The World Science Fiction Convention ("Worldcon") was in Boston in 1980 and I attended as an amateur, hoping to become a professional. The standardized subject matter required to be a science fiction professional, then and now, involves sexy beautiful women with weapons. I tried to produce a pro-style, publishable version of the slightly alien warrior babe with this small picture. This piece was done in gouache (opaque watercolor) rather than in transparent watercolor or acrylic. I was influenced in this by the fabulous work of an illustrator named Paul Alexander, who also worked in gouache. Alexander, like almost every other American illustrator whose work I admire, studied at the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California, which even now continues to turn out spectacular illustrators for the media and film market. If I were younger, more energetic, and had lots of money and could re-locate to California, maybe I'd go to Art Center, if my work was good enough to get in.
Thirty-one years later I'm still trying to become a professional illustrator (again) but I have not produced any warrior babes or any other fantastic subject matter. I seem to be stuck in this rut of pleasant landscapes or avant-garde geometrics. I am fighting for the time and mental discipline to build an illustrator portfolio and I am trying to get rid of time sinks and clutter. I don't consider sketching at wineries as a time sink or clutter. But when do I get to do the warrior babe or the dragon or the battle robots or the monsters? Is anyone reading this anyway.
"Guardian of the Megastructure" is gouache on Fabriano paper, 10" x 5", August 1980. It was sold at the Worldcon for $25.