John Loren Illustration


John Loren is a freelance artist whose work has spanned illustration, video games, animation, and comics. Recently his work has appeared in the Spyro Reignited Trilogy, the albums of AJR, and Spectrum Fantastic Art. His first picture book Frankenstein Doesn’t Wear Earmuffs! is available now from HarperCollins Publishers.



Do you take personal commissions?

-Due to a busy client schedule, I am not presently available to do private commissions. If only there were more time in the day!

What tools do you use to draw?

-I do my paintings in Photoshop CC, using Kyle Webster’s great collection of digital brushes, and I've recently started painting in Procreate, with brushes by Max Ulichney.

How did you get started as a professional artist?

-I got started as a video game artist. Video games need tons of art at all different stages. I knew how to use a lot of different software, so I did a pretty large variety tasks like drawing concepts and backgrounds, 2D and 3D character animation, and compositing. Then as I practiced painting more and more on the job and at home, I was able to transition into doing that exclusively. Working with and observing some really great painters was a big part of this.

Do you have any advice for illustration students?

-As an illustrator, your main job is communication. The context and narrative of your picture is what will ultimately make it succeed or fail at its mission. Aesthetics are wonderful and important, but you have to let those decisions cascade from a starting goal of clarity to make a beautiful AND successful piece. Career-wise, be proactive. Take classes, meet other illustrators at events, join servers or forums, get feedback, send your work out to art directors, and always be actively shaping your portfolio to meet your personal career goals.