One of my gamer friends commissioned a portrait of a character of hers that was a shape-changer. He had at least two forms: a mild-mannered biology professor, and a huge alien crystalline spider. I created the character along the lines of the famous adventure/fantasy actor David McCallum. When I had finished the character (but not the spider) I realized that my version of the character looked like my idea of a figure out of the "Milieu" series by Julian May. This was Denis Remillard, a mild-mannered metaphysical psychology professor who unfortunately was possessed by a hideous collective of evil souls. So when I added the spider I also had Denis in mind. It was a good example of two-for-one illustration. Julian May's "Milieu" world had a great influence on me when I was updating my world of the Noantri. I based a lot of the psychic science on May's world-building factors. Most authors and artists borrow from other authors and artists. If they say they are totally original and made it up themselves, they're just wrong. But there are no giant crystalline alien spiders in my Noantri world, at least not yet.
"Professor Spider" is acrylic on illustration board, 14" x 20", April 1991.