A Brief History of Derek Thompson ...
Born in Atlanta, Georgia in 1972, Derek Thompson has been drawing monsters since before he can remember. Many things contributed to Derek's early fixation with creatures and the Unknown. Around age 5, he discovered Godzilla, Frankenstein, Star Wars and Ray Harryhausen. Other early revelations involved Dr.Seuss, Heavy Metal Magazine, Frazetta and R.Crumb. As a child, Derek also had a deep interest in paleontology, which lead to many, many dinosaur drawings. An avalanche of films, comics and cartoons followed, with Derek drawing all the while.
Though he drew constantly, it wasn't until high school that he had his first art class. Under the guidance of his fantastic teachers at Torrey Pines, Fred Marinello and Robert Pettimermet, Derek had his first exposure to serious art education. This didn't stop Derek from considering a career drawing comic books, which were a growing interest of his at the time. The summer after his junior year, Derek attended a summer program at the Otis Parsons Art Institute. In one short month, he realized that art school was the way to go. He spent the next year refining his AP art porfolio, which won him several grants and scholarships to attend Otis.
Four years and many stories later, Derek received his BFA in Illustration. Upon graduation, he had already been published by Dark Horse Comics, drawing one of his high school favorites, the Predator. It wasn't long before Derek was hired as an assistant designer on a new video game for Rhythm and Hues. Less than a year later, Derek relocated to San Francisco and started working as a concept artist and storyboard artist for Industrial Light and Magic. There, Derek made many friends and worked for over four years on numerous film projects. In 2000, Derek left ILM to pursue freelance work, taking a table at Maverick Studios located in San Francisco, CA.
Derek soon contributed artwork that was prominently featured in the films 'Unbreakable", and 'Thirteen Ghosts". As a freelancer, Derek was also able to return to his personal and abstract paintings. Derekmonster.com was launched in 2000 with the invaluable help of Mark Fiorenza. Derek returned to drawing comics as well, and in 2001, he self-published 'Bindu.' Most recently, Derek fulfilled a lifelong dream and became a Concept/ Storyboard artist at Skywalker Ranch, working on Star Wars: Episode III with a bunch of his pals. Other recent clients include Electronic Arts, Giant Killer Robot, Paizo Publishing, and Rhythm & Hues. Derek continues to work out of Maverix Studios, drawing, painting , and pursuing personal projects.
Please see the link to Derek's resume for a detailed project history.