“Know yourself, first and foremost. Not everyone who draws with passion is meant to be a professional, in the same way not every person who plays tennis will play Wimbledon centre court. There is no shame in being a skilled hobbyist or enlightened fan. The full spectrum of fandom and amateurs is absolutely essential, as that is the wholesale incubator for all pros. And know what the Dunning Kruger Effect is.”
The Man, The Art,
Greetings from the desert fellow CBSI members. It is my pleasure to spotlight John Gallagher, an incredible talent whose creativity spans many different art genres. John has spent time in the video game realm with Bioware Corp where he helped create, develop art and concept for popular games resulting in the sales of millions of copies. In 2008, his skill set took him into television as a Production Illustrator where his work history includes shows such as The Flash, Supergirl, DC Legends of Tomorrow, and Falling Skies. His responsibilities included “vehicles, costumes, props, environments, playback, vfx design, keyframe art, depending on timelines, budgets, skill sets, availabilities.”
Here is John in his own words:
“I often describe it as when everyone needs to be on the same page I’ve the one who draws it. The linchpin of production illustration in entertainment is to answer as many questions as possible for as many departments as possible so everyone knows their level of involvement, if at all, and ensure assets are procured, budgets in place and logistics considered. The ecosystem requires constant communication and that goes for visual communication as well.”
With all of this he has managed to spend time with within the comic world wearing many different hats such as writer, penciler, inker, cover artist, editor, etc. Let’s take a gander at some of John’s cover art and personal creations to give you a educated look into this man’s talent.
Mid 2000s and Beyond
Some cool work in there huh?! Alright, let’s look at John’s approaches and the tools he uses to achieve his art:
I’ve run the gamut in various capacities and degrees: pencil, charcoal, conte crayon, gouache, acrylic, oil to various degrees of success and quality of result. My progression through media has been a fairly linear path, pencil and paper to pens and markers to computer and software. Prior to BioWare I was pencil and paper and it as there I was introduced in a front line assembly way to what computers could do and their latent potential. It was only a matter of applying skills learned the analog way and migrate them to the digital realm. Now I’m almost exclusively digital for professional work – I still sketch for personal enjoyment and paint by numbers for laughs- and use a variety of programs depending of course on deadlines, turnaround and look the client is searching for. My primary fabrication space is Photoshop, augmented and offset with assets from a dealer’s choice of ZBrush, Painter, Maya, SketchUp and Modo.
Good God this man is talented! Yet he’s the most down to earth guy I have ever seen interviewed. Pay careful attention to this quote. It says a lot about this man, and his craft.
“This is the only profession where you can do it for twenty years before you get paid one thin dime. No other profession is so specifically passion-driven tradecraft like being an artist however defined: writer, painter, sculptor, illustrator, graphic designer, makeup artist, costume designer, cosplayer the list goes on – hence there not being many nine-year-old dentists or seven-year-old lawyers. So treat your work with the same respect as those professions and conduct yourself with the same regard and esteem as any highly skilled rare vocation.
“Appreciate the responsibility and the magnitude of your ability to influence people’s lives. Knowing full well that very few get to do it as a career and many more wish they did, be the role model to help mold the future. Support young artists, provide guidance and leadership, advocacy, inspiration, help manufacture and cultivate your replacements. Be the artist other creators want to be, and if not at least emulate and set a damn good example. Give back and always have time for children, fans, other pros and anyone with a question.”
Very well said. Alright, let’s finish with some of John’s store variants that have been doing very well as of late.
There is no doubt there will be many more of these to come as his popularity is really starting to grow. I would highly recommend checking out his social media sites to get more information on this amazing man and his art:
I will leave you with my personal favorite of his work. It represents everything about this character down to the minute details. Just breathtaking IMO.
I hope this gave you a better idea of John Gallagher’s wide range of talent. As a comic connoisseur, or speculator, the art speaks for itself and should be part of your PC in some capacity. As his popularity continues to grow within our world, this is the time now to take advantage of these pieces before we are priced out of his creations.
As always, thanks for reading!