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Derek Mueller, Illustrator


Illustration is the visualization of an idea. It takes something as vague as a feeling, a hunch, and turns it into something you can see, feel and touch. Illustration is an act of creation.

The Buccaneer was painted in 1984,  the year I first ventured out on my own as a freelance illustrator. Like many before and since, I wanted to emulate the careers of the artists whose work I most admired as a child. Since  the age of 12, I have been inspired by the art of Norman Rockwell, as  you will see from the gallery of mages below. N.C. Wyeth was also one of my great heroes. This Image is somewhat of a hybrid between their two very different styles.  It represents that first bold step away from the security of a paycheck and sailing off into the uncharted waters of sole proprietorship. I posed myself using a Polaroid camera and a jury- rigged timer that would set it off remotely while I held the pose.  The painting was done in oil on canvas, and it is one of the few times I have used an underpainting in the traditional fashion. The lettering was drawn over the figure and painted by hand.

Below, you see illustrations I have done for clients and some that I art directed on my own. I shifted away from traditional methods and became a digital artist in 2002.  Hesitant at first, I doubted I would have as much control over the painting process on the computer.  The opposite has turned out to be true. I believe that my style has shifted toward a more photo-realistic look, which is in demand these days. I attribute that to the preponderance of computer graphics in movies and video games as well as print media.

Whether done in a realistic or a painterly style, an illustration is a collaboration between artist and client.

I am proud to say that, after more than 20 years in the profession, I have  always put the needs of my customers first. They say that "two heads are better than one".  Whatever you have in mind for your project, it is my job to help you turn that idea into reality. Your creative vision combined with my experience as an artist are all that is needed to create something truly  spectacular.

The Buccaneer
by Derek Mueller
The Buccaneer by Derek Mueller, Illustrator

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