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The ILM Star Wars Art Challenge has finally come to an end and the results are in... I didn't win and nor did I ever expect to but damn was it a fun ride to get all the way to the end.

I learned so much and discovered through the winning entries, how much more I need to learn.

The entirety of the other finalists who didn't win are so amazing that I am both proud and completely dumbstruck to count myself among them.

When you're in a contest where Matt Rhodes, the Lead Concept Artist of Mass Effect and Dragon Age at Bioware doesn't win, you know the rest of the competition is pretty damn tough!

Oh... I can finally share all my stuff from the contest with a snazzy ILM / Artstation / Star Wars Footer:…

Here's my Challenge Survivor Page:…

#ILM #ILMArtChallenge #starwars #artstation

Hi guys, for anyone wondering what happened to my last 2 pieces of Star Wars art;

The rules of the ILM Art Challenge were updated and I've had to remove my paintings from all social media (for now) as I'm still participating. If I make through to the next (final) round, I should be able to upload them around August though they may have a shiny, new ILM watermark on them.

It's disappointing as I've been really excited to share my work but on the plus side, when I can now share them there will now be more art from the 2nd and (hopefully) 3rd challenges.

I participated in an article recently for Advanced Photoshop magazine... hilariously on Photobashing which I rarely ever do.

Magazine can be found here:… and it looks like my interview and at least 2 pieces of my work made it's way into it. :D
I want to give a shoutout and get some recognition going for an awesome artist: Daniel Ciurlizza. Daniel's not a Concept Artist or even an Illustrator, he's a musician and composer who I had the pleasure to work with a few years back on a short film project.

Daniel's music is amazing and he's also just a great guy to work with.

Please go check out and listen to some of his amazing tracks on his website: HERE and show him some support. I've been listening to his Edge of Tomorrow/All You Need is Kill inspired piece while painting the last few days.

He's definitely the guy to ask if you need music for a film or video project. :D

"If we had money for this, we'd be going after real artists…who paint on real canvases. Not the digital fake stuff."

When I received the original Email from Roy of a famous New York Advertising Agency asking me to work for 'exposure' for one of his multimillion dollar clients, I was going to just let it go and chalk it up to another day, another non-paying offer in the life of an artist. We get this kind of nonsense all the time. That doesn't make it right but there isn't much we can do to stop this kind of thinking and behavior from the people that wish to use our very specialized set of skills… right?

After considering it for a couple of days, I decided that I didn't have to just accept this. No artist should… ever! You would never ask a Doctor to give you free treatment for good word of mouth. You would never tell a Coffee shop that in lieu of payment, you're going to tell everyone how great the coffee you just bought is.

I decided to reply to Mr. Creative Director and say pretty much that! Here is his original Email to me (I've removed his client name to protect them for the time being);

Hey Travis,

My name is Roy and I'm an Associate Creative Director at a respected global ad agency in New York called ****. I'm personally reaching out to you to see if you would be interested in working on a proactive print campaign for ****.

I really love your work and believe you would be perfect for this assignment, the only downfall is that because it is proactive, our budget is very slim to none. The idea and campaign would have the backings of a global agency, who would submit your illustration into multiple awards shows and publications getting you global exposure; and the high chance of winning some awards.

If you are interested in the project, please let me know and I'll send you a PDF of the idea.

Hope to hear from you.



And, my reply;

Hey Roy,

Thank you for the Email and interest in my work.

While I appreciate your offer, I find it difficult to believe that a high-profile and international Ad agency like **** who is working with a multimillion dollar company like **** has slim to no budget for promotional material and artwork that will be shown globally.

I'm sure you wouldn't be willing to work for free yourself, right? You've probably studied and worked hard to get your current position and maybe you even enjoy what you do and that shouldn't mean you don't get paid for the work you do.

I'm no different.

Thank you once again for the Email and offer, I do appreciate the interest in my work and considering you found me to contact me personally I would say I already have great exposure to my work in this modern age of the internet.

Best regards,


I wanted to remain polite while also showing him just how rude and ignorant it is to approach an artist in this way.

Here is his response to me;

If we had money for this, we'd be going after real artists…who paint on real canvases. Not the digital fake stuff.

And going onto Behance, searching for "Digital Sci-Fi Artist" took about 3 minutes. Not as much exposure as you think.

But good luck, I'm sure you're having a blast in Tokyo. It's a brilliant city.


