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Masters of Science Fiction and Fantasy Art by Joe Haldeman, Karen Haber

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(23434) Job No:01-23425 Title:RP-Masters of Science Fiction&Fantasy Art
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page 70 MASTERS of SCIENCE FICTION and FANTASY ART
COMBINED TRADITIONAL and DIGITAL TOOLS page 71
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GREG SPALENKA
“I work very hard at conceptualizing. In this day and age of
visual bombardment I want to create something new and not
use so much borrowed interest. The norm in this business is
the obvious, the literal, and the cliché. There are too many
editors and marketing people making decisions about art.”
As artists go, Greg Spalenka is a bit of a paradox. He
uses such low-tech materials as packing tape, found
objects, and scratches in paint, then reworks them using
sophisticated digital effects. He creates images of both
sublime spiritual beauty and hard-edged science ction
machinery. The artist, a spiritually engaged transcenden-
talist, is also a business professional who keeps a sharp
eye on the bottom line when it comes to financial
compensation and artistic freedom.
Spalenka began his award-winning career in 1982, after
graduating from Art Center College of Design in Pasa-
dena, California, with a BFA. He moved to New York
City and began a twenty-six-year journey illustrating for
the United States’ most prominent publishers of books,
magazines, and newspapers before turning his profes-
sional attention to lms, music, lecturing, and fantastic art.
Spalenka’s print clients include the New York Times, Wall
Street Journal, Rolling Stone, Time, Newsweek, Ms., Psychol-
ogy Today, The Atlantic, Sports Illustrated, Harpers, Fortune,
Business Week, Mother Jones, and Playboy magazines. His
artwork has appeared on the covers of books published
by HarperCollins, Scholastic, Viking Penguin, Random
House, Simon & Schuster, Holiday House, Tor Avon, and
Farrar, Straus and Giroux.
The recipient of gold and silver Society of Illustrator
medals, gold and silver awards from Spectrum: The Best
in Contemporary Fantastic Art, as well as recognition in
Communications Art Annual, American Illustration Annual,
and Print Magazine Regional Design Annual, Spalenka has
extensively exhibited his work in the United States and
Hypnotised. Mixed media/digital. Concept design for Prince Caspian: Voyage
of the Dawn Treader. Image © Walden Media, Fox.
Big Gun. Digital. Concept design in collaboration with Ian Miller for the animated film Escape from Planet Earth. Image © Rainmaker Entertainment.
Woodland Hills, California, USA
(23434) Job No:01-23425 Title:RP-Masters of Science Fiction&Fantasy Art
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(23434) Job No:01-23425 Title:RP-Masters of Science Fiction&Fantasy Art
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(23434) Job No:01-23425 Title:RP-Masters of Science Fiction&Fantasy Art
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page 70 MASTERS of SCIENCE FICTION and FANTASY ART
COMBINED TRADITIONAL and DIGITAL TOOLS page 71
(Text)
Japan. He has also lectured and run workshops throughout
the country. Much of his deeply textured artwork is
drenched with light that emanates a palpable spirituality
and lingers long in the mind’s eye. “I attempt to attain a
sense of the sacred in all my art,” Spalenka says. “Even if the
subject is dark, there is always a little light to balance it.”
As a concept designer he’s worked on ve feature CG
animated and live action lms, including The Ant Bully,
The Golden Compass, Escape from Planet Earth, Kamlu,
and most recently the third Narnia lm, The Voyage of the
Dawn Treader. He has also provided art and design for
the game Warcraft.
Spalenka’s work combines traditional hand skills and
digital effects while building layers of imagery, texture,
and meaning. He is guided by both concept and intu-
ition. The artist begins his process with photos, images
drawn on illustration board, and collaged elements. After
these are assembled and sealed with an acrylic medium,
he paints on top of them with acrylics, sometimes ap-
plying the paint by hand and moving it around. Next he
distresses the paint with sandpaper and metal scrapers
and again uses acrylics to seal the nal results.
Big Gun. Digital. Concept design in collaboration with Ian Miller for the animated film Escape from Planet Earth. Image © Rainmaker Entertainment.
Dufflepod. Mixed media/digital. Concept design for the film The Voyage of the
Dawn Treader. Image © Walden Media, Fox.
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(23434) Job No:01-23425 Title:RP-Masters of Science Fiction&Fantasy Art
#175 Dtp:204 Page:71
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001-224_23434.indd 71 1/27/11 10:12 AM

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