Swancon 17: Urban Alchemist?: Nick Stathopoulos

Herein a transcription of page 10 of the Festival of the Imagination 1992 souvenir book.

Urban Alchemist?

Nick Stathopoulos

To look at his working environment, one could be excused for thinking Nick gets paid to make mess. Surrounded by tins of adhesive spray, piles of reference books, animation cels, scraps of paper filled with doodles and many other materials whose exact functions remain a mystery, he somehow combines all these elements to create a finished piece of artwork. Truly the ancient ways of the alchemist are alive and well in suburban Blacktown.

Originally trained as a lawyer, with a Bachelor of Arts/Law degree from Macquarie University, he is now a full-time commercial artist specialising in fantasy and science fiction. Among his numerous awards are three Australian Science Fiction “Ditmar” Awards for SF and fan-related art and the 1990 Australian Television Award (“Penguin”) for the production design on Son of Romeo, a one-hour television special combining Shakespeare and mime with Warner Bros. cartoon sensibilities.

Although his cover art is synonymous with the work of local author Terry Dowling (having completed the covers for Rynosseros, Woomword and the upcoming Blue Tyson), Nick’s covers also grace many other books, records and computer games, including From Sea to Shining Star, a limited edition collection of the stories of the late A. Bertram Chandler. A skilled animator, Nick has painted animation backgrounds for Hanna-Barbera and Walt Disney, matte paintings and cycloramas for a variety of films, TV commercials and video clips, and has a mural in the Space Exhibition at the Powerhouse Museum in Sydney. An incessant doodler, Nick has recently taken to drawing on his walls, and is presently discovering the multitudinous joys of independent film making.

Here and in the gallery later in the book are lists of things that have touched me in some way. By no means complete, they may be of interest because these things all contribute in incomprehensible ways to my psyche, my psychological make-up. Terry would have a great way of putting all this without it sounding like a wank but … I’ve excluded books because there is no way I can distil favourites. I like so many for various reasons – some irrational – that I’m just not going to worry about them.   Nick S.

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