Personally, I would say that only 3 minutes of searching before I popped up is great exposure to my work!

Seriously though, this response was so unprofessional and disrespectful that I was left dumbfounded. Any Creative Director who would reply to an artist in this way has absolutely no respect for any artist, whether they work digitally or otherwise.

Could I just let this go and chalk it up to another day for any artist?

Not this time. This time I'm sharing my experience with other artists, warning them to stay away from any offer made by people who make similar, hollow offers.

People like Roy need to learn to respect artists in this day and age and fear how easy it is for us to give them exposure when they treat us poorly.


Hello various peoples of DeviantArt who find themselves reading my infrequent Journal entries.

I'm currently available for freelance design and illustration work and have updated my portfolio which can be found here:

Please feel free to contact me if you are interested in working with me on a project.
A short while ago I did some cover art for Canadian Sci-Fi author William DeSouza for one of his books, 'Death's Door: Where Right and Glory Lead'.

I really enjoyed working with William and I'm sure we will collaborate again in the near future, either on his upcoming books or on a project that we create together.

He was curious about my work and decided to conduct a short interview which can be found here if anyone else is interested in what I do:…

You can support William and buy his book here:…

or on Amazon here:…
I'm on a bit of a break from the projects I've been working on and thought it would be a good chance to offer some discounted commission work to all of the awesome people on DeviantArt who have been a great support to my work and myself.

Here's the pricing breakdown:

- Fan art = US$50 (single character on simple background)
- Original Character Design = US$70 (any genre)
- Environment = US$70 (any genre and can include elements such as castles, spacecraft, etc.)
- Full Illustration = US$100 (any genre)

... and for an extra US$20 on any one of these, I'll record the process and create a 'making of' video as well as supply the original .PSD file.

Please send me a note with your request or a direct Email to if you want me to see your request as soon as possible. :)
  • Reading: Gods of Mars
  • Watching: Journeyman
  • Playing: Skyrim
Every now and then I get a request to do a video of my painting process and though I've always like the idea of doing one, I usually forget to set up my screen-capture software in time to record what I'm painting. :p

Well, I finally remembered while doing a quick character design for a short film I'm doing a bit of work on and you can see it on YouTube now:…

It's sped up quite a bit but there are still 2 parts to the video (nearly 20 minutes in total) with commentary about my thoughts, etc as I was painting the character.

I hope you enjoy it and please feel free to let me know if there are any other subjects you'd like me to handle in another video. :)
  • Reading: A Clash of Kings
  • Watching: Parks and Recreation
  • Playing: Gears of War 3, Space Marine and Deus Ex:HR
Again with the Help Topics. ;)

These are provided to give everyone an idea of how I approach my art and to showcase certain subjects that you may not necessarily find in other 'Art Tutorials'.

So, what defines a Concept Artist? What does an Illustrator do differently compared to a Concept Artist?

In recent years, the line between the two has become increasingly less apparent: A Concept Artist is primarily a designer, creating characters, weapons, vehicles, props and environments for video games, films and even toy-lines but from time to time, they are also asked to portray scenes that give a sense of story and mood – something that an Illustrator would usually be tasked with.

An Illustrator starts with a story point or a moment of action that they want to portray in an image for their audience but in most cases, the characters, settings, etc are only a thought or some words on a page and need to be designed. It’s at this point; an Illustrator takes on the role of a Concept Artist.

Some Concept Artists feel that what they do isn’t art (though many people might disagree); it’s completely about design. It also seems to sometimes swing the other way with Illustrators as well.

When I first started taking my art seriously (around 2008), I thought I wanted to be a Concept Artist more than anything. Later I started to steer myself away from that (I believe Model Sheets were the catalyst), and considered Illustration to be much more interesting and fun.

It was only recently that I thought the whole idea of them having to be mutually exclusive, even opposing titles was completely silly. Both require you to have a thorough knowledge and practical experience of the basic fundamentals of good art. Composition, storytelling, color theory, perspective, etc are equally important to each.

The most important revelation that I discovered was that each cannot exist without the other and if they can coexist happily together, perhaps I should just accept them both too.

