I've also produced artwork for various publishers around the world including Scholastic, Time-Warner, HarperCollins and Oxford University Press, illustrating popular authors such as Anne McCaffrey, Raymond E. Feist and Harry Turtledove, as well as some classics including Dr Jekyll & Mr Hyde and The Silver Sword. I was fortunate enough to receive the British Fantasy Award for Best Artist.
I illustrated the book accompanying the album release of Misterstourworm & the Kelpie's Gift, an orchestral work based on stories and characters from Scottish legend. My artwork was used as large-scale backdrops for live performances of the work by The Orchestra of Scottish Opera, with narration by Lord of the Rings actor Billy Boyd.
As an author, I've written some books about digital art including Digital Fantasy Painting Workshop and Digital Horror Art, and edited Fantasy Art Now published by Collins. In addition to work in publishing, I do concept and production art for computer games, and film and television productions which have included the BAFTA-nominated The Magician of Samarkand for the BBC, and most recently Gulliver's Travels for 20th Century Fox.
Currently: I've just finished illustrating my first children's picture book. I worked on this with the wonderful editors at Omnibus Books and it'll be published by Scholastic in time for Christmas. More news about that later in the year. Meanwhile I'm continuing to develop the next picture book, and the one after that. While I'm busy on those I might still be able to fit in some illustration commissions, so get in touch!
Pick pocket fantasies
I know it's not news to you switched-on kids, but this here is Pocket Fantasy Art. A mini version of Fantasy Art Now, with all the same bits in, but at a much more portable size that can easily be secreted in your trendy car coat, or slipped into a carrier bag even if it's already full of liver, so there's no need to leave all this fantasy art behind whenever you go to the caravan. Not this time. It's handy, it's brilliant. Who needs an iPad? Oh, there's a Fantasy Art Now app on its way.
Magazine interview in Russia
A really good six-page interview with me appears in World of Fantasy Magazine, Russia's largest periodical devoted to fantasy and science fiction.
It's the No. 4 (80) April '10 issue (I know. I've never claimed to be the most dynamic blogger), but it can still be viewed on the World of Fantasy site. "Monthly on pages of our magazine the famous artists share experience with the young counterparts. But some legends of fantastic painting are not limited to short advice within the limits of interview, and spend huge quantity of forces and time to the aid of rising generation of illustrators. Our today's visitor Martin Makkena is those also."
Got my Eye on this car
My Eye of the Dragon picture is now emblazoned on this car in Austin, Texas. The work was done by Speedpro Imaging, and I'm delighted the client liked my artwork enough to want it all over their motor.
As a departure from the usual McKenna fare of goblins, dripping fangs and rotting hags in skips, let's turn our attention to lighthouses, puffins, and copious amounts of tea. And beards. But still McKenna-centric. Here's a book about my eldest brother, Gerry. The Lighthouse-keeper himself. This was a book for children published by Hamish Hamilton back in the '80s. Long out of print, I thought I'd make a record of it and whack it up here. Click on the cover, and then 'next' through the sequence to see the whole book. Let's hope the weather holds!
The Spider Queen, one of the thirty-six interior ilustrations done for the Howl of the Werewolf book. And now she's available on a range of merchandise including T-shirts. Also available is a range of posters, framed prints, T-shirts and other items featuring the Howl of the Werewolf cover werewolf, and the Legend of Zagor demon. Early days for the page design and product range, but check out the Wardrobe of Terror.
The Grasping Goblin!
The cover I did for The Grasping Goblin, the second book in the Grim and Grimmer series by Ian Irvine published by the excellent Omnibus Books, an imprint of Scholastic.
The back of the book features a silhouette of our heroine Mellie being threatened by a demon. Below, a rough of the goblin. Below right, a doodle of the Headless Highwayman for the first cover seen in an earlier post.
The printed cover is super glossy with orange foil on the title and the goblin's eyes. A really nice finished product!