Concept artist Jerad Marantz

140514_JM_bioJerad S. Marantz started his career at an early age interning for SFX houses, eventually narrowing his focus to character and creature design, and costume concept illustration. Now freelance, he was formerly a concept artist at leading facilities including Stan Winston Studio and Marvel Studios. His movie credits include Batman vs. Superman, Guardians of the Galaxy, The Amazing Spider-Man 1 and 2, Rise of the Planet of the Apes, Noah, Clash of the Titans and Sucker Punch. When he isn’t working on commercial design projects, Jerad teaches at Pasadena’s Concept Design Academy and the Gnomon School of Visual Effects, where he will be discussing his workflow in an online workshop at Gnomon Master Classes 2014.

Tell us about your journey

I’ve always wanted to be an artist working on films, designing characters and creatures. When I was 13, I was fortunate enough to take a creature sculpting class at a school called Associates and Art in Van Nuys. The teacher there saw something in me and got me an internship at a local effects house called SOTA FX when I was 14. While there, I realized that I cared mainly about design, which influenced my decision to put sculpture aside and focus on illustration, since the design process in the film and game industries is mainly illustrative. I studied illustration at Art Center College of Design, where I built up a portfolio with one goal in mind: to work for either Rick Baker or Stan Winston. As soon as I graduated, I set up interviews. The first place I interviewed was Stan Winston’s studio. Stan himself hired me on the spot.

How do you want to impact the world?

I’ve been very fortunate to work on some really fun projects over the years, but my dream is to create my own properties. I’m currently developing three projects: an animated series, a children’s animated feature and a science-fiction trilogy.

What are you passionate about?

I’m always focused on the next image and doing something better than my last design. Music inspires me a lot. Before I start a project, I tend to create a playlist. The music helps me visualize what I’m trying to create.

What would be your #1 advice to other artists?

Find out exactly what you are passionate about as soon as possible. Knowing exactly what you want to do will help you prep a solid portfolio: it’s never too early to contact studios that you want to work for to see what they’re looking for in an artist. Always refine your portfolio, and be honest with yourself: being able to take constructive criticism is imperative.

Related Links
See more of Jerad’s work in his ArtStation gallery
Visit Jerad’s blog
Sign up for Jerad’s online workshop at Gnomon Master Classes 2014

Concept art for The Amazing Spider-Man 2.

Concept art for The Amazing Spider-Man 2.

Concept art of Electro from The Amazing Spider-Man 2.

Concept art of Electro from The Amazing Spider-Man 2.

Concept art of the Marauders from Thor: The Dark World, created for costume designer Wendy Partridge.

Concept art of the Marauders from Thor: The Dark World, created for costume designer Wendy Partridge.

Concept art of the Marauders from Thor: The Dark World, created for costume designer Wendy Partridge.

Concept art of the Marauders from Thor: The Dark World, created for costume designer Wendy Partridge.

Concept art of the Watchers from Noah.

Concept art of the Watchers from Noah.

Concept art of Koba from Rise of the Planet of the Apes.

Concept art of Koba from Rise of the Planet of the Apes.

Concept art of The Lizard from The Amazing Spider-Man.

Concept art of The Lizard from The Amazing Spider-Man.

Creature art created for R.I.P.D.

Creature art created for R.I.P.D.

Concept art for Green Lantern.

Concept art for Green Lantern.

Concept art for Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance.

Concept art for Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance.

Concept art of the Kraken from Clash of the Titans.

Concept art of the Kraken from Clash of the Titans.

Concept art for season 2 of Falling Skies.

Concept art for season 2 of Falling Skies.

An alien design for American Horror Story: Asylum.

An alien design for American Horror Story: Asylum.

A pig-man concept created for makeup effects artist Barney Burman's film Wild Boar.

A pig-man concept created for makeup effects artist Barney Burman’s film Wild Boar.

The Pilot: artwork for a book published by Design Studio Press.

The Pilot: artwork for a book published by Design Studio Press.

The Blind Ones: an illustration created for Scott Spencer's book ZBrush Creature Design.

The Blind Ones: an illustration created for Scott Spencer’s book ZBrush Creature Design.


About the author

Jim Thacker is a contributing editor for ArtStation Magazine.