Artist Profile: David McLeod
David McLeod is an Australian artist and designer who specializes in 3D illustration. McLeod, who is now New York based, has been making art since the early 2010s, and according to his Behance profile, he is focused on experimental textural and illustrative design using CGI, bespoke typography and lettering.1 McLeod describes his own work as “creating still and moving images” and that his work is “driven by a curiosity for exploring new visual territories in CG.”2 McLeod has reportedly worked for a variety of higher profile companies, including Apple, Nike, Dropbox, Toyota, Adobe, Wacom, Diesel, Calvin Klein, Omega, Mastercard, Canon, Greenpeace and Wired.3 His work has also gone viral several social media sites, including Instagram and Twitter. More recently McLeod has become involved in the NFT Foundation, where he creates Non-Fungible Tokens for people to buy.4
Some of the work that McLeod has created usually combines uniquely animated 3D images and designs. As previously mentioned, McLeod has worked alongside several high-profile companies and organizations, including the BBC and Nike. Since I had never heard of McLeod before undertaking this assignment, I wanted to examine his more high-profile works to see if I could recognize them from anywhere. Doing this would allow me to look into McLeod’s work and get a feel for his more professional workload and commissions.
“Working with Superunion and BBC Creative I created a set of bumpers as a part of the first BBC2 identy update in over 25 years.”5David McLeod / BBC2
This first piece by McLeod is one of two visual bumpers McLeod created for the BBC. The visual is of many different colored bubbles that are animated to bounce off one another and rotate. As these bubbles move, they also change colors. Since it is a bumper for BBC2, the BBC2 logo is present all throughout the animation. This animation is very dynamic, and eventually joins together to create a dual-tone image that is, coincidentally, the same image that Professor Robinson picked for our Canvas course card image. I picked this animation because I have seen this bumper before. I watch a lot of British television and thought it interesting that one of the first artists I chose to look at created a bumper I was familiar with. While this is not my favorite visual bumper I’ve ever seen, I think its simplicity and colorful nature offers an interesting visual while providing context for the BBC.
This second piece by McLeod is the second of the two visual bumpers he created for the BBC. This bumper is very different from the first. This bumper is animated like the first, but appears to have a focal or starting point from which the changes occur. The image almost resembles a fault line, where the change originates before resonating outwards from the source. To me, this bumper also features a lot more complimentary colors that sort of blend into one another. This is my favorite of the two BBC bumpers McLeod created, because it really draws in the eye. You are drawn to the change in color before really examining the fuzzy-like texture in the animation.
I had the pleasure of working with Nike to create a product visual, type treatment and animation for the release of the VaporMax. The animation was projection mapped onto the Centre Pompidou as a part of the Air Max Day launch event.6David McLeod / Nike VaporMax
This final image I looked at by McLeod is part of a promotion he created for Nike VaporMax. This image features many jelly-like bubbles that appear to create a shoe. This animation is obviously a promotion or advertisement made for Nike shoes, but it has a certain dark visual appeal that I really like. I personally do not wear Nike shoes, but you have to admit that this animation makes the shoes look dark, mysterious, colorful, and stylish all at the same time.
From what I have seen of McLeod, both in the animations and images I featured here and those found on his website, I really like McLeod’s work. He has some really creative pieces and I would really like to use some of his work for maybe an iPad or iPhone background. I believe he created some of the wallpapers Apple features, and I can see the appeal. However, I do not like the fact he makes NFTs. I have an issue with that particular phenomenon that I will not talk about here. However, McLeod does not seem to be really into them, which I can accept. Overall his work is very creative and imaginative and I’ll be sure to check out more of it in the future.
- Behance, “David McLeod on Behance,” Behance, May 26, 2011, https://www.behance.net/davidmcleod/info.[↩]
- David McLeod, “David McLeod,” David McLeod, accessed May 16, 2022, https://davidmcleod.com/.[↩]
- Jaimie Potters, “Talking Art and Technology with 3D Artist David McLeod,” Artnology Content, January 30, 2017, https://artnologycontent.wordpress.com/2017/01/30/talking-art-and-technology-with-3d-artist-david-mcleod/.[↩]
- David McLeod, “Growth Cycles by David McLeod,” MakersPlace, February 2021, https://makersplace.com/davidmcleod/drops/growth-cycles/.[↩]
- David McLeod, “David McLeod / BBC2,” David McLeod, accessed May 17, 2022, https://davidmcleod.com/bbc2/.[↩]
- David McLeod, “David McLeod / Nike VaporMax,” David McLeod, accessed May 17, 2022, https://davidmcleod.com/nike-vapormax/.[↩]