Monday, January 30, 2012

Tower of Fantasy

In the mid-1990s, which still seems like the future for me but is astonishingly almost 20 years ago, I did private illustration work for an engineer/inventor who had a fantasy world he wanted to bring to artistic life. He had an elaborate set of plans and ideas for a futuristic utopian community which would integrate science, psychology, design, adventure, and biology, as well as the old-fashioned hippie virtues of communalism, ecological sensitivity, nudity, and free love. The whole world was called "Kallitechnia," a Greek word that I provided for him, which means "Beautiful Craft work" or more relevantly, "beautiful technology."

He paid me to do a lot of concept art on this project, almost all of it in black and white ink drawings which would reproduce well and not cost too much. I was spared the nudity and free love part, thankfully, and got to design a lot of fantastic Art Nouveau-style architecture based on his suggestions. Eventually he wanted to publish an illustrated imaginary-world book along the lines of James Gurney's "Dinotopia," which in those days was new and very popular.

I did a lot of drawings, and was fairly well-paid for them, but eventually the engineer retired and didn't have as much disposable income, and his interests wandered elsewhere, so this utopian project vanished into the mists. None of my drawings were ever published, and I am not that devoted to publishing something which is not my original idea when I already have my own Noantri world to create and illustrate. This bubble-topped observation tower is from one of the "Kallitechnia" illustration series.

Kallitechnia observation tower is ink on Bristol board, 7" x 10", June 1996.

1 comment:

Tristan Alexander said...

I like it, very diffrent and pretty!