Ben Thompson


Unboxing the Creature

My but how the time has slipped by. I had intended to take a week or two off from the blog to allow for a seamless transition as we moved from our apartment into our own home, but as we close in on almost a month of silence on the blog I realize I was likely a bit over confident in our ability to hit the ground running.

Well, with the internet up and running again and a spare moment to slip back into something resembling the “swing of things”, I wanted to make some waves for a good friend of mine and his artistic endeavors!

Greg Baldwin and his wife Alia El-Bermani were fellow students at the Laguna College of Art and Design, where we spent much of our time looking at one another’s work and reveling in the collective creative process as a whole. Greg was unique in this environment, in that you never questioned that he had in fact found his passion and accompanying style early on. So early in fact that it was even more amazing to witness what he accomplished on his own time as it was to see what the class assignments themselves would bring.

It was not surprising then to see that this talent would find him landing a job as a video game developer long before schools were building class curriculum around this new and arcane vocation. Greg worked his way up rapidly to find himself at Insomniac Games, where he has been cranking out amazing visuals to the very popular Ratchet & Clank series, an aesthetic that seemed almost made to showcase Greg’s artistic strengths.

While one could argue that this body of work and a decade at such a reputable studio would be success enough for any artist, it is largely Greg’s insatiable imagination and want to create and tell fantastic stories that is responsible for what has happened over the last five years.

Greg became fast friends with Dave Guertin while at the studio, and what started as a friendly “back and forth” sketch blog between the two would quickly take on a life of its own. The blog was given the name CreatureBox, and once within its digital walls the visitor is immediately assaulted by a mass of creativity and storytelling that is hard to match. While it is always evident who is responsible for any given piece, Greg and Dave’s styles are complementary without becoming watered down clones of one another. It was clear from the start that these two individuals share a passion and zeal for art and storytelling that is evident in every piece, be it a solo work or a collaboration.

Ash2010_Cover team_robo

Greg and Dave began producing sketchbooks for the convention circuit and are often found in attendance themselves to sign the books and draw sketches for their many fans. Included is often a disc containing “how-to” videos and extra material that provide their fans a glimpse behind the scenes into the monster workshop of CreatureBox. These sketchbooks are always a limited run and not surprisingly sell out almost immediately. This can often be frustrating to those who discover their work later and wished to attain these rarities only to come up empty, and the duo are frequently approached about producing a more lasting collection of their work.

Well, that time has come.


Greg and Dave launched their first Kickstarter six days ago in hopes of raising the funds necessary to produce the first ever CreatureBox volume, containing not only the remastered contents of the original sketchbooks, but a slew of new material as well. I proudly threw in my contribution the moment it hit the airwaves, fervently hoping that they would receive the funding they so richly deserved and was thrilled to find that they funded the same day.

I urge you to take a quick jump over to CreatureBox via the link below and give Greg and Dave a look yourself. If you like what you see (and how could you not…), hit up their Kickstarter page and lend your support to this 100% creator-owned project. You will have the opportunity to get your very own copy of the book, limited edition prints, original sketches and much more. At the very least it will assure that we are all likely to see much, much more from these two talented artists.

And in that case, don’t we all win?

CreatureBox Home Page
CreatureBox Kickstarter Page

all images:



blog comments powered by Disqus
Site logo
Ben Thompson
© 2012 Ben Thompson Contact Me