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Concept Design: Works from Seven Los Angeles Entertainment Designers

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In the spring of 2001 I lost my father to cancer. He was and still is very important to me. At his funeral services I witnessed an amazing outpouring of affection for him from his many artist friends and family who had traveled from faraway places to say good-bye. In the last months of his life he had spoken to me often about a collective spirit he believed in—one in which all of his interactions with others would be remembered by those people and his spirit would live on in their memories of him. Several months after his death I was reflecting back and came to appreciate more fully all that he had done for me and for his friends. I stepped back from my own life to observe my friendships. I had a few very close friends but I thought that maybe, even in the middle of Los Angeles, I could start something that might build into a rewarding shared experience for more of my friends.

I fondly remember the creative energy and freedom my friends and I had while we were attending Art Center College of Design. I thought to myself it would be great to do work in that type of environment again—surrounded by friends striving toward a common goal, inspiring and competing with each other to push our skills and visions to new levels. So from this memory, and a desire to build new friendships and revive old ones, I proposed the idea of this book.

The original idea went something like this: a group of friends meet every other month and share with each other two original pieces of concept art each had created outside of their normal jobs. At the end of a year’s time I would launch a small publishing company to publish and sell our first book, Concept Design. The project went well—we all made time in the evenings and on the weekends to explore new ideas and artistic techniques. That’s not to say that there wasn’t a mad rush at the end to try to wrap up our images and text. It was now exactly as school had been…all-nighters included!

The majority of the color artwork in this book was created with digital brushes, as opposed to traditional ones. Most of us have found that the flexibility and speed of working digitally helps us to communicate our design ideas more easily. Adobe Photoshop is the software of choice. There are a few examples of traditional media work and other software programs throughout, but the bulk of the work was painted within Photoshop 6.0 and 7.0. We hope that by sharing with you our experiences and ideas we might inspire you to create images of your own. Immediately following this introduction you will see one example spread from each of the seven designers. This will give you a quick feel for the range of work we have created. After the first seven spreads the book is organized by designer. Each designer's chapter leads off with a brief biography before you view his work.
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