing classes and frequently go to the zoo to study the animals and their movement. Following a short stint in the army, he spent three years studying graphic design at the Folkwang University of the Arts in Essen, Germany.
Deja began a correspondence with one of the Disney’s “Nine Old Men,” Eric Larson. Larson was heading up the Disney training program and during a visit to Germany, the two met. Larson was impressed with Deja’s portfolio and accepted him onto the training program. In 1980, Deja moved to Los Angeles and started training at the Disney studio.
From the beginning, Deja sought as much mentorship from the people that inspired him as a child. Out of the Nine Old Men, most were retired, but Deja was determined. Slowly over the course of a few years, he managed to meet up with seven out of nine of the famous animators. All with the intention to one day publish a book of their advice and guidance.
Whilst at the Disney training program, Deja’s portfolio began to make an impression, earning unanimous praise. Word spread to Joe Hale, a senior animator and one of the writers on the upcoming feature film The Black Cauldron. Hale saw Daja’s drawings and asked him to work on the film’s pre-production. Deja would subsequently work on the feature until the end.
Deja moved on to other great projects such as animating the Queen in the Great Mouse Detective (1986), Roger Rabbit from Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988), King Triton from The Little Mermaid (1989), adult Hercules from Hercules (1997), and Lilo from Lilo & Stitch (2002). Let us not forget all the eccentric villains he has animated, Gaston from Beauty and the Beast (1991), Jafar from Aladdin (1992), Scar from The Lion King (1994), and Alameda Slim from Home on the Range (2004).
In 2006, the Animation industry showed their recognition and appreciation for over two decades of hard work by being awarding Andreas Deja the Winsor McCay Award for outstanding contribution to the art of animation. In 2015, he was named a Disney Legend by the Walt Disney Company.
Though there is not yet an official list, Deja has often been referred to as one of Disney’s “Nine New Men”, along with animators Glen Keane, and James Baxter. Deja is currently working on an animated film called Mushka, which is planned to be release in 2016.
In 2011, Andreas Deja began Deja View a blog showcasing his own work, his inspirations, as well the work of the early Disney animators. He also shares his views on a range of animation subject. Quite simply, it is a treasure trove of information and beautiful images and an absolute must for anyone interested in Disney or animation.
Rachel Saunders aka Baru is a freelance illustrator, animator and comic artist. Based in England, her style is a fusion of European and Japanese artistic influences. It varies, leaning more to one direction and occasionally meeting right in the middle.
Saunders first self-published a comic book back in 2008, called First Law. It was a twelve page one-shot based on a short story, of the same name, by Isaac Asimov. Afterward she illustrated for the webcomic Frankenstein Complex and the Dark Souls inspired Sieglinde of Catarina. Birthed from her love of Hergé’s Tintin, and nudged by the release of the motion capture feature film, in December 2011 Saunders set up Ask Tintin. Where plucky fans could ask the boy reporter any question they liked. Saunders would then illustrate Tintin’s response. It quickly gained over one-thousand followers, and over two-hundred questions asked.
Saunders was a part of the acclaimed fantasy comic, Spera. Contributing pages for both Volume 1 and Volume 2. She was part of the successfully crowd funded books 21 Draw and Masters Of Anatomy. She has also produced variant covers for Boom Studios’ Adventure Time and Regular Show comics.
Nevena Nikolcheva is a concept artist based in Sofia, Bulgaria. She studied animation at the New Bulgarian University. During her studies and after graduating she worked at Haemimont Games as a 2D artist.
In 2013 Nikolcheva moved on to French video game developer, Gameloft. There she has worked on mobile games World at Arms, and Age of Sparta. Creating both concept and promotional illustration, Nikolcheva has designed ships, mechs, lush environments, and entire isometric islands.
Nikolcheva’s illustrations are layered and atmospheric. Fog and spots of light are used to add a greater sense of depth. Her work can mislead you at first into thinking that there are an array of colours. However, this is not often the case, her colour range is limited, and kicker colours are ued sparingly across the image.
You can find more of Nevena Nikolcheva’s concept art on Behance and Tumblr.