Stephen Silver Illustration
Stephen Silver (b. 1972) is a London born character designer and educator currently residing in California. He has worked on countless projects for all the major studios, including Nickelodeon, Disney, and Sony, but perhaps he is best known for designing the characters for Disney’s “Kim Possible” and for his active presence at comic cons and as an art educator and advocate.
Stephen Silver began his professional career by illustrating caricatures while employed at Sea World in San Diego in 1992. Through constantly observing forms, shapes, weight, and movement, Silver has developed an iconic style with incredibly unique, pushed character designs. Nothing about his work is static or stale… each drawing exudes life, personality, and a unique perspective. Whether he’s creating caricatures of iconic characters, or developing completely unique designs, all of his work has a fresh quality that you just don’t see in most work.
One of the things I like most about Silver is his constant advocacy for illustrators, especially those who are up and coming and more susceptible to predatory schemes. He consistently reminds new artists to protect their rights and demand fair prices for their hard labor. In several of his artist pep talks he uploads to his site, he discourages artists from working for free or submitting ideas to various contests and competitions, arguing that they provide very little (if any) value to the scores of illustrators who submit to them. In an industry that is constantly undervaluing the years of training and expense that artists go through to perfect their craft, it’s refreshing to have such a vocal advocate on the side of illustrators reminding them, and businesses, that their work has value and should be treated fairly.
Silver has been working as an educator for several years, and teaches both in person and online. He recently launched a Kickstarter campaign for his latest self published title, “The Silver Way”, which I eagerly backed. I have purchased dozens of how-to-draw books over the years, but this book the most thorough, beautiful, and insightful drawing approach guide I’ve seen since the Andrew Loomis titles. Yes, it’s really THAT good. Silver has truly proven he is just as gifted of an educator as he is an illustrator, and I cannot recommend this book enough for all people interested in character design, from illustrators to fellow art educators. You can grab the book via his website orAmazon.
Aja Mulford is an illustrator, art director, and illustration teacher based in Northern California.