In addition to the usual suspects on KWF's board, each year's panel is advised by a professional in a field of interest to the Foundation. Past panel judges have included art college professors and pro illustrators. This year we're assisted by film industry concept art and illustrator veteran Simon Thorpe. Simon is a long-time friend of Kevin and KWF and we're excited to have his assistance and guidance during this year's artist selection process.
To find out more about Simon, click through after the break!
Simon was originally employed by set decorators to produce paintings, and by model units to produce digital paintings. Do you remember the first Harry Potter film, "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone", and the sweeping pan in the scene where we first see the marble staircase in Hogwarts? And on the walls, the many lavish paintings of figures from wizarding lore, both legendary and prosaic? Simon created hundreds of digital paintings for the model unit which had built a 40 foot long ‘ miniature’ of the staircase which was then merged on screen with a full-size section in which the actors appear. The paintings were all done to scale and printed off, glazed, and then put into carefully sculpted frames before being mounted on the staircase model. The number of images required and their scale demanded that each portrait be digitally produced, but authentically 'real' in the style of classical oil paintings. Simon is a rare artist that appreciates and works fluently in both worlds, and production constraints made this skill indispensable.
Simon recounts, "I was asked to do it because I could paint traditionally and also digitally. And as there wasn’t time or room for hundreds of scaled down oil paintings the work had to done digitally but look traditional."
Sometimes magic is all about having the right skill in the right place at the right time.
(Incidentally, it was around this time that Kevin first met Simon. We all remember at least one conversation with Kevin where he'd break in with, "Dude let me tell you about the guy that did THE PAINTINGS ON THE STAIRCASE AT HOGWARTS”).
Simon's work in more traditional, non-film illustration is also highly successful. Two of his images were included in Spectrum 10, one of which was selected to be included in the first Spectrum exhibition at the Society of illustrators in Manhattan in 2005. He's also created numerous images for magazine and book covers. And you're sure to recognize the subject of his illustration that won the 2013 Rondo Award for Best Cover:
Be sure to check out Simon's work at www.simonthorpe.com. And keep a channel open for more news as we get ready to announce the KWF 2017 Sponsored Artist!