Amazing Stories’ Art Director Duncan Long begins a weekly profile of the art of the fantastic!

illo1This 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.

illo3ASM: 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.

illo2ASM: 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.

Website: http://lunchbagart.tumblr.com/


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