EP 30 – Isaac Hannaford – Concept Artist, owner of Spaceship Guru – Worked on Halo Destiny, Halo Reach, Halo III, Team Fortress II…

This month’s Syn Studio podcast features concept artist Isaac Hannaford, also known as the Spaceship Guru, and who owns a company of the same name. Isaac specializes in spaceship design and has worked on a ton of exciting titles, such as Halo Destiny, Halo Reach, Halo III, Team Fortress II, and Halo comics as well. Spaceship Guru is a cool new company of his that designs spaceships for entertainment products, which you can check out online (look for the link below!). Isaac previously worked at Bungie as lead concept artist and has over 14 years of experience in concept design. Originally from Seattle, he is currently in Montreal at Rodeo FX working on an exciting new upcoming film. Isaac’s spaceship design skills are fantastic – it’s no wonder he is called the Spaceship Guru.

“Draw. Draw a lot. Don’t be afraid to use reference – use a lot of reference.”

In This Episode…

Anthony, Stephen and Julia chat with Isaac about everything space related, delving into the sci-fi world with geeky discussions about space tourism, the universe, Gundam, Star Wars, sci-fi authors and of course, art itself. We hear of Isaac’s transition from Washington to Montreal and his progress in his artistic career, what his inspirations and influences were, as well as his processes in art-making. We also delve into topics like VR, 3D, technology and video games, with Isaac providing important insights for aspiring concept artists. Listen on for another awesome podcast by Syn Studio!

Here’s what you’ll learn:
[01:10] What is was like being Lead Concept Artist at Bungie
[05:55] Isaac’s college experience and early inspirations
[08:25] How he got into space and sci-fi in general
[14:05] Anime talk: Gundam vs Halo!
[19:40] Isaac’s research process: designing spartans on Halo Reach
[25:55] Storytelling in an image: Isaac’s inspirations and how he does it
[27:40] Isaac’s favourite sci-fi authors and artists
[33:35] What it’s like working at Bungie
[38:50] Games and Gundams, what he does in his spare time
[48:30] Isaac’s experience living in Montreal in comparison to his home in Seattle
[52:45] Favourite spaceship designs as told by the Spaceship Guru
[58:20] How he learned art, painting and illustration
[1:06:25] Cool discussions on VR
[1:17:00] Isaac talks about his doubts as an artist – we all have them!
[1:21:26] Isaac gives advice to the aspiring artist as well as his philosophy on artistic style
[1:25:30] What’s next for the Spaceship Guru?

Links you’ll like…

Isaac Hannaford
Isaac’s Artstation
Spaceship Guru 
Spaceship Guru Tumblr 

Space Stuff
Mars One 
Planet Nine

Game Companies
Rodeo FX

Halo Reach
Halo: Combat Evolved
Halo 2
Red Faction
Half Life 2
Enemy Starfighter
Star Wars: TIE Fighter
Wing Commander
Star Wars: X-Wing

Books, Authors and Artists
The Art of Star Wars: The Force Awakens 
Alastair Reynolds 
Stephen Baxter
Ralph McQuarrie
Nilo Rodis-Jamero
Chris Foss
John Berkey 
John Harris
Jean Giraud (Moebius) 
Syd Mead
Films and Shows
Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets (2016)
The Fifth Element 
Jodorowsky’s Dune
Star Wars – The Force Awakens 
VICE – The Digital Love Industry 
Gundam series
Ghost in the Shell
Babylon 5 

Programs and Hardware
3DS Max 
Wacom Intuos 

More at Syn Studio
Syn Studio & CG Master Academy’s Distant Worlds Competition 
Syn Studio’s Gathering of Masters 2016 
Syn Studio’s article about Syd Mead  
Syn Studio’s podcast with Robert Bonchune 

Even More…

This interview is part of a series of exclusive Concept Art, Illustration, VFX, 3D and Comics Podcasts created by Syn Studio. If you enjoyed this podcast please share it with your friends. And please sign up below for our newsletter to keep informed about all of our great podcasts, interviews, tutorials, articles, videos and other material created for you: the artist.


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