Wednesday, 6 October 2010

Sci-Fi Art Now Creator Interview: Patrick J. Jones

Patrick J. Jones was born in Belfast, Northern Ireland, growing up during the height of Ireland’s conflicts and was one of the first people to be awarded a Prince Charles Trust Fund. He now lives with his wife Cathy and two scruffy dogs in sunny Brisbane, Australia and cable art worldwide to the likes of Lucasfilm and Disney Studios.

Patrick has worked for most major SF/Fantasy publishers and film companies worldwide, painting covers for authors including Simon R. Green and H.G. Wells along with concept work for movies such as Peter Pan and The Great Raid. He also teaches a Masterclass in SF & Fantasy art at TAFE campuses on the Gold Coast and Brisbane, Australia and recently opened an online store selling movies and books based on my art techniques,

SciFi Art Now: What tools do you mainly use to create your art?

Patrick J. Jones: I primarily use Corel Painter for digital art and also traditional oil paint for real world art.

SciFi Art Now: Why?

Patrick: Corel Painter for its traditional media work tools and oil paint for its sheer quality and versatility. My studio is a mix of old and new, one side is computers and hard drives, the other is paints and canvases.

Inspirational: The Savage Sword of
Conan set Patrick on the path
to becoming an artist
SciFi Art Now: What inspired you to become an artist?

Patrick: It came down to a definitive moment in time; at 13 years old my uncle Jim bought me a copy of The Savage Sword of Conan issue #4 and my whole world changed. Inside was the most incredible line art by John Buscema and Alfredo Alcala, which still remains unequaled in my eyes, but the real motivator was the cover art by the outstanding Boris Vallejo.

That single, unique magazine was as lush as the novel it was derived from.

SciFi Art Now: What was the most useful piece of advice you were given when you began learning your craft?

Patrick: It doesn't matter how great you are, nobody wants to work with you if you're difficult.

SciFi Art Now: Which artists most inspire you?

Patrick: Boris Vallejo and the late, great, Frank Frazetta.

SciFi Art Now: What is the appeal to you of science fiction as an inspiration for some of your work?

Patrick: The wonder of it -- that's why I prefer the retro stuff more. Some of my favourite movies growing up were the original The Time Machine, Forbidden Planet, and of course the original Star Trek series, I loved them for their terrific design and colour schemes.

Death's Head Max by Patrick J. Jomes
Buy a print
SciFi Art Now: Do you have a favourite piece of work or project you have worked on?

Patrick: I'm very fond of Death's Head Max, which I did for Easton Press, as it captures a blend of all the influences mentioned in previous questions.

SciFi Art Now: In your career, have you had any bizarre experiences while creating your art?

Patrick: Early in my career I painted a huge canvas for the ceiling of a millionaire containing bikini spacegirls tumbling from a spaceship. His wife rolled her eyes on seeing it but was happy enough. When she left the studio he offered me a hundred pounds for each bikini I removed (which was a lot of money back then).

I Am Legend by Patrick J. Jones
The next time his wife came in, she demanded I paint them back on and that he would pay the same again. He paid as she said but he again offered me the same deal to paint them out again.

I was making cash but was pretty bored with it, so this time I painted them out with gouache on top of the original, sealed acrylic paint. The next time she saw it, it was the same story.

I was paid more cash to paint the bikinis back in and when they left I simply wiped off the gouache with a wet rag, revealing the art underneath, then took my studio mates down the pub!

SciFi Art Now: What most frustrates you about being an artist?

Patrick: Every time I'm at my peak the economy collapses.

SciFi Art Now:  What keeps you going despite the hopefully occasional frustrations?

Patrick: I guess to a lot of people a job is done just to make money. To me, art is an essential part of my life, paid or unpaid. I'd rather live in an old shack and paint than live in a palace and be king.

SciFi Art Now: What advice would you offer to anyone starting out as an artist?

Patrick: Digital art has made competition greater than it's ever been, you have to live and breathe it if you want to stand out.

• Check out Patrick's web site at:

• Contact Patrick via or via his blog:

• Readers may be interested in buying Patrick's e-books, available from Patrick direct via

SF & Fantasy art Books
Incredible insight into the making of sf & fantasy art. Price: $8.00.

Three titles available: Digital Painting, Concept Art and Oil Painting Techniques

Price: $5.00

Out of a violent future the Sentinels are born; a new breed of killing machine, devoid of fear, compassion and mercy— Earth’s first deadly artificial intelligence. Led by renegade berserker Dan Mendez and his band of savage marauders, the gleaming robot hoard is unleashed upon an alien planet and its unsuspecting civilisation. Crash landing in their destructive wake Lieutenant Merabah finds herself marooned on a primitive planet facing terrible odds, when out of the mysterious jungle an old friend emerges in the form of Corporal Jim Burns. But as they face a wild destiny together she soon discovers he is not what he seems. From the desolate Earth to the rain soaked jungles of an uncharted planet, comes Sentinels, a rip-roaring adventure brimming with mystery, romance, betrayal, greed, and raging vengeance…

All books available to download at:

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