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New Works, Works in Progress, and General Thoughts

16 Oct 2020
Jungle Dude Surfs  the Rainforest
Jungle Dude Surfs the Rainforest

Where Do the Ideas Come From?

I’m often asked how I come up with ideas for my paintings. Sometimes they come from unexpected places (like seeing a mouthwash bottle as the perfect shape for the hull of a starship), and sometimes, as Athena emerged from Zeus’ head, they just come out of my brain, fully formed.

This piece was one of the latter kind—I woke up one morning with this image very clearly in my imagination. It’s obviously inspired by the Edgar Rice Burroughs’ Tarzan books I loved as a kid, mixed with a dash of Disney’s take on the Lord of the Jungle. I started sketching right after rolling out of bed, so I wouldn’t lose the image. (For me, morning images are like dreams; if I don’t record them in some way, they vaporize.)

Over the following several days, any time I had a few minutes, an hour, or a few, I worked on the illustration. After a few days, I had this finished piece. One of the reasons I love working digitally is that I don’t have to carve out a long stretch of time to paint, because there’s no setup and cleanup time—just turn on the iPad, make sure the Pencil is charged, and start painting.

As usual, I’ve added mock text to the image to help the gentle reader imagine what it might look like as a book cover.  This image is available to license for your own book. When I have two more new fantasy pieces ready, they’ll go up on the Fantasy Covers page.

If you’re an artist (painting, drawing, writing, video, photography, music, or any other medium), where do your ideas come from?