And while his impressive career might feel now intimidating to aspiring artists, in this in-depth interview streamed during The Art Department World Tour, Andrew was gracious enough to talk about his own fears and challenges. Especially those involving working on The Hobbit, one of his first projects, knowing how spectacular the works for the franchise had been in the past, and how big the expectation for this trilogy would be.

Growing up with a father that was a wildlife painter, Andrew got used form an early age to observe the things surrounding him. He starting building up his own catalogue of things, textures, macro photographs of various bugs, worms, leaves which he would collect and later draw inspiration from when creating his designs and characters. He always felt that having a personal library is much more inspiring and can prompt more organic designs than simply researching various images on Google.

When talking about character design, Andrew also mentions the challenges of trying to not make them look cartoony and also not like a person wearing a mask. Aside from doing the sketches, he also often creates sculptures based on his drawing, which are of great help to the entire team, making the working process smoother. Picking up inspiration from fashion, military uniforms of historical images and trying to integrate those elements in his designs, has helped Andrew create works that are not just good for the films but also can have a life in cosplay conventions satisfying the needs of fans to better immerse themselves in the fictional universe they enjoy.

Aside from sharing some very inspiring insights from working in New Zealand’s creative industries, Andrew Baker also spoils us by going into the specifics about working on some of his most loved projects: The Hobbit, Godzilla, Big Friendly Giant and Mortal Engines. A true feast for any fan of his works!