This is the first of a three-part interview with Ken Meyer Jr. The interview in its entirety can found throughout the month of June in the Featured Artist link to the right.
Ken Meyer Jr. is one of the most restlessly creative, not to mention prolific artists I know. Having done work for a long and colorful list of clients including Marvel Comics, Wizards of the Coast, White Wolf Games, Sony (on the Everquest game), as well as the American Cancer Society and RAINN, which is one place that our paths have crossed, having both contributed to a series of multi-artist Tori Amos-themed calendars to benefit that organization a few years (or more) back. His work, which spans numerous genres and media, is imbued with a master storyteller’s sense for drama and lighting, as well as his own personal charm and sense of humor.
An Eye For an Eye © Ken Meyer Jr
How would you describe your work in general?
I would say my work is realistic and dramatic, to be precise. Of course, I do fantasy work sometimes, and work that might not be considered dramatic. But, what I like the most is playing with lighting in a realistic setting.
Masks © Ken Meyer Jr
Any favorite projects that you’ve worked on?
There have been several, of course, and it is hard to choose! However, a few do come to mind. One would be the RAINN calendar that you were also a part of. There were so many things to love about that project. For one, I was able to do some really nice paintings of Tori Amos, never a dull or unattractive subject. Two, I was able to bring together an amazing assortment of artists every year, pro bono, to astound me continuously with their contributions. Lastly, the response from the actual fans was really nice, people seemed to really like it (despite sales not being able to really be good enough to keep it going after 5 years).
Tori Rainbow © Ken Meyer Jr
A relatively recent project that was fun was the hundreds of sketch covers done for Avatar’s Night of the Living Dead series. In addition to making some of my favorite musicians zombies, I used many friends as models for those undead covers. It was a long haul for sure, but much of the time, it was a fun trip. Another project that went pretty smoothly and produced a really good end piece was the Bell Helmets cover. I had an art director that was very communicative and provided a ton of reference photos up front, so I didn’t have to search. Like any project like that, there were a few fixes and changes toward the end, but not enough to be laborious.
© Ken Meyer Jr.
© Ken Meyer Jr
Was there a particular point in your life when you decided that you were going to be a professional artist or is it something that always came naturally to you?
I don’t know about naturally, but it WAS the only thing I ever wanted to do. From the time I was tracing from comic books around age 7, I knew I wanted to be an artist. Initially, it was comics I thought I would end up doing, but realized at some point I just wasn’t cut out for it, so I moved into other things, all the while having some sort of full time art job. Those jobs included advertising agencies, educational technology, online games, military training and more.
Ken Meyer Jr’s work can be found at: