Jeremy Love is a New Zealand-born Concept Artist who has created art for both films and games. He was involved with The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, the third instalment in The Chronicles of Narnia movie series, which he worked on for five months. Other projects he has been involved in include Star Wars: The Clone Wars, 007 Legends, and Castle of Illusion.
I had the honor of corresponding with Jeremy, who was very gracious and answered some questions for us about his art and the time he spent working on The Voyage of the Dawn Treader. Hope you enjoy!
Dragon Island. © Jeremy Love
1. How did you become a fan of C.S. Lewis?
When I was about 10, I discovered a very well used paperback of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe in the school library and it really grabbed me. After reading the rest of the Narnia series, C.S. Lewis became one of my favourite authors.
2. How long have you been creating Concept Art?
Since about 2004 when I got my first Wacom tablet and started doing small freelance jobs. Before that I was a Sign Writer and Air-Brush artist.
3. How did you come to be involved in The Voyage of the Dawn Treader film?
The Magician’s Book. © Jeremy Love
I was working at a Brisbane game developer, Krome Studios, when I got a call from Min Yum, a previous Krome concept artist and friend who was now working on films for Fox Studios in Sydney. He had mentioned my name to the Art Director, Ian Gracie, who was looking for someone with experience in designing props. As the film’s production was based at Village Roadshow Studios on the Gold Coast, I drove down for a quick interview, showed them my portfolio and started on site soon after that.
4. Did you interact a lot with those creating the film?
Although I worked in the art department with the other concept artists, draftspeople and art directors etc., my role required me to visit many of the sets and other departments such as prop builders, set dressers, textiles and costume designers. Their workshops were spread out around the huge backlot so I got to see everything being built. The entire crew including the actors would have a fully catered lunch together every day which was great.
5. What was it like to see the props that were created from your sketches?
The Magician’s Telescope. © Jeremy Love
Definitely an amazing experience seeing the designs come to life. Some of the larger props, such as the Lone Island slave cart and magician’s telescope were eventually scrapped which was a shame. Not everything makes it into the film but I was happy to see Aslan’s table made the cut. Seeing the huge dragon’s prow and top-deck being built was amazing, even though I only designed a few small fittings for the actual ship.
6. What are some difficulties in creating a picture from the text of someone else’s book?
Luckily that was mostly up to the interpretation of the production designer, Barry Robison, who actually did play a huge part in designing the Dawn Treader ship. He often gave direction for the designs and sometimes had a strong idea of what he was wanting to see. In saying that, it’s never possible to please everyone when designing scenes from such a beloved book. Especially with such a wide audience. After all, each reader has their own personal mental image of what they think the visual style should be.
7. What medium do you prefer to use in creating your art?
Reepicheep’s Coracle. © Jeremy Love
I mostly use the digital medium when doing production work but it’s always nice to sketch on paper every now and then and take a break from the computer. I mainly use a Wacom tablet input device and Photoshop which are common essential kit for most digital artists. I find that painting digitally gives me the ability to work quickly without the fuss of messy paints and stacks of paper. Plus, when I make a mistake, there’s always the magic undo button. I still try and keep a slightly traditional look to my digital work. I’ve got a selection of digital brushes that I like to use for most things.
8. Was there a particular piece of art you wanted to draw for The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, but never did?
Aslan’s Table. © Jeremy Love
It would have been great to have a go at designing the look of the Dawn Treader itself, but the design had mostly been finished before I arrived. In fact, it had been in the works for some time. I think the portal picture on the wall in Eustace’s house would have been fun to paint. Min did a fantastic job of it.
9. Do you use other art to inspire your own?
Quite often; in fact it’s sometimes the only way I get motivated to paint! Although I try not to look at too much amazing art as it can have the opposite effect. It’s easy to get intimidated and lose that creative confidence. It amazes me how there are so many incredibly talented artists out there, yet every one has a unique style. New and innovative art is being created every day which is truly inspiring.
10. Would you like to work on another Narnia film in the future?
Sea of Lilies. © Jeremy Love
Absolutely. The remaining stories are some of my favourite. The land of Narnia can be a fun place to hang out. I think I’d be more relaxed if I were to work on another one, so the creative juices would flow a little easier. It would be like returning to familiar ground. I’m not sure if they plan to make another one any time soon, but you never know. I’ll keep checking the wardrobe in the spare room.
You can check out Jeremy’s art at his website!
All pictures used with kind permission from Jeremy Love.