Laurel D. Austin is a concept artist and illustrator currently working for Blizzard Entertainment in California. She has worked on the World of Warcraft card game as well as the original Heartstone art, Brink and Enemy Territory: Quake Wars. She also sculpts and though she loves concept design, illustration is her passion.
Laurel insists that despite humans thinking they are separate from nature, our buildings are the same as bird nests or anthills: still part of wildlife. She says evolution has done more to create amazing creatures than she ever could and that things will always feel more real if they’re rooted in what actually exists. Her favorite part of art is telling a story through her work and she hopes to one day create her own original story.
Here are Laurel’s awesome contributions to In Danger:
“Elephants are one of the most intelligent animals on the planet, and are a strange mix of characteristics that are at once very much like us and also quite alien. They live for many decades, have dear friendships and mourn each other’s deaths. In spite of this, they are being killed off by humans in huge numbers for the most frivolous reasons. It is one of those sad, cruel facts about the world that we forget at our peril.” - Laurel Austin
“Humans are apes in every sense of the word, but it’s a strange thing to watch us relate to the other species in our family. We talk about them as though they are all similar to one another, and different from us. We like to think we are in some other category -- far away on some high cognitive hill. But there is no real reason to separate us. Our perch is less lofty than we like to think, and the other apes are more sentient than we give them credit for. I wanted to make a painting that touched on this theme.” - Laurel Austin