Ballistic Publishing Artist Profiles show all

eorge Hull is one of the four concept artists brought
together to author Ballistic Publishing’s d’artiste:
Concept Art. Now available to order directly from
Ballistic Publishing, d'artiste: Concept Art
presents the techniques of leading concept artists Viktor Antonov, George Hull, Andrew Jones and Nicolas “Sparth” Bouvier.

In this masterclass tutorial book, these four authors bring readers through concept art techniques used to create environments, characters and machinery for film, television and video games.


Concept 1
As a kid I always loved to draw, but I certainly didn’t think I could make a career out of it. Even though my family always encouraged me, I just thought of my art skills as an adolescent hobby. I loved growing up with ‘Blade Runner’, ‘Indiana Jones’, and ‘Star Wars’. They were such captivating films and challenged my imagination.

I would entertain myself by trying to draw bits and pieces from inspiring films and I was also lucky enough to live near the Cleveland Art Museum which has an amazing collection of art. I remember the first time I saw a Fredrick Church landscape; it blew me away.

It was essentially the first matte painting I saw in my life and it transported me to another world, just like the movies. The film and fine art experiences have stayed with me throughout my life. They were all things I enjoyed but I never imagined myself working towards as a career.
  In my high school art classes I tried a little bit of everything. From really bad abstract design to an oil painting of the Taj Mahal.

The only “realistic” jobs I knew of were architecture or commercial illustration. Neither of those felt quite right. Then one day I was flipping through a car magazine and saw my first conceptual design for future vehicles. I found out that you could study Industrial Design and make a career out of creative thinking, engaging your imagination, and drawing! My mother bought me a basic magic marker illustration book and I started my first concept sketch of a next generation car. I cherished my film experiences, but working as a film designer never occurred to me as a realistic pursuit.
Concept 2
Concept 3
Concept 4
I studied Industrial Design at the University of Cincinnati, which was a five-year program of art and academics. The program required 18 months of internships over the last few years. This was invaluable for me because I got to see early on what my job would be later in life as a product/car designer. After talking to many working professionals, I found out that very few get to do “conceptual” work. Most of the jobs involved real-world manufacturing details of the same product, versus a lot of imaginative drawing and thinking.

I was about to spend my senior year on my design thesis and the project was to be “the grand portfolio piece which would sell your skills as the career you want to have after graduation”. Well, the job I really wanted to have was in film design, but in Ohio that felt like saying you wanted to be Indiana Jones for a living. I had spent my entire education learning all the details of product design. If I switched gears, I could be shooting myself in the foot. If my thesis didn’t get me into the film world, and the ID companies could not relate to it, I could be dusting off that Bob’s Big Boy restaurant uniform again!

After much soul-searching, I decided to do my thesis on film design and stay true to my instincts. My school had no film design insight and even discouraged the idea as wasteful. I was a man with a mission and made up my own agenda. I used my “art-of” film books to determine what to aim for. I set out to do something imaginative but still purposeful in the real world. My thesis was a human operated robot (designed for hazardous emergencies or disasters like Chernobyl and Three Mile Island). It won best in show and got me into the ILM internship. I was so happy I followed my gut and my family supported me taking the risk.


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