LK Designer by Day…Illustrator by Night

by Lee - Nov 15, 2011


I joined the Design Team at Learnkey in 2009, and in doing so, I like to feel that I brought a new and unique approach the team. You see, although I work as a Designer that would be a secondary definition to my artistic strengths. I am primarily an Illustrator, and even more specifically a Comic-book Illustrator.

Comic books, graphic novels, comic strips, and the like are some of the best ways to tell a story in my opinion. Comics go beyond words on a page, and in some respects go beyond some of the limitations of film-making. It is a unique and treasured storytelling medium to me and to many others! I have illustrated many small comic books as personal projects, and have been commissioned to do illustrations for clients. You can check out samples of those works here at my personal website.

Since early summer, I have been involved in an all new project, a more collaborative one. I teamed up with a writer to bring to life a Futuristic Sci-fi Graphic Novel called Expiration Date. This is so awesome for me because my writing skills are seriously lackluster; writing engaging dialogue is something I have yet to master. The writer that I’ve teamed up with is Robert Zappia, the writer of Halloween: H20 and the Syfy mini-series 5ive days to midnight. The script that he wrote for Expiration Date was originally written for the screen. And although Robert got a good response from movie Studios, many of them did not want to take a chance on it. However, they did suggest ‘a graphic novel’ approach, and long story short; here we are now!

This rich story takes place in the future during a time of serious overpopulation across the globe. The USA’s solution to this crisis is the development of a device known as a SY-9 capsule. The capsule is implanted in the heart of every child born in the USA, and it lies dormant until their 18th birthday. At which point, during a person’s REM sleep cycle, the capsule can be activated by a random lottery controlled by satellite and cause a person’s death or what is known in the story as their ‘Expiration Date.’ Or so we think it’s random. That’s where things take off in the story. We follow the lead character, Cutter, and his quest to uncover a conspiracy. We unfold his relationship between him and his brother, who lost their Mother at an early age because her ‘Expiration Date.’ We also follow Cutter’s love interest, and how the circumstances of Cutter’s life have driven them apart and bring them back again. It’s the relationships in this story that bring the characters and the world that they live in to reality for the reader.

I have already begun to illustrate this book, and we have so many plans with how to share it with readers. Our first big step has been to launch a Kickstarter Campaign. Our goal is to involve those who back the project at Kickstarter, and reward them for their pledges.  We certainly do need everyone’s support on this project, and hope that you will help us spread the word about it. You can visit our Kickstarter page here.

Thank you for taking the time to read about what I love to do as an illustrator.  I look forward to posting more, as I will begin to share illustration tutorials, tips, and resources, here on the LearnKey blog. I am looking forward to sharing these videos and resources in order to help anyone interested in improving their drawing skills. I’m going to cover subjects on how to go from a sketch to completed work, coloring, traditional vs digital, and a hybrid of digital/traditional. After all, it is not only important to learn how to use the tools of the trade, but it is important do know what you can do with those tools to improve your art.

Social Networking stuff for me and Expiration Date

Project Expiration Date Blog

My Facebook

The Expiration Date Facebook Fan Page

My Twitter

My Google+

The Expiration Date Google+ Page



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2 Responses to “LK Designer by Day…Illustrator by Night”

  1. By Sheena on Nov 16, 2011 | Reply

    Good Job Lee! I like the blog post and how you were able to tell us more about the work that you do when you’re not at LearnKey.

    🙂

  2. By Lee Wiley on Nov 21, 2011 | Reply

    Thanks, Sheena for the kinds words. It’s fun to share a little about life outside of LK.

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