artist-biography

artist-biography

Artist Biography

BORIS VALLEJO

Boris Vallejo started off as the son of a distinguished solicitor in Lima, Peru.

Originally he wanted to be a concert violinist, not a painter, and so he took violinlessons for seven years. But then he decided to study medicine and put his violin back into its case.

After two years, however, he changed his mind again and applied to the Escuela Nacional de Bellas Artes, an art college, where he received a fiveyear scholarship.

It did not take him long to win a much sought-after gold medal for his excellent works.

He was 16 years old when he got the offer to study in Fiorentina, a big dream to many, but he refused the offer.

Vallejo quickly gained in confidence as an artist, and in 1964 he put together a portfolio with some of his works and emigrated to the States. He was hoping for a more rewarding career than he could ever have had in Lima. He went with no more than a few dollars in his wallet, and unable to speak the language. He had no friends but he met a fellow-countryman at a resturant in Bronx, New York. He shared appartment with him for 5$ a week, and the rest of his money to food. He knew that his money would last that month, so he needed a job quickly.

His friend got him a job, his first job was as an illustrator in the advertising department of a chain store, after six month he was transfered to the mainoffice, where he also met Doris, his future wife. After 8 years, however, he decided to go freelance. Having designed fashion, books, cartoons and the title pages for Warren and Marvel’s new comic magazines, he then began to work on book covers for several paperback publishing companies.

“I had already been working successfully as an illustrator for a few years, when I discovered fantasy art on an american comic magazin cover. It was a heroic woman fighting a prehistoric monster, and suddenly I knew that this was what I wanted to do. I have always had a special love for the perfect structure of the human body, and fantasy art enabled me to depict muscular and sensuous bodies in all variations in my works. And as I love human bodies, I always try to paint them as beautiful and as perfect as possible”. Nearly all his pictures show scenes of savage and effective sensuality. However, it is not just his choice of subjects that soon made him one of the most popular illustrators of his time, but also his perfect expertise as a painter.

Since the end of the seventies alone he has designed more than 300 covers, including “Tarzan”, “Conan” and the comic magazine “Heavy Metal”. His vivid pictures all bear the signature “Boris”. And Boris is indeed fully aware of the function of his illustrations.

“In the bookshops there are always lots of books side by side, and it is often the cover which decides whether a book is bought or not. A successful cover has to attract the potential customer like a magnet.”

A master of his art, Boris uses his erotic pictures to play on the secret lustful desires of his public like a virtuoso on his violin. But just as he knows exactly what to aim for in his paintings, he is also equally inventive and imaginative in them.

Boris Vallejo’s illustrations are never schematic, flat or lifeless. Unlike any other fantasy artist, he keeps finding more and more ways of tantalizing his public. His inventiveness and versatility seem to know no bounds.

In fact he has not left a single domain of fantasy art untouched.
Boris is as familiar with the heroic postures of barbarian warriors as with the poetic ambience of a mysteriously
romantic landscape or the frightening sight of bizarre creatures from an alien world.

The composition and colours of these impressive works of art bear witness to the fact that they have been influenced several hundred years of painting.
“Vermeer, Rembrandt, Leonardo — during my early years I used to study the works of such masters again and again.

The painters I liked best were two Spanish ones, though: Murillo and Velizquez.” But even today Boris shows great interest in the works of his colleagues. His attitude is anything but complacent and he refuses to rest on his laurels. He keeps watching out for fresh inspiration, continually endeavours to go beyond what he has achieved.

DORIAN CLEAVENGER

Dorian Cleavenger is world-renowned for having introduced a new aspect to art: an aspect that this multi-faceted artist terms “Pseudo-Realism”. Early in Dorian’s career he did free-lance work for Disney, U.S. Steel and other large corporations, but he ached to strike out on his own and produce the images that were burning to be released from his conceptually creative mind. Starting with fully painted covers and illustrated stories for comic books, he again found a restriction in that medium by it requiring depiction of the characters others designed rather than allowing him to be fully creative. Within a short time publishers and collectors from throughout the world were offering him commissions and purchasing his unique and original paintings.

