Tyler Jacobson

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

Tyler Jacobson is an illustrator from Almenda , California. He is an MFA Illustration graduate from the Academy of Art University. Tyler’s work is inspired by Sci-Fi and fantasy themes that engage viewers through his use of dynamic , painterly compositions and bold color palettes. He is a member of the Conservatory in Seattle’s artist guild where he focuses on his art education and cultivating a community for artists in the area.


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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