Portrait of concept artist iain McCaig

Iain McCaig

Designer, illustrator, concept artist, & storyteller

A legend in the Concept Art Industry

Iain McCaig is an internationally recognized award-winning artist and one of the motion picture industry’s leading conceptual designers. His exceptional command of human anatomy, character, emotional expression and visual narrative make him on of the most sought after artists working in the entertainment industry today.

Iain McCaig’s Concept Design Work

McCaig has worked for Lucasfilm as one of the principal designers on Star Wars Episode One—The Phantom Menace, Star Wars Episode Two—Attack of the Clones, and: Star Wars Episode Three—Revenge of the Sith, Star Wars—The Force Awakens, and Solo: A Star Wars Story, as well as the forthcoming Star Wars Theme Parks. His work includes the landmark designs for Queen Amidala and Darth Maul.

Among his other film credits are James Cameron’s ‘Terminator II’, Steven Spielberg’s ‘Hook’, Francis Ford Coppola’s ‘Dracula’, Neil Jordan’s ‘Interview With the Vampire’, Sony/Revolution/Universal’s ‘Peter Pan’, Warner Brothers’ ‘Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire’, Marvel Studios ‘The Avengers’, ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’, ’Avengers: Infinity Wars’ and ‘Avengers: Endgame’. He is also Co Producer and Concept Design Director on Ascendant Pictures’ science-fiction epic: ‘Outlander’.

A career in writing and visual storytelling

As a screenwriter, McCaig adapted the Ursula K. Le Guin classic: ‘A Wizard of Earthsea’ for ShadowCatcher Entertainment, and was co-author of ‘People’, an Emmy-nominated animation special for the Disney Channel. In 2001, he wrote and designed his first CG feature film, ‘The Pied Piper’, for Imax/Mainframe. McCaig made his directorial debut with ‘The Face’, which opened at the Santa Barbara Film Festival. It won several awards, including the Gold Medal for Best Family Film in the Houston International Film Festival, and a ‘Year 2000 Notable Video’ award from the American Library Institute.

In 2005, Iain McCaig founded Ninth Ray Studios LLC, a freelance story and design group dedicated to the art of storytelling. Since it’s inception, Ninth Ray has handled development and pre-production work for several major motion pictures, including Ascendant Pictures’ ‘Outlander’ and both Paramount Pictures’ and Disney/Pixar’s versions of ‘John Carter of Mars’.

Awards & Recognition as an Illustrator

McCaig is also an internationally recognized illustrator specializing in narrative and figurative art. His work includes advertising, limited edition prints, children’s books, computer and role playing games, book and record covers (including the iconic cover for Jethro Tull’s ‘Broadsword and the Beast’).

His original artwork has been exhibited in galleries worldwide, including the Smithsonian. McCaig has been nominated for six Chesley Awards by the World Science Fiction Association, and won an Art Directors Guild award in 2015 for his work on Guardians of the Galaxy. In 2014, he was awarded the prestigious GRAND MASTER Award from Spectrum Fantastic Art for Lifetime Achievement.

Iain McCaig has taught drawing and storytelling both publicly and privately for over thirty years. He is the author of four bestselling DVD’s on Visual Storytelling and Concept Design for the Gnomon Workshop. He continues to lecture and demonstrate and hold workshops for film studios, conventions, institutions and schools around the world.

In 2008, Palace Press released ‘Shadowline: the Art of Iain McCaig’. The book is a multi-faceted adventure, featuring 28 years of McCaig’s commercial and private artwork, a fictionalized visit to his otherworldly studio, and a unique how-to-draw workshop.

Sharing Wisdom as a Visiting Artist

Iain McCaig has spoken to Visual Arts Passage students to share his insights and wisdom as a writer, artist, concept designer, concept artist and more.

The Art of Iain McCaig

McCaig’s work has been featured in some of the most iconic IPs in the entertainment industry.

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