Several books were published on Dorian’s art: first in Germany where the publisher enjoyed record sales by doing a series of books exclusively featuring his paintings followed by publishers with articles in South Africa, China, Russia, Belgium and the United States as well as collectible figures based on his paintings by Yamato of Japan and numerous other published works. Sales of original paintings and reproductions of his art have spread throughout the world. He has currently created two paintings depicting his visions of characters at the personal request of Star Wars creator George Lucas for a new book on the art of Star Wars tentatively titled “Star Wars: Visions 2010” due to be released soon. Dorian’s self-produced DVD “The Art of PainT”, a tutorial available through this website explaining his acrylic painting techniques, has been met with expressions of acclaim and gratitude from other artists worldwide. The rapid drying time of his favorite medium, acrylics, has allowed him to create paintings in record time, unlike oils that he found inhibiting by requiring lengthy drying time.

WEI HO

Wei Ho has been drawing for pretty much all of his life, but his profession in art became fully realized in 1994 doing character concepts for a start-up video game company.
His talent and skills placed him at many companies, doing concept designs, 3D modeling, animations and VFX in both the video game and in the movie industries.

His work has been featured in such movies as: The Mummy 3, Superman Returns, The Chronicles of Riddick, X-Men 2, Garfield the Movie, and Serenity. For a full credits list, check his IMDb page. His dynamic skill set has also given him the opportunity to create attractions for Disney Theme Park attractions.

Today, Wei focuses his talents and skills in creating his own line of figurines that are produced by Yamato Toys, while also running his own online retail store called HeroKingdom on Ebay.

Wei is a dedicated friend and family man, who always takes the time to say hello and keep his friends updated on the projects that he is working on and also provides tutorials on his YouTube channel to help fledgling artist.

LUIS ROYO

Luis Royo was born in 1954 in Olalla, a little city near Teruel, Spain. When he was young, he move with his family to Zaragoza, where he goes at school for the first time, and where his first drawing reminders came back to him. In those reminders, he sits down under the big windows of the school, then draws…

His handy side, which he got from his family, led him to study technic drawing. He discovers quite fast that geometrical shapes will not satisfy him entirely.

He begin to study painting, decoration and interior design at the “industrial school” and ” hardworking arts school”, and combine this with different works in interior design and decoration studios, between 1970 and 1971.
Meanwhile, he combines his activities with painting. Biased by May 1968, he paints large format paintings with social themes, which he shows in expositions in 1972 and 1976, followed by a serie of expositions in 1977.

When he discovers adult comics, from the artists ENKI BILAL and MOEBIUS, in 1978, Luis Royo begins to draw comics for different fanzines and show them at the “Angouleme Comics Festival” in 1980.

In 1979, he let off his work

in design studios, to dedicate him entirely to the comics. In 1981 and 1982, his work is published like “Comix International”, the “Rambla”, and sometimes in the “El Vibora” and the “Heavy Metal”.

In 1983, A meeting with RAFAËL MARTINEZ, at the “Zaragoza Comics Festival” will fix his professional future. He’s commissionned by MARTINEZ to product five figures for the Norma Editorial, marking the beginning of a new born professionnal cooperation between them.

His work isn’t limited into the national territory; he’s also published in foreign medias. His work is also published in USA, in United Kingdom. and in Sweden, where he has made covers for glamorous publishing houses like “Tor Books”, “Berkley”, “Avon”, “Warner”, “Batman”, and others !
American magazines like “Heavy Metal” and “National Lampoon” ask Luis Royo some more covers. Also European magazines ask so, like “Cimoc”, “Comic Art”, “Ere Comprime”, “Total Metal”, and others. Anyway, his work isn’t reserved for magazine covers, he’s also asked to make covers for videos and video games.

In 1985, in paralel with his work as an illustrator, he publishes a comic in the “Rambla” serie and, a year later, in “Ikusager Ediciones S.A.”, he publishes a comic named “DESFASE”.

In 1990, when established in a privileged position on the international market of the figure, he improves the amount of his own worh, by opposition with commissionned works. The major amount of his own work is bought by different medias, or included in compilations.

In 1992, thanks to a proposition made some years earlier by the man who has discovered him, he publishes his very first compilation work : “WOMEN”, an album which gather all his best works up to now. With this compilation, he’s already identified as a great illustrator and his leaning to draw women began to emerge clearly. It was an astonishing book for the comics’ lovers, covering a wide range of series, which were published by “Editorial Soleil” in France and “Ediciones Comic Forum” in Germany. Based on this compilation, he made his first exposition of original figures.
A year later, his comics pictures bring a collection of cards using his figures, under the name of “FROM FANTASY TO REALITY”.

