...And except for the quiet rippling of the deep, misty waters, the island of sorcery fell silent. For on this night, he would come to them. The creator...the creator of the Arkhimage. They bowed in reverence as he emerged from the sea, his mighty sword in hand...
CREATOR of lands, of peoples, of creatures great and small, Ken McGregor watches fantasy worlds materialize at his fingertips. With the artist's pen as his powerful sword, McGregor has been a professional artist for over twenty-six years, developing creatures so realistic, they've begun to walk and talk and think and feeltransforming into legends almost by themselves. "I used to draw fantasy creatureslots of creaturesall very different yet with a common thread bonding them. One day they started interacting...becoming closely involved with each other...until I watched whole stories come to life."
The characters of these tales are inhabtants of the lost islands of Arkhimagos, possibly McGregor's most well known series of fantasy drawings. They were his very first fantasy works, too. He sketched "Hydrak" in 1975: "I was impressed by the strength of Frazetta's art. Wanting to capture that feeling of strength, I sat down, sketched my first fantasy creature and liked it so much that I stuck with it."
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Was Frazetta his inspiration then?
"No, not really. If I had to pin it down, I'd say Disney influenced me, if anyone. And I think some Disney like qualities come through in my illustrations. They appeal to both children and adults. Even the dragons and other demons of the Arkhimage have a sort of 'cuddly look'. Their features are softly inflated, as if they're viewed through a wide-angle lense."
Is creating fantasy art how he makes a living?
No, most of McGregor's earnings come from his earnings as a Creative Director for a cornucopia of clients...some corporate; some industrial; some retail. "Advertising buys my inks, paints and boards so I can continue to explore new vehicles for my creativity. Since moving back to Kent I have directed much of my free time illustrating local architectures and lifestyles in my hometownthen using them in local medias that promote the downtown business district. As soon as I finish two pen-and-ink illustrations of historic buildings I plan to begin a series of progressive linoleum prints of Kent city-scapes. The flatbed press I bought several years ago will finally be put to good use."
McGregor is a resident of Kent, Ohio. And he plans to stay there just as long us he can. "I've lived here almost all my life. The people are greatreally down-to-earth. And the university (Kent State) attracts so many creative people... the cultural atmosphere of the community gives me that little push when I need it."
what about Arkhimagos?