By: Jane Lerner
[Ed note: Print will be featuring one New Visual Artist per day while the issue is on
newsstands. Keep checking back every weekday for new profiles on printmag.com. You can view
the entire list of winners here.]
Illustration for the Folio Society’s edition of Lord of the Flies. Art director: Sheri Gee.
From: Deep River, Ontario
Lives in: Brooklyn, New York
In a pop-culture landscape dominated by the likes of Twilight, Harry Potter, and Avatar, the mythical monsters, heroes, and villains drawn by Sam Weber fit right in. Born in Alaska, raised in several different Canadian provinces, and currently settled in Brooklyn, Weber marks his obsession with science fiction, fantasy, and fairy tales without falling into the territory of 10-sided dice.
Weber’s approach, fittingly, is both literary and theatrical. “As an illustrator, you need to react to the content and create images that are appropriate to the problem,” he says. “But I get to play director and producer myself, and cast it with my own actors, build my own sets, bring in my own lights, make my own soundtrack, whatever it is I want to do.”
After receiving his M.F.A. from the School of Visual Arts (where he now teaches ink drawing), Weber worked as assistant art direc- tor for the New York Times‘ Op-Ed page, complementing his rising reputation for dramatic editorial illustration work on behalf of clients such as The New Yorker, the Times Book Review, and Toronto’s Soulpepper Theatre Company–not to mention numerous posters and book covers.
Whether he’s drawing humans, animals, magical characters, or abstractions, Weber is committed to the “finicky, tiny details” like the filigree of a coat button or that elusive shadow between lip and chin. He’s equally devoted to old-fashioned methods and modern technology, embracing blots and natural patterns in his paint before finishing the desaturated images in Photoshop.
Weber credits his love of the natural world to his father, a forester, and Canadian painter Robert Bateman’s finely rendered images of flora and fauna. A childhood engrossed in The Lord of the Rings eventually led to the best job yet of his short career: illustrating an e-book series of The Wheel of Time.
Book cover for Penguin. Art director: Roseanne Serra; designer: Christopher Brand.
[View the entire list of winners here.]