Tyler Jacobson

  1. general
  2. sci-fi/fantasy
  3. bio
  4. work process

I grew up all over the country because my dad was in the Coast Guard, he is currently retired as a Commander after 40 years of service. I have lived in Connecticut, Illinois, Washington, California and Nevada, so we moved about every 3 years. We settled in Alameda, California where I went to high school, just across from San Francisco, so I tend to claim that as my home town. Initially I went to Gonzaga University in Spokane, WA for Biology. I have always had a love of science so that is where I thought I would put my efforts. Turned out it wasn’t my thing and I gravitated back to art, and finished out Gonzaga with a Fine Art degree. From there I went to the Academy of Art University in San Francisco to study Illustration; I received a Master of Fine Arts in 2009. I have one brother, he is older and is an attorney in LA. Hobbies include the martial art called HEMA which is a European martial art that focuses on the combat systems of German longsword as well as some Italian styles. It’s slightly similar to fencing but much more hi-impact with larger heavier swords and a good amount of mixed martial arts like wrestling and grappling. We study other combat systems from the medieval period as well, like sword and buckler, dagger and spear. It has currently become a major interest of mine. I am also very much interested in biology and evolutionary science, and my passion is cosmology and astrophysics. I am a bit of a film buff. I really enjoy the medium in almost all it forms, but I primarily appreciate good story telling, as well as good cinematography. A few months back I gave a talk and demo on painting skin tones and various materials like metals. This talk was given at the art guild of which I am a member of called The Conservatory in Seattle. I am part of the leadership there which consists of artists Kieran Yanner (founder), Mark Winters, Sara Winters, Cynthia Sheppard and Carlos Paradinha. We focus on art education and cultivating a community and culture for artists in the area. Very recently I was the Guest of Honor at GenCon 2016 in Indianapolis which is a massive gaming convention (comparable to San Diego Comic Con size) and hosts a rather impressive art show containing an excellent collection of sci-fi fantasy artists. Clients: Wizards of the Coast, Dungeons & Dragons, Magic the Gathering, Paizo Publishing, Applibot Inc., Simon & Schuster, BaratsandBereta, NBC, Texas Monthly, The Weekly Standard, Konami, The Penguin Group, Rolling Stone Magazine, Toyota, Men’s Journal, Tor Books, Scientific American, Entertainment Weekly, The New Yorker, Sports Illustrated, Centipede Press, Comedy Central’s Adult Swim, mural for State Bar and Grill in NYC, mural for Brigham Young University, movie posters for international films. Awards: The Jack Gaughan Award for Best Emerging Artist 2010, Spectrum 19 Gold Award for Advertising, Communication Arts 2013 Award of Excellence, Society of Illustrators LA Illustration West 52 Silver Award for Book Cover, The Joseph Morgan Henninger Award for Best in Show, The 2016 Guest of Honor at GenCon

Client List

Wizards of the Coast
Dungeons & Dragons
Magic the Gathering
Paizo Publishing
Applibot Inc.
Simon & Schuster
Texas Monthly
The Weekly Standard
The Penguin Group
Rolling Stone Magazine
Men’s Journal
Tor Books
Scientific American
Entertainment Weekly
The New Yorker
Sports Illustrated
Boy Scouts of America

When I begin an image, I like to start very loose. After I have discussed with the client what their needs are, I create a series of small thumbnails. These serve the purpose of fleshing out the imagery in my head and eliminating compositional elements that aren’t working. During this thumbnail process I also research as much as I can on the subject and collect a good amount of reference relating to it. Getting my mind into the topic is very important. This process can take time as I work the elements needed by the client into a picture that works for the narrative.

Once I find a sketch that is working, I begin to push in the values. I feel that a composition relies heavily on the value pattern and I really try to develop this simultaneously with the drawing. The sketch at this point, becomes more than just line. From here I can explore the drawing in more detail and tighten areas up with the aid of good reference. Ultimately, I try to stay loose while always looking for ways to push the drama of a piece through values. After all this groundwork is laid, the painting itself becomes a much smoother process.

Building a picture can often be challenging, but that challenge is all part of the fun. I really enjoy creating a strong drawing before I go anywhere. That drawing becomes an anchor for me, holding my whole progression together. In the end, what is most paramount is telling a good story throughout that process.

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