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Born in Concrete: EK Series Hardcover – November 12, 2013

4.9 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

""Life and death, nature and technology, animal and human all collide in Derek Stenning's vivid, eye-catching depictions of cosmonauts as freedom fighters, struggling above the earth in a simultaneously hard and smooth sky. With a colour palette as juxtaposed as his images, Stenning's bold lines and geometric shapes tell a narrative of intolerance and stasis in a bleak cityscape, and remaking of this world by an artist-warrior escaping the chains of both gravity and society. He invokes symbols of the natural world and images of birth to remake artistic expression in a more liberated space. Above all, these artworks, beginning as sketches and evolving with computer graphics, convey raw emotion, as well as the tension and personal struggle within the artist.""

- Adan Jerreat-Poole
Rooms Art Uncovered Magazine


""Victoria, BC-based Derek Stenning creates otherworldly compositions. Astronauts circling space stations in the future, floating in space, falling into deeper outer space are all the situations in the highly detailed work, as well as some remarkable space suit construction.""

- Juxtapoz

About the Author

Trained as a classical animator, Derek has spent the last decade working in the video game development field in Vancouver, Canada. Over the years he has fulfilled a number of different artistic roles while working on video game projects for clients such as Nintendo, Sega, Activision and Marvel Entertainment.

Derek's work has been featured in numerous magazines, including Wired (USA), Das Science Fiction Jahr 2012 (Germany), Imagine FX (UK), Versus Magazine (UK), Advanced Photoshop (UK), Inside The World of Board Graphics (USA), and Rooms Art Uncovered (UK).

He is currently a Senior Concept Artist at Microsoft Studios Victoria.
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Product Details

  • Series: Ek Series
  • Hardcover: 96 pages
  • Publisher: Design Studio Press (November 12, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1624650066
  • ISBN-13: 978-1624650062
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 11.2 x 13.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #587,111 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Parka TOP 50 REVIEWER on December 22, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Length: 1:55 Mins
Born in Concrete is an artbook collecting some pretty amazing paintings from concept artist and illustrator Derek Stenning.

The first thing that grabbed my attention is the size of the book. It's not very thick with 96 pages but It's big. The artworks do have the additional impact when they are printed huge. It's a pleasure to see them are large sizes.

EK stands for Entartete Kunst which translates from German to English to mean Degenerate Art. It's a term used during the Nazi regime in Germany to describe modern art. The subject inspired Derek Stenning to create something of his own and the theme you see in the book is one of sci-fi, mystery, and hidden symbolism.

Most the paintings involved cosmonauts that are attached by wires to mysterious floating orbs. Occasionally, there's some industrial complex in the background, which can be floating or on ground.

The artworks are really beautiful and detailed. I love the use of colour tint that gives each piece a different mood and atmosphere. The mysterious nature of each painting also helps to attention to it, to invite the audience to think about what they are looking at. You may not know what the cosmonauts are doing, but you'll be captivated nevertheless.

There are also some examples of the artworks being used on snowboards, on magazines and exhibited in a gallery. I can only imagine how awesome it would be to have one of the artworks as a huge painting hanging at home.

Also included is a step-by-step tutorial on the creation process which is a mixture of illustration, digital painting with Photoshop and 3D modelling to create certain elements.

This is a great artbook. Highly recommended.

(There are more pictures of the book on my blog. Just visit my Amazon profile for the link.)
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I came across Born In Concrete while looking through several different art books. I've been collecting art books to draw some fresh creative ideas and just enjoy art again, and this one appealed to me almost immediately just from the cover. Inside, I was extremely happy with what is a very thorough document detailing a personal art project from inception to completion. Like other excellent examples like the Fallout 4 art book, this covers all of the thinking and actual production of the finished works. It's always a joy to see how the mind of an artist works, and it's even more interesting in this case as this was a personal effort that came after years of realizing the ideas of others. This book showcases a wonderfully crafted world, one that both bears a very personal imprint and manages to be universal through the use of familiar elements. The physical book is large and beautifully printed, which just enhances the work inside even more.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I came across EK through my coworker, who had a really odd but captivating image from this series on his desktop. After browsing the web for images I was curious enough to take the plunge and support the artist.

Derek's journey and artist statement are very interesting, I couldn't believe anybody in a concept art field could get burnt out... but it turns out that was the motivation for this series.

What to Expect:

- A fairly deep journey into his creative process, he even does a 'step by step' near the end of the book I found really insightful.
- A good quantity of extremely finished conceptual images that are a mix of concept art and abstract art (though well curated throughout)
- References to the Occult. This isn't overwhelming, but it may be offensive to some
- No sexual content

The book makes an awesome coffee table piece (depending on how open minded your friends are) and should inspire artists in different fields.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Very nice Artbook with full page Images and additional a lot of detail drawings out of the complete pictures.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Awesome book, the best art or concept book I have scene by far.
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By A. Thoman on September 27, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Perfect. Arrived before it was promised. Thanks!
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