Experienced freelance concept artist and illustrator Andrew Bosley shares work from his portfolio, and the challenges faced balancing client and personal art...
3dtotal: Tell us a little bit about yourself: Who are you, what do you do, and where are you located?
Well, I always wanted to be an artist and I was fortunate to have supportive parents that helped me early in my artistic pursuits. I was never a stellar student and I was only accepted into one college. Fortunately, that college (San Jose State University) had a fantastic illustration program. It was a great blessing! It was there that I first learned about concept art and the art opportunities in film and games. When I learned that I could get paid to design fantastical things, I had a clear direction. I worked my butt off for the next five years and was able to enter the videogame industry as a full-time concept artist right out of college. I spent seven years working in-house and then, in 2013, I transitioned to full-time freelancing. I now work out of my home studio, The Wits End, creating concepts and illustrations for studios all over the world.
3dt: What was the workflow behind your latest gallery image? Where did the idea come from?
My most recent illustration, Fact or Fiction, is actually a redesign of an old Magic: the Gathering card. I chose to follow the theme of the old card, but change the context and story. I started out with thumbnails in my sketchbook, filled a couple pages with little boxes of lighting compositions. After finding the general composition, I took it to a more polished line drawing and then a color rough. I used some 3D software as reference for more realistic lighting and character posing. After the illustration was planned out, I got down to the nitty gritty of painting all the details, adding photo textures as needed.
3dt: What challenges did the image present? Did you learn something new?
For Fact or Fiction, I was trying to add more realism into my process. My work often has a more stylized feel to it, so adding more detail doesn't come easy for me. I took the opportunity to develop my understanding of Daz 3D, a handy tool for posing and lighting 3D figures. It was a great help in this piece and should be a great asset in my future illustrations.
3dt: Do you use any other software, either for work or personal projects?
All of my finished work, professional or personal, is done in Photoshop
. I used SketchUp
, and KeyShot
pretty regularly to help stage scenes or flesh out characters or creatures. Daz 3D
is occasionally difficult to work with, but it's quite powerful. When I'm on the go, I work on my iPad Pro, using the Procreate app and an Apple Pencil. It's a very versatile setup that I use for personal work as well as professional pieces.
3dt: How do you keep your portfolio up-to-date? Any tips?
Keeping my portfolio up-to-date is very difficult for me. It's so easy to push personal projects to the backburner when client work is filling my schedule. It requires a great deal of discipline to make sure I'm developing new pieces and developing new and more efficient practices. One thing that helps me is to schedule time everyday to do personal work. I plan out my week and plan out the content of each personal piece ahead of time. If it's in my calendar, I tend to get it done.
3dt: Who are your favorite artists, traditional or digital, and can you explain why?
My favorite artists and influences are pretty varied. I'm a huge fan of the great illustration masters like Leyendecker, NC Wyeth, Rockwell, Pyle, and Mucha. My professors taught us that there was a teacher/student lineage that connected us directly to Pyle and his students and I took a lot of pride in that. I love old railway posters, hand painted signage, children's book illustration, and graphic design. My more contemporary influences include Jaime Jones, Moby Francke, Matt Allsop, Armand Serrano, Daarken, Justin Gerard, and James Gurney.
Check out more of Andrew's work
Forest Angel in the gallery
Grab a copy of Beginner's Guide to Digital Painting in Photoshop: Characters