AIPT: How do you go about creating the artwork for the upcoming figure? Does Hasbro provide you with a prototype or photographs?
David: They gave me some 3-D turnarounds in this case. I had a PDF that let me see what the figure looked like from every angle. I had a very good idea of what this thing was going to look like. The only thing I didn’t have was the paint. They weren’t necessarily 100% solid on the paint. And actually, if you look at the art that I released, they even changed a couple of things since. So I may go back into my own art and get it up to speed. The next time I post it’ll be totally accurate.
AIPT: I feel like there are two ways to draw Transformers characters. There’s the Generation 1 cartoon-style: very streamlined. Then there’s the more toy-accurate approach with all the kibble. How did you approach drawing Ultimate X-Spanse?
David: What I was trying to do is be very, very accurate to the actual toy, which I try to do every time I do a toy. We are bringing the toy to life with these box illustrations. So I didn’t want to miss any detail–if it was there in the design, I was going to include it in the art. But at the same time, I knew that I was being hired to do it in a line-art style, which is what makes it look a little more like the cartoon, right? You can see those internal lines. You look at my comic book cover art, for example, I don’t do that anymore. I do like a painted thing that has some lines in it, but it’s mostly painted in this case. We wanted the lines because it was meant to evoke that retro comic book vibe, in particular. So yeah, I think between the two of those, like trying to make it look like the toy, but being careful to use lines. You get a nice mix of toy-accurate and cartoon-accurate.
Read the entire interview here, then sound off on the 2005 boards!