Following the success of his first compilation, in 1994 “MALEFIC” is published with the most part of Luis Royo‘s figures, establishing a large wide of worlds and colors. In “MALEFIC”, the entire illustrator is named – An illustrator not only able to depict worlds coming from imagination, but also to create an story and a shape around the personnality which gives the title of the book.

In the same year, “WOMEN” is to be published, and in the USA, “PENTHOUSE” write an article on his figures.

In 1995, new editors begin to be interested in Luis Royo‘s works : “Ballantine”, “Naw”, “Daw”, “Doubleday”, “Harper Paperbacks”, “Zebra”, “Fasa Corporation”, “Pocket Books” (Star-Trek series), “Penthouse Comix” and “Fller Ulta X-Men” by Marvel. Since that year, Luis Royo‘s works are published in many differents formats, and in many countries : calendars, posters, T-shirts, CD Jackets, mouse rugs, collectable cards in cooperation with others artists, like in “THE ART OF HEAVY METAL” or individually, like in “THE BEST OF ROYO”.

The imagination and the great quality of Luis Royostart to take place into any type of medias, and his name begin to be well-known. In 1996, he makes a cover of “Penthouse” in USA and Germany. Same year, many reports about his works are published. He also receives the “SILVER AWARD SPECTRUM III”, the BEST award for contemporary fantastic art in USA.
Following the success of “MALEFIC”, his third album, “SECRETS”, is published in 1996, showing women and magic in the central roles, and the basic presence of beauty and the beast. This work is being edited by NBM for English-speaking countries. But he surprises his fans, in the same year, with the brochure “WARM WINDS”, published by “Norma Editorial” in cooperation with “Heavy Metal”.

In 1997, the interest given by Heavy Metal to Luis Royo is showed in a large amount of covers and calendars, and also in his galery, which is entirely dedicated to Royo. This interest result to a commission for the cover of the twentieth birthday edition of the magazine, and series of figures on the character of F.A.A.K. (Julie Strain) by Kevin Eastman.

In the same year, two new collections of collectable cards are being published : “ROYO SECRET DESIRES” and “ARTISTIC CHOICES” (in common with other artists). Eventually, “WOMEN” and “MALEFIC” are published in the USA and the last one is re-published in Spain.

A year later, his next figure book is published : “III MILLENIUM”. In this book, Royo replaces his color palette and gives us his own particular vision of the end of the century. furthermore, in 1998, he presents his Tarot card collection, the “BLACK TAROT”. In 1999, he products the calendar for Heavy Metal and his fifth collection of cards under the name of “III MILLENIUM”. It was a year when Luis Royo showed a clear evolution to audacious models of figures.

To fit together with the “Barcelona Comic Fair” in 1999, Royo exhibit a new album “DREAMS” – A compilation of all his commissionned figures for the past ten years. What is impressive in this album is the versatility of the artist to adapt himself to different subjects and models.

The artist offers us, at the end of the year, a more audacious and honnest work than ever : the publishing of the first volume of “PROHIBITED BOOK”, with astonishing erotic contents in which the tale of “Beauty and the Beast” has an major importance. This deluxe publishing, smaller than previous albums, offers us pictures as sensual as handsome. “EVOLUTION” remind us the big format album, containing more personnal works. The choice of figures are marked by the clock’s-hands, time and sci-fi and are described with the all-presence of the women, which one’s expressions became more confident and dominant. This album is accompanied by a study of the personnality of “MALEFIC”.

In the beginning designed as a trilogy, “PROHIBITED BOOK II” is being edited in 2001 – A book in which sensations are transfered to the reader by the strength of the characters. in the continuity of the first volume, he offers us a different view of the sensuality, nearer of dreams and secret-forbidden desires.

More and more focused on his own work, his best female figures are reproduced by “Fournier” in poker-cards pack.

In 2002, Luis Royo exhibits some of his secrets in “CONCEPTIONS” – A book which is describing the creating process and also exhibits a collection of figures of the artist and patterns allowing us to appreciate personnality studies, the conception of illustrations and the numerous replace solutions that Royo considers before doing his final job.

“VISIOS” is being edited in 2003. It’s a compilation introduced by Kevin Eastman, creator of “Ninja Turtles”, in which one pictures are dominated by Luis Royo‘s skills and imagination. He develops new details and a wide range of colors, including dragons which are occupying a privileged position with woman.

“PROHIBITED BOOK III” is the last of the serie “Prohibited books”. In this tome, the reader is confined in beauty, tenderness and desire pictures. – Pictures in which one sensuality can be seen as monstruosity.

