I've also produced artwork for various publishers around the world including Scholastic, Time-Warner, HarperCollins and Oxford University Press, illustrating popular authors such as Anne McCaffrey, Raymond E. Feist and Harry Turtledove, as well as some classics including Dr Jekyll & Mr Hyde and The Silver Sword. I was fortunate enough to receive the British Fantasy Award for Best Artist.
I illustrated the book accompanying the album release of Misterstourworm & the Kelpie's Gift, an orchestral work based on stories and characters from Scottish legend. My artwork was used as large-scale backdrops for live performances of the work by The Orchestra of Scottish Opera, with narration by Lord of the Rings actor Billy Boyd.
As an author, I've written some books about digital art including Digital Fantasy Painting Workshop and Digital Horror Art, and edited Fantasy Art Now published by Collins. In addition to work in publishing, I occasionally do concept and production art for computer games (following two years as an in-house artist at Eidos Interactive), and film and television productions which have included the BAFTA-nominated The Magician of Samarkand for the BBC, and most recently Gulliver's Travels for 20th Century Fox.
Currently: October 2015: My latest picture book The Crocodolly was published in hardback by Scholastic last month, and is available in Australia, New Zealand, and soon to be released throughout Asia in English, also with a translation into Chinese. The Crocodolly is something of a companion to my earlier picture book The Octopuppy which has been doing pretty well internationally -- more info at www.theoctopuppy.com Right now I'm working on my next picture book; so most of my energies have been directed towards my books for children. But I've also just finished another album cover for Axel Rudi Pell, which is the fifth sleeve I've done for his records. I've also been doing a little bit of work on the Game of Thrones computer game.
News from August 2009
The hardback editions of the Rondo trilogy are collected together in this snazzy slipcase, with my dragon from the third book on its front. It makes for a very large, shiny object.
Battle for Rondo
Just received a hardback copy of The Battle for Rondo by Emily Rodda, so it's due out in the shops very shortly. It's the third book in the Rondo trilogy, and features a dragon on it by me with another dazzling foil dustjacket likely to induce fits.
Just received a copy of Children's Great Explorers Encyclopedia, packaged by Tall Tree Ltd and published by Parragon. It's a rather nice large-format hardback, and I'm pleased with how my illustrations look in the spreads; here are four of 'em.
The book's available to buy here.
Planet of the McKennas
Look to the skies! Minor Planet (Asteroid) 42531 McKenna is orbiting around the Sun between Mars and Jupiter. The asteroid has been officially named after Martin McKenna, my astronomer namesake, who was awarded 2005 Astronomer of the Year by the Irish Federation of Astronomical Societies.
(Above) Original discovery image of 42531 McKenna from the digital sky survey. The asteroid is the short trail at centre, the long trail is a passing satellite.
The asteroid is described as having 'a slightly eccentric and chaotic orbit', and over tens of millions of years the random effects could cause anything to happen, including the chance of it falling into the Sun. But the McKenna's minor planet is stable dynamically for another 30,000 years at least, with some chance of surviving for tens of millions of years. So our name will live on long after we're gone, which is a nice feeling. Congratulations to Martin on receiving this prestigious reward, I know it's a dream come true for him, and it's a vicarious delight for me to enjoy a little of the excitement through our shared name.
More about the naming of the asteroid on Martin's site
Here's the artwork for the new edition of The Warlock of Firetop Mountain, due to be published by Wizard Books in September.
The Forgotten Spell
The Forgotten Spell is a book I illustrated a while ago -- thought I'd show a few bits here. It's a game/puzzle-book written by Louisa Dent and published by Wizard Books. You can buy it here.
Here's a cover rough...
...and a few of the seventy-five internal pics I did. I illustrated lots of artefacts such as writings on parchment, signs, and labels, as well as the spellbook featured within the book, all of which form aspects of the numeric puzzles in the adventure. A few examples of those here.