Airship Arrival: Syd Mead’s Latest Instructional Video

Legendary designer Syd Mead has released an instructional video titled ‘Airship Arrival’. The 140-minute-long tutorial, available exclusively on the Gnomon Workshop website, is a candid instructional segment in which Mead demonstrates the techniques he used to create an illustration of a futuristic Airship.

In the video, the famed visual futurist walks us through the steps he took in the design process, discusses the drawing techniques he employed and delves into the brushes and guides he used to produce a sense of ‘being there’.

Mead also shares his thoughts on the creation of a successful design illustration that is imbued with a visceral illusion called ‘presence’, emphasizing how he creates the illusion of reality through the almost abstract representation of various natural and mechanical detail.

The illustration is brought to life using Mead’s defining guache medium, a classic opaque watercolor pigment that dries with a matte finish.

With his clear vision, inspired by imagination and knowledge of the familiar, Mead shares how he develops a plausible future reality, and the Gnomon Workshop invites you to witness how the master draftsman, designer and artist puts it all together.

The full-length ‘Airship Arrival’ video is available to download on the Gnomon Workshop website, alongside a number of other instructional video releases by the acclaimed designer, who celebrates his 82nd birthday today.

About Syd Mead

A professional career that spans over 50 years started just out of high school in Colorado Springs, Colorado creating characters and backgrounds for animated cinema intermission trailers.

After three years in the Army Corps of Engineers, Syd graduated with great Distinction from the Art Center School in 1959 and was immediately hired by Ford Motor Company’s Advanced Styling studio where he began to be recognized for his futuristic style. This led to his being recruited to create corporate promotional books with Mead-Hansen Company in Chicago for US Steele and other clients over the next nine years.

By 1970, Syd’s reputation enabled him to found his own company, Syd Mead, Incorporated, to create industrial design and corporate graphics and, after a fortuitous move to Southern California in 1975, concept designs for the motion picture, television and electronic game industries. His cinema entrée was fortunate, starting with the creation of the V’GER entity for Star Trek: The Motion Picture followed by two cult classics: Bladerunner and Tron.

Mead’s professional work continues to the present including numerous presentations to audiences all over the world. He considers his legacy to be the body of work that has provided day-to-day challenge over many years while offering clients his unique design and problem solutions. He has also provided inspiration to an audience of all ages, which has been the most satisfying of all. Mead considers the opportunity to be a guidepost for ambition in others as a priceless gift of fortunate circumstance.


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