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Jeff Preston is many things. He's an illustrator. He's southern. He's old school. He's also our pal and a fun guy to hang out with!
Dwight and I met him at a Dragon*Con a few years ago (Adrian has yet to) and we've all been buds ever since. It's cool being friends with someone who's been doing this for 26 years, and whose artistic lineage goes back to Howard Pyle (yep, that's right).
Looking at his gallery, you'll notice Jeff has a penchant for the macabre — monsters, ghouls, zombies. Basically anything that goes bump in the proverbial night. Which is funny considering many of the assignments he's gotten over his career have come from religious publishers (drawing Jesus by day, and Dracula by night).
And hey, don't let the old school comment fool you. This man does work traditionally (his marker technique — oh my God!), but he also rocks the digital tools. He taught Photoshop courses for a while at a college in his native Tennessee.
Prepare to regaled by Preston's rich stories and tall tales. I say tall tales in jest. Jeff's experiences are all honest and real. In some cases pretty funny, too. He was a hoot!
And we do get into some process for all you tech-heads out there. Jeff wields a Copic marker like Thor wields his hammer — and there's just as much thunder and lightning as a result. You can quote me on that!
His partial client list: Famous Monsters of Filmland, Darkhorse Comics, Lifeway Christian Resources, The United Methodist Publishing House, MGM/UA Home Video, Haunted Hill Productions, Spencer Gifts, Harcourt Publishing, McDonalds, Flynn/Sabitino/Day Advertising, Fantasy Flight Games, 5/3rd Bank, U.S. Post Office and more.
Here's a link to Amdale Media's latest in their Masters of Art Video Tutorial series. A DVD featuring Jeff and his incredible marker technique. Gobble it up, folks.
Below is an assortment of Preston goodies. The first one (left) is called Apparition Abolishers; a more recent piece. Dwight refers to it as Cyberpunk Ghostbusters. I'm fond of both titles!