This week Amazing Stories and Art Director Duncan Long begin a new feature profiling the people who make our imaginings real – or at least as real as they can be until Arthur Clarke’s sufficiently advanced technology catches up with us – artists! A gallery of Derek’s work can be found below the interview. (Click on images for a full screen view.)
AMAZING STORIES MAGAZINE: How did you become interested in illustration and art?
Derek Benson: I loved reading as a kid, and the Science Fiction and Fantasy books always had the best covers.
ASM: If you could create a piece of artwork just for fun and then be paid for it, what would you want to create?
DB: I’m working on a comic…just doing that full time would be great!
ASM: Do you work digitally, with actual physical media, or a combination of both?
DB: I work with both. I have a web page that has art I’ve drawn on my kids’ lunch bags since 2008. I also love digital painting.
ASM: What do you consider your greatest achievement as an artist so far?
DB: I work professionally as an artist, that’s pretty good. I make video games. Also, last year I designed a t-shirt that helped a little boy get
his service dog.
ASM: What was the greatest artistic disaster you were involved in?
DB: I make video games.
ASM: If you could pick one piece of artwork you created to represent your work, what would it be?
DB: I like “Welcome,” at the moment. A diver has met a strange, scary creature at the bottom of the sea, but the creature is friendly.
ASM: What is the strangest piece of art you’ve created?
DB: A panel for my America 2 comic has demonic, solemn preacher-beings. Each is holding something that could be a bible with a glowing cross on its cover. Why would demons be so religious?
ASM: What movies and publications have most influenced your work?
DB: I worked in an all Science-Fiction bookstore for years, and I feel that the the covers of Del Rey influenced me the most. And movies? I really loved the original King
ASM: What artists have influenced your work?
DB: Michael Whelan most of all.
ASM: If you could jump into a piece of art, which would it be?
DB: I like Lovecraft’s Nightmare A and B by Michael Whelan. The work is scary, but in a fun way that makes the viewer curious as to what exactly is going on here.
Bio: Derek has been an artist working in video games for 23 years. He has a very patient wife and three kids.