Meet the Faculty - Allen Williams!

...In which we interview the insanely talented Allen -


So, tell us about yourself-


I've loved drawing for as long as I can remember. I have pictures of monsters that I did at the age of three and I feel most at home with a pencil in my hand. I also work in acrylics, oils and occasionally digital... but everything always starts with drawing. I went to college for a few years but left when I started doing more illustration than actual homework assignments.  I became a professional freelance artist in 1988 and have worked on many publications, games and projects since then beginning with TSR, Dragon Magazine and later progressing into ccg's such as Magic: The Gathering and Rage. 

In 2001, with the prospect of a child coming into view, I decided to get serious. I renewed my efforts, began seek out my own, self directed, education and build a stronger discipline. I allowed myself to obsess on what I love to do. 


In 2010, two major things happened. I wrote, illustrated and published a young adult novel called "The Witches' Kitchen" for Little Brown and I met Guillermo Del Toro and was asked to do pre-production concept work on the film "At the Mountains of Madness" (which is currently on hold). Most recently I've done concept work for Guillermo's "Pacific Rim", Darren Aronofsky's film "Noah" and cover work for TOR. In 2013 I was honored to be the recipient of the Spectrum Gold Award for concept art. 

I still just draw most of the time whether anyone pays me to or not... occasionally I write and now I paint.


What is the most exciting thing you've learned recently?

That drawing and painting are the same thing to me.



How do you battle through rough patches? What drives you forward?

There are always rough patches...in every piece I attempt. What drives me forward is the conviction, based on experience, that I *can* get through it. Though it can be a bit like swimming for the surface in dark waters. I'm either going to get there or...


What do you wish you had known earlier in your career? 

That I had the ability to teach myself...or at least be the steward of my own education and that I was not limited or isolated from the knowledge I sought.



What is the best piece of advice you've ever received?

Don't wait!


At this stage in your career, what is your dream project? 

I don't have a dream project. I like doing my work, one piece at a time. Everything I do is an extension, an evolution of what I have done. I wish to continue. That is my dream.




What’s one thing your students will take away from your workshop? 

Hopefully a sense of exploration and open doors.



We'll be exploring techniques of visualizing and shape creation as it pertains to image making - in both a freeform and formal process. We'll experiment with making chaos and abstraction work towards building an interesting concept. It's all about finding the subconscious forms that work for you. It's really about recognizing the interesting things that can happen and letting the accidents accumulate into a purposeful image.


You too can come explore with Allen at his 
Organic Drawing: Finding the Line 
Fri-Sun, Oct 24-26.


Registration opens on July 24th.

(Sign up for the mailing list for reminders and updates!)



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