Interviewed January 2021, by Adam Gidney
BOX=ART - Hi Lee, thanks for talking to BOX=ART, what inspired you to become an artist?
Lee MacLeod - I grew up with an artistic mother and a good friend who could draw anything so just followed in their footsteps. Art major in College, then 3 years at The Art Center of Design.
How did you get into the video game industry?
I got into the industry through my reps and word of mouth. I was never a gamer, no time to play .. but loved creating the images.
How did you get involved in the Ultima world?
Again, through my New York rep. They connected with FCI and I did the art with the Sea Snake and then the others followed.
What was the process you went through from initial brief to finished piece?
The client provided a concept, I did a number of sketches and when one was approved, I went to finish.
What was preferred art medium?
All my work was a mix of hand painted and air brushed acrylic and prisma color pencils.
Did any of your box arts make the jump into digital art?
I never made the jump to digital art with games.
What was your first box art design?
Death Bringer for Pandora through Directions, a design company.
What was your favourite box art you designed?
Quest for The Avatar.
Which artists have inspired you?
Everybody from Boris and Frazetta, to comic book artists, Bob Peak, Drew Struzan.... it is a long list!
Did you enjoy being an illustrator?
Loved being an illustrator.... wish I had not become a dinosaur when everything went digital.
Any interesting box art anecdotes?
Half the time I did not know what happened in terms of art usage. Some was used, some not. I got paid and was on to the next job. But almost nothing left the studio without being shot on a reproduction grade transparency. I would not send it out if I did not think it would work for the client and wanted that history of the image, even if I did not, until recently, try to figure out what the heck I was working on.