Martin McKenna

Concept art and covers

Martin was born in London and began his illustration career in fantasy and horror fanzines of the 1980s, in particular the respected HP Lovecraft-devoted Dagon. His first professional commissions came from Games Workshop for their magazine White Dwarf, and this began a long relationship with the company which saw Martin illustrating many Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay publications and the very first Warhammer 40K book, as well as many other GW books and boardgames. Martin has illustrated a plethora of other game-related material for many publishers, including covers and internal illustrations for twenty-two of the classic Fighting Fantasy series from Puffin Books, and card art for Magic: The Gathering from Wizards of the Coast.

Martin has also produced illustrations and cover art for numerous international publishers 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 classics including Dr Jekyll & Mr Hyde and The Silver Sword. In 1995 Martin received the British Fantasy Award for Best Artist.

As an author, Martin has written definitive books about digital art, including Digital Fantasy Painting Workshop and Digital Horror Art, and edited Fantasy Art Now, published by Collins. In addition to his work in publishing, Martin produces concept and production art for computer games, and film and television productions including the BAFTA-nominated The Magician of Samarkand for the BBC.

Martin illustrated the book accompanying the album release of the orchestral work Misterstourworm & the Kelpieā€™s Gift, based on stories and characters from Scottish legend. His artwork was used as large-scale backdrops for spectacular live performances of the work by the Orchestra of Scottish Opera, with narration by Lord of the Rings actor Billy Boyd.

It was while working with computer games developer Eidos Interactive in 1997, during production of the Warrior Kings game, that Martin first met Dave Morris. Over the years they have conceived a number of ideas and properties, and in 2004 joined forces with Leo Hartas in an early attempt to create an illustrated world book for Mirabilis, a concept which Dave and Leo had created years earlier. More recently, Martin has put comics aside to concentrate on picture books for young children, including The Octopuppy and The Crocodolly.