VR tribute: SYD MEAD

Syd Mead (born July 18, 1933), is a "visual futurist" and a neofuturistic concept artist. He is best known for his designs for science-fiction films such as Blade Runner, Aliens and Tron. Of his work, Mead was once moved to comment: "I've called science fiction 'reality ahead of schedule.'" (End of citation, source: Wikipedia).
With no doubts, Syd has definitely motivated the whole generation of designers and his influence is far from fading away even today. Along the Star Wars, his work was the reason for most of the designers of my age to dream about an art career. We all wanted to draw spaceships and robots.

I’ve met Syd in Montreal, during the ADAPT 2007 conference, where he held an amazing speech about his career, about his process and where he also signed an event catalogue for me. Yes, I came late to his booth to purchase a book. They were all sold out meanwhile. However, meeting my hero changed totally my life. Syd was not a myth anymore, he was a friendly living person I could talk to. Suddenly, his inspiration went from “dream” to “goal”. By the way, I’ve also attended Ian Mc Caig’s class that week and it was exactly the same experience. And while their skills could remain out of my reach forever, they both are holding the flag for me and illuminate my path.
Although there is undoubtable and visible Syd’s influence on my work, I’ve never attempted to copy or mimic his style. So when the article at Core77 (
http://www.core77.com/posts/20127/flotspotting-michael-jelineks-mead-esque-transportation-designs-20127), I was horrified. Did they just accused me from plagiarism? Well, I must admit that it took me a while to realize that it was the best compliment I could ever earn. Just see for yourselves. Yes, I am still flattered.

Brushes, gouache, pens and markers ... these are Syd’s weapons, and as they may appear too traditional or old school, his style is definitely current and futuristic. On the other side, my tools are digital and experimental. So here comes my desperate attempt to say thank you Syd, steal bit of your style and draw it my way. In virtual reality.
Bellow are few thumbnails and moving gif’s from the process, and at the bottom you will find full 3d sketch hosted at Sketchfab, which you can view with your VR headset and experience the space. Enjoy and leave me a note!


Animated GIF’s from the process, posted on Tumblr:


3d sketch on Sketchfab.com:

Also in the series: