Wednesday 2 July 2014

Trained Dragons - from France

I've never been a girl to underappreciate a dragon. When 'How to Train your Dragon' was released by Dreamworks in 2010, guess who was first in line to see it? It was of particular interest to me as well because my book 'The Hidden World' has a chapter on dragon rearing! The writing was second to none, the performances great, but it was the character design and visuals that made this film such a stand-out success. Imagine my delight in meeting the lead concept artist behind the film's success - Nico Marlet - just three and a half years later. Turns out we are neighbours - living in the same part of Hollywood.

That's what this little blog post is about. I've been so busy lately (I had to fly back to England only two weeks after I last left, to attend to an urgent matter), so my own creative progress has been rather abysmal of late. I like to keep this blog active, and since I have spent so much time in the company of talented and wonderful Dreamworks artists, mostly Nico Marlet, I wanted to give his work an unneeded 'shout out' (as they say here).

Toulouse-born French artist Nico creates the most incredible and unique characters. He's responsible for Po of 'Kung Fu Panda' (2008), various monsters of 'Monsters Inc' (2001) and 'Monsters University' (2013), the characters of 'How to Train your Dragon' (2010) and the just out 'How to Train your Dragon 2' (2014).

If you enjoyed the first 'How to Train your Dragon' then the sequel is not something you want to miss - go and see it now whilst you're able to see it in theatres in 3D. There are more glorious and colourful dragons which can only have sprung from the imagination of this crazy Frenchman, another interesting and tough female character and emotional twists you wont expect.

This is my fabulous signed dragon print, given to me the other day by Nico. Below are some of his sketches and the last photo shows his sketchbook which is filled with his wonderful drawings which he does in his own time (not commercial artwork).

You can buy a copy at Amazon here.

Funnily enough Nico Marlet doesn't have a website or blog up, but he's mentioned that he's going to have one created in the near future. I'll include his link as soon as he does. Until then you can enjoy his work by watching the mentioned Dreamworks films, the short film 'French Roast' and by buying his 'Sketchbook' as mentioned. It's inspiring stuff! ;)

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