Born in Glen Cove, New York to well-known natural history artists Sy and Dorothea Barlowe, Wayne Douglas Barlowe attended the Art Students League and The Cooper Union in New York City. While in college he apprenticed in the Exhibition Department of The American Museum of Natural History. During this period Barlowe collaborated with his parents on his first professional book assignment, the Instant Nature Guide to Insects (Grossett & Dunlop).
In 1979 his first self-generated book, Barlowe's Guide to Extraterrestrials, was published by Workman Publishing. The Guide, which Barlowe conceived, illustrated and co-authored, was nominated for The American Book Award and the science fiction community's prestigious Hugo. It was chosen Best Illustrated Book of 1979 by the Locus Poll, and a Best Book For Young People by the American Library Association. The Guide, considered by many to be a contemporary classic SF work, has 270,000 copies sold to date. A Japanese edition has recently been released.
Barlowe's next book followed after nearly ten years, during which time he created over 300 book and magazine covers and illustrations for every major publisher. He has also created editorial paintings for Life, Time and Newsweek. His artwork has been seen on television on Walter Cronkhite's Universe and Connie Chung's Saturday Night as well as on the Discovery Channel. An interview with Barlowe appeared on the Sci-Fi Channel's Inside Space program. Portfolios and interviews in print have appeared in TV Guide, Starlog, Realms of Fantasy, Science Fiction Age, Starburst, TV ZONE (UK) and Filmfax.
Barlowe's second book, Expedition, a natural history journey to another world, consisted of forty paintings, one hundred black and white illustrations and two hundred pages of text, and was published in 1990 by Workman Publishing. It received extremely favorable reviews and was nominated for the Association of SF Artist's 1991 Chesley Award. Expedition was voted a 1991 Best Book for Teenagers by The New York Public Library.
Barlowe has produced items as diverse as pop-up books (The Pop-Up Book of Star Wars, 1978, for Random House), children's growth charts, calendars and graphic novelizations. His line of SF toys, The POWERLORDS, was manufactured by Revell. A line of art trading cards, The Alien World of Wayne Barlowe, was published by Comic Images in 1994.
Barlowe's paintings have been exhibited at The Bronx Museum of the Art's, The Orlando Science Center, The New Britain Museum of American Art, The Society of Illustrators, The Atrium at Park Avenue, The Discovery Museum in Bridgeport, Connecticut and the Hayden Planetarium in New York. In 1984 he was instrumental in organizing and co-chairing the first SF art show in the history of the Society of Illustrators.
1991 Barlowe began painting dinosaurs, which resulted in many paleontological assignments. His first limited edition dinosaur print was released by Scheele Fine Arts in 1993. In March of 1995, Barlowe's first book of dinosaur illustrations written by renowned paleontologist Dr. Peter Dodson, An Alphabet of Dinosaurs published by Scholastic Books, was released to great critical acclaim. It was chosen as a "Pick of the Lists" spring 1995 title by The American Booksellers. Two months after its release it went back to press for a third printing. It is currently up to a ninth printing with 130,000 copies sold. Barlowe also executed six major paintings for Dr. Dodson's well-received academic work on the ceratopsian dinosaurs, The Horned Dinosars, which was released in 1996 from Princeton University Press. A 1999 dinosaur calendar derived from both works was released by Portal Publications.
The Alien Life of Wayne Barlowe, an art retrospective, was published in 1995, along with a limited edition print entitled Elytracephalid, from Morpheus International. Two screen-savers utilizing his paintings were released in 1996, also from Morpheus.
In 1996, HarperCollins released Barlowe's Guide to Fantasy a sequel to Barlowe's first book.
In the summer of 1996 Barlowe and James Cowan, publisher of Morpheus, created a development company called Xenophiles, Inc. with the purpose of developing imaginative multi-media properties. Its first creation, XENOZOO, was sold first to Playmates Toys, and then to Fox Kids Network.
Barlowe designed the Artifact, the principal aliens and their homeworld for the two-hour TNT BABYLON5 movie, THIRDSPACE, which aired in the fall of 1998. He contributed alien creature and character designs for the animated 20th Century Fox release, TITAN AE and designed creatures seen in GALAXY QUEST for Stan Winston Studios. In 2000 Barlowe executed preproduction drawings for BLADE 2 and creature/character designs in 2002 for HELLBOY as well as HARRY POTTER AND THE PRISONER OF AZKABAN. 2003 brought the next installment, HARRY POTTER AND THE GOBLET OF FIRE, to his drawing table for which Barlowe once again executed concept art.
Barlowe's next book, which was released by Morpheus in January of 1999, is Barlowe's Inferno, a dark and unique vision of Hell. Inferno represents a shift in both Barlowe's thinking and rendering toward a more classical, less narrative, approach. Of the book, director James Cameron (TITANIC, ALIENS) has said: "Wayne Barlowe's Inferno is an awesome visual work, taking us into a contorted landscape of the damned which Dante himself could never have imagined." In concert with the book's release, Morpheus has published a limited edition giclee, a poster and a bronze created by Barlowe.
In the summer of 1999 Barlowe began work on a screenplay to accompany his art book. In November the completed screenplay entitled INFERNO: REBELLION IN HELL and the book were sold to Fox Feature Animation.
In 2001 Barlowe followed up on his first Inferno book with a second venture to Hell entitled Brushfire: Illuminations from the Inferno. This bound portfolio contains 18 new paintings further fleshing out the universe.
Barlowe contributed creature designs for Activision's console game DEAD RUSH in 2003.
In 2004 Barlowe's book Expedition was sold to the Discovery Channel for a two hour presentation. He is one of the show's executive producers, writer and art director.
Barlowe is included in the Society of Illustrator's prestigious book, The Illustrator in America 1860-2000. He has been, at various times, a member of the Society of Illustrators, The Society of Vertebrate Paleontologists and The Science Fiction Writers of America.
In 2006 Barlowe executed pre-production artwork for THE PRIEST and HELLBOY II: THE GOLDEN ARMY as well as the highly anticipated film, PARADISE LOST. He also rendered preliminary studies for Relic Entertainment's PROTOTYPE, an upcoming XBox 360 title.
Barlowe has just finished design work for three UK ads for The Bank of Ireland.
Barlowe works at home with his wife Shawna McCarthy, well-known editor and literary agent, and their two daughters Cayley and Hillary. His novel, GOD'S DEMON, will be published in October 2007 by Tor books.
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