Complex Creatures: Mixing Reality and Fantasy

by Jordan Merlino, Summer Intern

David Gray’s body of work is filled with unique, imaginative, and stunning creatures. David thinks about and generates elaborate backgrounds and scientific descriptions for his characters, which convey a realistic sense of identity for them.

However, where does David receive his inspiration from? What is David’s process from brainstorming to the final piece? How long has David created these characters, and will he create them in the future? I was able to sit down with David to talk about his work and how he creates his characters.

(J): Your characters are fascinating and stunning examples of conceptual illustration. What inspires you to create these characters?

(D): I use my imagination and mix it together with reality and fantasy.

(J): How long does it usually take for you to complete a character, including its descriptions?

(D): Fifteen minutes, sometimes an hour. It depends on the complexity of the character.

(J): What is a motivation for you to continue creating these characters?

(D): What drives me is thinking of a character’s personality, creating that character’s personality (through writing), and just drawing.

(J): What are your main goals for your creatures in the future? Do you see them being published?

(D): At some point, yes. Sometimes I want to put my characters in comics. I want to do my own comic for my characters, but I don’t know how (yet!).


David’s medium of choice for his characters are colored pencils and sharpie markers. His creatures are part of David’s overall portfolio, which he says fosters his artistic growth and provides material for a future comic.



Coming soon, more of David’s work can be seen at and purchased via his artists’ page:

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