Approach to Rivendell (2012), by Paul Tobin
Paul Tobin spent a couple of days in April at SARA, and gave a lecture greatly appreciated both by students who leans towards working in concept art, and by students with a focus on fine art.
Tobin is based in Wellington, New Zealand, and have been working for the better part of 10 years at Weta Workshop as a concept designer. His works with the Chronicles of Narnia, King Kong, Avatar, The Hobbit, District 9 and Tin Tin probably rings a bell for anyone interested in concept art, film or gaming.
Tobins road to his position at Weta Workshop hasn’t been the most classical one. After failing to gain entrance to any art schools, Tobin eventually pursued Ancient History and Medieval English at Victoria University Wellington, after which he travelled abroad for three years to pursue his interest in exploring and working as a volunteer archeologist. It’s obvious to the eye how his deep interest in history, society and archeology has influenced his work. Arriving back in NZ he enrolled at Massey University’s School of Design, where he spent the next four years specialising in graphic design and illustration and began building his portfolio for Weta.
Sherlock Holmes vs The White Fox Woman (2010), by Paul Tobin for Coilhouse Magazine
The motive behind bringing Tobin the school was to broaden the students horizons, and underline what elements of design which fine art can learn to apply from the world of concept art.
Miles Johnston, a SARA-student from England, spontanous reaction after the workshop is that…
- Paul has extensive experience working within the movie industry so he was able to give us a unique and exciting insight into a possible career outlet for the skills we learn at school. It was fun to put more focus on working from our imagination and definitely a challenge. Paul’s sharp eye for design was inspiring and it was a pleasure to participate!
When not working for Weta and travelling to give lectures, Tobin recently produced his first book in collaboration with 27 artists called “White Cloud Words” - An Anthology of Science Fiction and Fantasy Art from Aotearoa New Zealand.
We had an amazing time with Paul, and hope to see him again!
Visit his official website to keep up to date with his great work!