Please feel free to leave comments and let me know if there is a particular topic you would like to see as a 'Help Topic'. :)

And don't worry, there will be some more art posted soon. ;)
  • Listening to: The Hero - Queen
  • Reading: Game of Thrones
  • Watching: Battlestar Galactica - Season 4
  • Playing: Just Cause 2
  • Eating: Buta-don (pork strips on rice)
  • Drinking: Grape Mountain Dew
Firstly, a huge thanks to everyone who is Watching me and comments and +Fav's my work. I don't always get a chance to respond but I really appreciate the support.

Recently, I've been receiving more and more questions about my work and process so I thought it might be a good idea to start answering some of these here in my Journal and also writing some help topics for people just starting out.

One of the most common questions is "which program do I use?" so let's start there;

At the moment, I'm primarily using Photoshop CS4 on my iMac. Prior to this I was using Photoshop CS5 on my PC laptop. There are a few differences between the 2 versions such as the addition of 'Real Media' brushes and effects in CS5. I had a quick play with them when I first got the software but aside from that, I never used them - I much prefer the standard Photoshop brushes I've been using since Photoshop CS3.

I also have a copy of Corel Painter X on my PC laptop but so far, haven't picked it up for my Mac. I quite like the kind of painting and effects that can be achieved in Painter and just like Photoshop, you can customize your keyboard, etc into a layout that feels comfortable for you (mine was mapped exactly as it is in Photoshop). I have found that Painter can be a little more glitchy and unstable compared to Photoshop so I'll rarely ever finish a painting with it. Instead, I'll save the file out as a .PSD (Photoshop Document) and finish it off where I'm most comfortable.

And there's the most important thing to consider; What are you most comfortable using? Both programs are excellent and offer a huge range of choices. Artists such as Ryan Church (who worked on the Star Wars prequels, Transformers and Avatar) do amazing things with Painter and Daryl Mandryk (TRON, Turok)… is brilliant in his use of Photoshop. Each using the program they are most comfortable with on top of a solid background of hard work and study (a topic for another time maybe?)

These also aren't the only programs available - there's ArtRage, Sketchbook Pro, Colors, Alchemy, etc, etc. Many of the programs are free or have Trial Version you can check out to see if you like them. There's also the good ol' fashioned pencil and paper, canvas, oils, acrylics, waters, etc. Grab whatever you've got in front of you and just start creating!

More to come and please leave a comment if there is a particular topic or question you're curious about.
  • Listening to: TRON: Legacy - Daft Punk
  • Reading: Color and Light - James Gurney
  • Watching: Battlestar Galactica - Season 2
  • Playing: LA: Noire
  • Eating: Nikujaeger (Meat and Potatoes)
  • Drinking: Water
Hi Everyone,

I've been getting a few messages, etc so I thought I should make a journal entry to let everyone know I'm still here and safe.

I live in Tokyo and though there were some very scary times, we managed to get away from the quake and following tsunami pretty lightly. We suffered some minor property damage and had to face our own mortality directly but myself, my brother and his family and all of our friends are now safe and trying to get our lives back to normal.

We're still getting aftershocks regularly and there will be power blackouts soon to conserve energy but I'm happy that everyone I love is alive and safe.

The people of Sendai, Miyagi and other nearby coastal areas are not so well off and were hit hard by the tsunami - if you're so inclined, please help them in any way you can - even if that just means praying to whoever you believe in.

I'm very thankful to have some really good friends on DeviantArt who were worried about me, I really appreciate it.

I'll be back to normal soon and will have some new art to show everyone. :)

I was so happy to see this that I had to share;

The guys at InterWave Studios liked the work I did for them so much that they had the 3 images printed up as banners to hang at their office.

Check them out on the Nuclear Dawn Facebook page:…
  • Listening to: TRON: Legacy OST
  • Reading: Color and Light by James Gurney
  • Watching: Modern Family
Yeah, it's a little tacky to self-promote but it's what you have to do as an artist when you want to get your name out there and make a little money doing what you love doing. :p

I'm happy to paint pretty much anything for anyone, especially if it falls within the realms of Sci-Fi, Space Fantasy or general Fantasy. Illustrations, Concept Designs, Fan Art, Portraits, etc, etc.

My rates vary depending on what you want and how long the project will take. Please send me a note with your requests, etc and I should be able to give you a rough idea of what it will cost.

I do ask that anyone wishing to hire me for commission work sign a mutually binding agreement that covers both parties and keeps everything above board and professional.

