'The Museum of Classic Sci-Fi' has been conceived and created by life-long Science-Fiction fan, artist and musician Neil Cole. Neil has created original art since childhood, beginning with comic book characters and developing his own 'inner-psychological landscapes' during the 1990's. Since building and opening 'The Museum of Classic Sci-Fi' Neil has returned to his childhood roots enjoying the creative thrill and challenge of developing, creating and drawing new, fresh science-fiction imagery. Several of these have been inspired by 'Doctor Who', but in addition, Neil has found developing a new illustration style for his 'Worlds of H.G.Wells' series particularly satisfying. Neil is a true multi-media artist, alternating between sculptural, painting and drawing. He draws very much direct from 'his head' a practice he developed in the creation of his ten-year 'mindscape' series of works - allowing imagery to flow and weave together organically. He does not use computers....unless he is creating a web page like this!
ABOVE: Coloured pencil. Details from three SF compositions.
Neil has recently begun working on a series of professional book covers for Candy Jar Publishing. Courtesy of a good friend and Doctor Who book author, Neil's work caught the eye of the publishing company, especially due to his unique use of colour and imaginative composition.
Neil can't unveil the project fully yet, however, the books are appropriately related to Doctor Who and involve classic characters from the show. One of Neil's portraits for The Brigadier can be seen in the short animation here! We will of course bring you updates as soon as the first book in the series in launched and limited edition prints of Neil's cover art will be available to buy from the museum shop.
Neil has returned to drawing his childhood passion - sci-fi - with his recent artworks. For his genre artwork, Neil has been developing a series of new works based upon the seminal books of H.G.Wells. In each of his new compositions he has returned to the source text to develop his own visions of Wells' iconic themes, working only from the text and his imagination.
Neil has also been producing some new imagery based upon the worlds of Doctor Who - including several specially commissioned works from museum patrons. Neil works in a variety of media, but his illustration is currently exploring coloured pencil (a new revelation for him following a recommendation from one of his all-time art heroes Andrew Skilleter).
Neil's artwork truly flourished during the mid-nineties when he began to allow his subconscious to inform his art-making. Initially working in pen and ink and oil paint, steadily Neil also began to develop some of his trademark techniques in both pencil work and 3-D sculpted relief.
Initially cutting his teeth drawing for Doctor Who fanzines in the early 90s, he cut loose during the middle of the decade and freed himself from copying portraits and subjects. Instead Neil found great satisfaction from just drawing on an empty board and after a starting point was established, just allowing an image to develop organically.
Neil is unapologetic about his fixation on detail and technique. From his early love of genre artists such as Chris Achilleos, Andrew Skilleter and Brian Bolland, Neil has always appreciated a high level of draughtsmanship. What Neil integrated into his own compositions was the sense of subconscious freedom that he found in the works on another of his favourite artists - H R Giger. Neil's recent sci-fi work has also been influenced by another of his favourite artists growing up: Roger Dean, who's dramatic use of colour and natural form always fascinated him.