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    Arnaud Demaegd
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I was born in 1974 near Paris, France. I began drawing very early on, but I found painting quite frustrating: too dirty, awkward. Of course, the reason was that I was clumsy. But the feeling remained until much later.

I think I became acquainted with the work of Frank Frazetta in the late 70's, when Ballantine's The Fantastic Art of Frank Frazetta was published in France. I remember coloring Frazetta's pen and ink drawings with felt pens! Anyway, it was quite a revelation for me. I'd been a fan of dinosaurs since my kindergarten years, especially all of Zdnek Burian's stuff. Now, I discovered fantasy art. There were guys before him, there will be guys after him, but Frazetta will always remain the greatest for me.

The end of the 70's also saw the release of the first Star Wars movie. I was lucky enough to see it in '77, when I was only three. Its impact on me was huge. In fact I can still feel it (which is obvious in my work).

I kind of stopped drawing when I was in my teens. It was probably a result of my beginning to play the guitar (at age 11). It was a bad idea, though, as my drawing skills stagnated (at best) when they should have skyrocketed. I was convinced I couldn't draw anymore, that the thrill was gone.

Then, when I was in college – I think it was during the Gulf War – I felt the urge to draw again. I started honing my skills with photorealistic portraits. I also copied Vallejo's pencil drawings (in particular, those in the first section of Mirage ). But once again, the true revelation came from Frazetta. His Illustrations Arcanum was released in '93. Now that I'm thinking about it, my ‘inspiration lapse' lasted until he came back from his forced retirement. Also, around the same time, we began to hear news about a new Star Wars trilogy. Who knows? Maybe I thought ‘hey, business's picking up'. I don't remember, and it wasn't too much of a conscious thing anyway.

When I was at the university, I met Jean-Jacques Dzialowski, who was still trying to send submissions to Marvel and DC. Meeting him reinforced that new spark in me. He's a good friend, although we don't see each other too often. He works for the big firms, now, and he deserves the best. I hope some day, we'll be able to work together.

In the mid 90s, I worked on a few projects. A card game named Dragon' Net (with no ‘s'), a fanzine called Ozone (which evolved into Science-Fiction Magazine ), stuff here and there. Then, in '97, I started painting. I suddenly felt confident enough to work with oil paints. I've never stopped from then on. I did a few things in those years of learning – a cover for Hard-Rock Magazine , pin-ups for perfume boxes…

In 2001, I discovered Mike Hoffman's official site. I had heard of him in Frazetta's short-lived magazine, had seen some of his works in various collective books (of the Jungle Goddesses kind). He was obviously very, very good. To cut a long story short, when I connected on the internet for the first time, I saw his gallery and I couldn't help writing him a long letter. His reply was so nice that we've never stopped corresponding. He's given me advice, kicked my butt for being too lazy to learn to draw properly... In exchange, I defended him in occasional art forum witch-hunts. I also wrote a couple of articles in the Mike Hoffman Collector . He's encouraged/allowed me to send drawings to be published in his pin-up books (featuring his characters Tigress, Octavia, Squid Girl and Madame Tarantula). I did my best to live up to his expectations (you can see the results in my gallery).

In 2003, I painted a poster for Semic's Strangers. It was based on a drawing by Jean-Jacques Dzialowski. The painting was used as the cover for the US version published by Image Comics.

In 2004, I did the cover and the board for my brother's boardgame, Ys , which turned out to be a big success in several countries. I've just finished working on his new game, Caylus , which should consequently be ready for Essen ( Ystari Games has another game to be released at the Essen Festival in October. It's called Phoenicia ).

In 2004, I also began doing covers for Jean-Marc Lofficier's Black Coat Press : I've done three Arsène Lupin vs. Sherlock Holmes covers (you can buy the books online – they're very good!): The Hollow Needle , The Blond Phantom and The Stage Play .

Now, I'm still working in the game industry (notably for Ystari Games and Ferti Games). I also have some projects in the field of illustration. I'll tell you more soon… Very soon…

Date of Birth:
Birthplace: Paris, France


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Cover Artist:
Strangers (2003)

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