Illustration Graduate Wins Jack Gaughan Award for Best Emerging Artist
A recent Academy of Art University graduate is quickly making a name for himself in the
Illustration world. Tyler Jacobson, whose artwork can
be seen in Dungeons & Dragons magazine
among other places, won the Jack Gaughan Award
for Best Emerging Artist.
Lestat de Lioncourt
by Tyler Jacobson
Given by the New England Science Fiction Association, the Jack Gaughan Award is presented each
year to a new and outstanding illustrator. The jury for the award consisted of Irene Gallo, Art
Director of Tor Books; Todd Lockwood, Illustrator; and Bob Eggleton, Illustrator. “I am extremely
honored to be placed among such amazing previous winners and well established illustrators,” said
NESFA conferred the award on Tyler for his incredible body of work, including his Master’s
thesis for the
school. Ranging from stunning illustrations of Moby Dick to detailed portraits of famous
literary characters like Lestat, the pieces exhibit Tyler’s interest in science fiction and fantasy
stories as well as his talent and imagination.
Tyler’s thesis work was displayed at Academy of Art University’s Spring Show, an annual event
that draws creative professionals from across the country to see new talent from the Academy. “I
fortunate to have so many industry people see my
work at that Spring Show. Such exposure allowed me the opportunity to be considered for the
award,” Tyler said of the event.
Ahab Hunts the Whale
by Tyler Jacobson
In addition to gaining exposure at Spring Show, Tyler also found his agent there. Artist
representative, Richard Solomon saw Tyler’s work at a portfolio review organized by the
illustration school prior to the show. Solomon was so impressed that within a few months of their
meeting, he had officially signed Tyler on with his company.
A passion for storytelling inspired Tyler to pursue a masters degree in illustration. He credits
Academy of Art University with enabling him to develop his technique and style. “The Academy really
allowed me to explore my options and discover the best way for me to express my vision of art,"
In particular, Bill Maughan, Director of Graduate Illustration, had a significant influence on
Tyler’s work. Maughan’s classes combined principles of both illustration and
fine art, which is rare among art schools. “Bill
also provided tremendous real world applications for his illustration concepts, and I think all my
fellow classmates, including me,
benefited greatly from his knowledge and skill,”
Tyler’s work has appeared in Texas Monthly magazine, an upcoming pilot for NBC and more. He will
also be featured this November in Spectrum, an illustration magazine that publishes winning entries
into its annual competition.
Reflecting on his experiences as a professional freelance illustrator, Tyler offers this advice
to current students, “Develop your vision. The strongest illustrators are the ones who have
developed and established their style and are confident in it.”