Neal Anderson is a freelance illustrator specialising in concept art, story boarding and comics. Neal’s portfolio includes plenty of Metroid art pieces featuring Samus Aran and a variety of monsters from the series.
I’m a freelance illustrator and I’ve been drawing for as long as I can remember. Both my parents have/had artistic careers- my father was an illustrator and my mother a graphic designer, and they’ve both helped immensely in the process of developing my skills. My twin brother is also an illustrator, and we’d spend most of our childhood drawing and creating characters with our older sister. I didn’t grow up with video games, only playing them on occasion with friends or cousins. Despite this limited access to video games, I was endlessly fascinated with them- the character designs, the colors, the environments, the sound- they all fueled my imagination and passion for creating characters so much. So come my teenage years, and with unrestricted access to the internet, I would research and discover video games, and consistently, retro games caught my attention the most. It was not until I tried out Super Metroid on an emulator that my love for the Metroid series began.
Video game design is still, and perhaps more than ever, a source of endless artistic inspiration for me, whether it be the fantastic character design of Capcom’s illustration team, or the dark fantasy and horror stylings of Dark Souls and Bloodborne. However, I strive to find inspiration in all places- films, animation, music, books and comics, especially gravitating towards the latter. While I enjoyed Superheroes enough as a child, it wasn’t until I discovered European comics in my teen years that my love for the medium really developed, instigated by looking through issues of ‘Heavy Metal’ and being enthralled by the work of Jean ‘Moebius’ Giraud, Richard Corben, Geof Darrow, and Tanino Liberatore, among many others. It was through all these wildly different styles that I realized the importance of versatility as an artist- and so while seeking artists with diverse styles and backgrounds, I would also train myself to work in varying styles and methods.My work as a freelance illustrator has taken me interesting places, as I get to interact with clients the world over, taking great pride and enjoyment in visualizing others’ ideas. One of my most significant and enjoyable accomplishments was a comic called ‘The Chasing Arrows’, where along with writer and creator Thomas Miller-Donelly, we crafted a post-apocalyptic tale with a heavy emphasis on the ecological impact of humanity’s decisions. The comic went on the have 3 successful kickstarter campaigns, and we’re hoping to continue the story sometime in the future. My work in comics has inspired me to finally tackle comic projects completely of my own, often revolving around the characters I designed as a kid.
I first reached out to Neal in the early days of Shinesparkers to create some holiday greeting cards for us as a fun side project. He agreed, and over the years he has provided some fantastic humourous festive designs. He is a hugely talented artist with a varied portfolio and I am proud of how far he has come. It’s always a joy to see someone inspired by the Metroid franchise, and is deserving of some further promotion to support his work. We urge you to check him out and even commission him!