“Herd of Wooly Mammoth” American Museum of Natural History 1916
Before there were concept artists and paleo artists, the imagining of nonexistent creatures varied greatly. Today when we watch movies or play video games with realistically designed creatures we have over one hundred years of art history behind us.
One of the first and most famous of these artists was Charles R. Knight (1874-1953). Born in Brooklyn, Knight studied in New York and began his work in the late 19th century when the great Dino Wars were just getting started. The new field of paleontology was unearthing specimens of prehistoric dinosaurs by the hundreds, and museums all over the world were clamoring for the best fossils. Knight, along with the paleontologists was able to combine anatomy, science and art creating some of the most stunning recreations in natural art history.
During a golden age of discovery this golden age illustrator created murals, paintings, illustrations and sculptures that informed the understanding of prehistoric animals for almost a century, in museums and books, and is still inspiring artists today, including myself, and every concept artist who ever designed a monster or dragon.
Author/Illustrator of the best selling Dracopedia book series, as well as illustrator of over 3000 illustrations for the gaming and publishing business, William O'Connor's 20 year career has allowed him to work with such companies as: Wizards of the Coast, Impact Books, Blizzard Entertainment, WhiteWolf/CCP, Lucas Films, Activision and many more.
A winner of over 30 industry awards for artistic excellence including 6 contributions to Spectrum: The Best in Contemporary Fantasy Art and 8 Chesley nominations, William has taught and lectured around the country about his unique and varied artwork.