Fall 2003, the artist open his work with a serie of figures and drafts for the illustrations in his compilation books, accompanied by texts in order to enhance reader’s experience. With “CONCEPTIONS II” he goes further than the first tome, in exhibiting patterns of colors so as to be contrasted with pencil’s drafts.

“FANTASTIC ART” is the biggest compilation so far. Edited in may 2004, it gathers most complete collection of illustrations of the artist. Edited in two high-quality formats, the Deluxe limited edition is a good example of the importance of the compilation. Imagination and reality comes together in the pictures, in which one’s Royo exhibits his own particular point of view of the world, myths, legends which have formed it.

It’s a vision of reality where future must assume its own challenges.
Luis Royo moves to Barcelona, where he finds a very beautyful place, the Gothic quarter, in which he creates his works. This residence change means a change in his way of working, in the vision of his work and a wish to come back to canvas painting.

“PROHIBITED SKETCHBOOK” is the last edited work by the artist. In this one, we can appreciate the colorless sensuality and desire of the “PROHIBITED BOOK” in his earlier steps. He includes original drafts in which one’s the strength of the pictures is already obvious. As an special charm, he includes drafts which, defiantly with their incredible strength, doensn’t appear in the previous publications. In his last period, in combination with other works, Luis Royo spend four years on developping a work more personnal – “THE LABYRINTH : TAROT”. This production of Tarot Cards show the without-limit-perfectionnism of the artist. This is a package in which each picture has been carefully and fastidiously studied and shows a titanic level of documentation.

“THE LABYRINTH : TAROT” is the very first completely unpublished work of Luis Royo, where no picture were previously published. He’s being edited in december 2004 in two formats : a exclusive card package and a book containing all the pictures and explaining texts, written by the artist himself, explaning the hidden meaning of each card and their power to control the destiny of a person. Because he begins to work as an illustrator, many groups of Heavy Metal from different countries (like Germany, Italy, Spain,…) adopted pictures from Luis Royo, using them for their CD Jackets. Between those works, the most recent has been dedicated to two cd’s of a spanish group “Avalanch”. His work came to the design of fantasy pool cues since 2001 to various puzzles, Zippo lighters, flags, posters, calendars and many other new products distributed internationally.

His book Subversive Beauty is published in 2005, offering a feminine universe that takes us to different mythologies customized by the author. In this book, the images are accompanied by short stories and provocative and challenging beauty is adorned with a profusion of tattoos and piercing. Later WILD SKETCHES collection is published, three books with 600 small-format quick drawings without planning, which shows a processing capacity of the figure.

In 2006 Luis Royo along with Romulo Royo paint a dome in a castle in Moscow (Russia) of more than 80 square meters, the greatest work accomplished so far by the author. This work is published in the book DOME, which meets the process and the paintings of the dome. This colossal work addresses the creation of a fantasic and sensual world where scenes are divided in various sexual myths which reinvent classical painting, a dome with more than 40 large female figures moving on an architecture full of vanishing perspective. Later he published DARK LABYRINTH a book that tells us about his vision of the dark world of creativity. And the prestigious Japanese company Yamato launches its MEDUSA’S GAZE figure.

In 2009 he publishes the book Dead Moon in collaboration with Romulo Royo again, this is an ambitious book with an epic and intimate story at the same time, with a tragic and apocalyptic ending, where the images display a range of different techniques, from graphite, a precious illustration or large format paintings. Precede the release of this book, Dead Moon’s portfolio.

We have clearly been speaking here of one of the most popular and professionnal illustrator worldwide, to who the fame – Instead of ourtun him – bring him to a permanent process to find new challenges or propositions, experiencing colors, textures and finding new forms of expression outward the illustration itself. He’s an untirable worker which have fans worldwide, with a magic vision of imagination of whatever surround him, experiencing, evolving, and justificate his privileged position on the international market of illustration.

HAJIME SORAYAMA

Hajime Sorayama is known world-wide for his imaginative and highly accomplished paintings of beautiful women. Using brush, pencil and acrylic paint, airbrushing only finishing details, he creates memorable images in a hyper-realistic style. He is often referred to as the contemporary Vargas by those familiar with his pin-up style works, and is respected by artists and illustrators for his perfect technique.

In retrospect, Sorayama’s work has been remarkably prescient. Beginning in the 1970’s and evolving into the 21st century, the futuristic aura of the robotic, mythic and fantastical figures in his art have always been ahead of their time.