Where Virtual Meets Print

Announcement & Interview with Artist Matt Gaser

Cameron Books is thrilled to announce that Matt Gaser, a Spectrum award-winning Illustrator / Visual Development Artist will be publishing his first book, Fantastical: The Art of Matt Gaser, with us, to be released this winter.

Matt describes himself as a concept artist, emphasizing his work in the design of objects, props, vehicles, characters, and illustrations, mostly for video games, but also for both animated and live-action movies.

So the question naturally arises — why is a concept artist, whose work is typically connected with virtual realms, publishing a print book? I had the pleasure of interviewing Matt last week to ask the very question.

“I’ve always wanted to make my own art book,” said Matt, describing his collection of art books that have influenced his journey as an artist. “I met Iain [the creative director here at Cameron Books] 5 or 6 years ago when I was working at a startup video game company — my boss at the time introduced us, and it turned out that Iain had done the art direction and layout for about half of the art books in my collection! He was automatically my hero.”

While interviewing Matt, I was fascinated by the role that physical books can play for artists, and the value that Matt described in being able to sell a print book at conventions. A book would allow him to share his work in a more holistic sense, as opposed to a website link or PDF attachment.

“Because it’s a printed book, it can travel more easily and get into people’s hands who might have an influence,” explained Matt. “An online book doesn’t do that. You’d have to find it rather than the book finding you. That’s the advantage of print.”

The more that Matt talked about the content of Fantastical, I began to realize just how advantageous the book would be for him. “In my book, there’s a lot of ideas in terms of stories that I’ve had that were never finished,” he explained. “Essentially, there are three main projects that I have been passionate about, but never really went anywhere, included in the book. Now, there’s a chance that they could be mini pitches and, you never know, maybe one day land in an art director’s hands who would want to use them.”

“Most of my stories are connected by the same world. Think of it like the Marvel Universe, there’s different stories but all in the same universe.”

As a freelance artist, Matt is able to be a part of a diverse range of projects, spanning across the mechanics of video games and cinematic narratives, too. “Sometimes it’s just one painting, and othertimes they’ll need me for 6 months, but the work is always evolving and changing,” he explained. “So the book, if anything, will introduce people to my work that otherwise might not know that I’m out there.”

Be on the lookout for Matt Gaser’s incredible art book this winter, and in the meantime, see more of his beautifully detailed work here.

Matt Gaser began his studies learning Illustration and Entertainment Design at Art Center College of Design in Pasadena. A highly driven student, he interned at Klasky Csupo as a Background/Prop Designer for the animated series Rugrats while completing his studies. After graduation he worked in video games for six years doing concept design on such titles as Eragon, and Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers.

The games industry eventually led him to an amazing opportunity working for Lucasfilm on the CG animated TV series Star Wars: The Clone Wars as a lighting concept artist. After several years at Lucasfilm helping craft seasons 1 & 2, he decided to shift gears in the Fall of 2009 and embarked on working for himself out of his studio. Some higher profile projects he’s been designing for in recent years include Green Lantern: The Animated Series, the feature film HOP, and a new animated movie currently in development through Sony Pictures Animation and Rovio Animation. His passion for making books has also led him to a two-book deal with Chronicle Books, developing a fantasy adventure series marketed towards children and young adults.