I started my path down art at a very young age. I would always draw characters and concepts from animated movies, video games, and my imagination. When I was creating my own little world with art, I had no idea it would lead to a career as an illustrator. Then I found Ringling College of Art and Design in Sarasota, Florida, where I graduated with a bachelor’s degree in fine arts. Fast forward to the present day, and I’m going on eight years as a professional artist. I couldn’t have asked for a more thrilling career.
After my college graduation, I accepted a couple of concept artist jobs before Falcon’s Treehouse hired me as a designer/illustrator. This is when I discovered the world of themed entertainment, and it was refreshingly eye opening.
My day usually starts with a meeting to talk about either a new piece that has to be created or adjusting a piece I’m already working on. This piece could be anything from concept art, to sketches, to key art. It’s not uncommon to have to revisit a piece we sent out because the client wants a change. Sometimes I must make these changes quickly to meet their deadline.
The artwork I develop at Falcon’s usually starts with a simple idea or a short description. From there, I sketch out a more robust idea and then discuss the direction of the piece with my team. During this process, we decide if we need a finished piece of key art or a black and white line drawing. It really depends on how far along we are with the project, or if the client has requested a certain amount of artwork. Sometimes the deadlines can be tight, so I must sketch something rather fast or use a 3D model as an underlay to get a quick base for the art piece.I mainly use Adobe Photoshop to create my artwork. I also use traditional sketching methods, usually to make thumbnails until I find the desired composition. Artists today like to use Photoshop, as it helps speed up the process. We do also use other methods, such as 3D modeling programs, which can give us an accurate measurement of an existing place. These programs include Maya, Sketchup, and Rhino.
Here is a time-lapse example to show the process:
A lot of artwork is passed between me and my fellow artists, so being able to produce a style that is consistent is definitely important. Continuity between art pieces is something we are all very cognizant of.
One of my favorite things about being an illustrator is working on amazing brands and world-class IPs. I have had the pleasure of collaborating with people from National Geographic, Kennedy Space Center, and Busch Gardens, to name a few. The type of projects range from master planning to attraction design to theme park and water park design to location-based entertainment venues.
Making artwork for a living can be challenging, but I find it highly rewarding. To be able to visit a theme park that features a character I created or an attraction that I conceptualized is what drives me to always be a better artist.
Concept Designer II
Adam is grounded in traditional drawing and painting techniques, the robust foundation upon which he has constructed a notable body of design work. He attributes his distinct creative boldness to his love of cinematic fantasy and sci-fi environments.
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