Looking forward to hearing from you guys soon. :D
  • Listening to: Inception Soundtrack
  • Watching: The Monster Squad
  • Playing: Operation Flashpoint: Dragon Rising
  • Eating: Pasta
  • Drinking: Mountain Dew
I've pretty much finished my concept work on Nuclear Dawn though the game is still in development at InterWave Studios and it looks set to be releasing on PC and Xbox Live later this year.

I thought I'd share a new article from Gamasutra with you guys about the development and hurdles the team overcame to get this game finally moving along and eventually released:
  • Listening to: Various
  • Reading: ImagineFX
  • Watching: Black Books
  • Playing: Just Cause 2
  • Eating: stew
  • Drinking: Dr. Pepper
There aren't many people on DeviantArt who are familiar with Maschinen Krieger (Ma.K, ZBV3000) and I think that's a shame - it's a great universe created by Kow Yokoyama back in the early 80s. The story centers around a group of mercenaries fighting an oppressive government on Earth, the moon and outer space. Each faction utilizing armored fighting suits, AI and vehicles.

I had previously given my brother a plug with his excellent Ma.K artwork and I also think people should check out Art-DeWhill who also does some excellent digital and traditional work.

You want to go to there.
  • Listening to: Various
  • Reading: Cereal boxes
  • Watching: 30 Rock
  • Playing: Bad Company 2
  • Eating: Salad
  • Drinking: Banana Milk
Fantasy Landscape Contest

I must admit, I'm pretty happy and surprised with that. :D Considering the amount of other quality entries (106 entries in total), I didn't think I would even make the top 10. :O

A very big thanks to :iconvvirtual: and all of the judges and of course to my long time supporters for making me want to try harder with each new painting.

I'm a bit short of work to post this week but I am working on a new Maschinen Krieger painting that I'll be able to upload soon. ;)
  • Listening to: Various
  • Reading: Cereal boxes
  • Watching: Scrubs: Season 2
  • Playing: Operation Flashpoint: Dragon Rising
  • Eating: Salad
  • Drinking: Banana Milk
As of writing this, I have 19,995 pageviews... I remember just last year being impressed with 5,000! :p

A huge thanks to all of my long-time supporters, the new people that have been stopping by and any other random person that comments or :+fav:s my work. :D I've grown so much as an artist in this past year and I really appreciate the comments and critiques from all of you as it has all been driving me forward to keep doing better work.

To liven things up around here, I've decided to go back to where it started. Back to when I first picked up a Wacom tablet and started painting digitally. By this I mean: Over the next few months, I'm going to go back and revisit some of my earlier work, mostly things that no longer reside in my gallery... and repaint them! Various paintings of my own where I liked the original idea or just thought it could be done better and completely redo them from scratch! I will then upload both the original and new version together as one complete image for you to see the difference.

If anyone has any requests of a particular image of mine that they would like to see re-done, please feel free to let me know either in PM or by leaving a message here.

Let the games commence! :D
  • Listening to: Transformers: ROTF - OST
  • Reading: Mechanika by Doug Chiang
  • Watching: Seinfeld: Season 5
  • Playing: HALO 3: ODST
  • Eating: Salad
  • Drinking: Coffee
The website for NUCLEAR DAWN, the game I've been doing concept art for finally went live: (website may be down at the moment due to server issue - sorry, check back in a couple of days).

Some of my work can be seen dotted around the site including most of the character representations on the front page. The team has been working hard to get a somewhat playable version of the game ready for a September showing but we've all still got a long way to go before the game is officially released on PC in 2010.

Catch you all later! :D
  • Listening to: Transformers: ROTF - OST
  • Reading: Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy... again!
  • Watching: Full Metal Jacket
  • Playing: Saint's Row 2
  • Eating: Gyudon
  • Drinking: Water

It's been up and running for a few weeks now, I just forgot to mention it to anyone - there's a couple of newish pieces on there that I haven't uploaded here yet. Will probably do that on the weekend.

A big thanks to all the people :+fav:ing my stuff and leaving comments - I see it all and sometimes I reply but recently I look here to find so many messages that I can't reply to everyone but I do really appreciate all the support. I hope I can repay you all with another decent piece of artwork soon. :D
  • Listening to: HALO 3 OST
  • Reading: The Real Story Behind Star Wars
  • Watching: Classic Star Wars Trilogy
  • Playing: Red Faction: Guerilla
  • Eating: Gyudon
  • Drinking: Pepsi Nex