Simon Lee, a.k.a Spiderzero, is a concept artist & creature designer in the film and gaming industry. For more than a decade, Simon has worked on many high-profile film projects as a concept artist and creature designer, and the more notable ones include Lord of the Rings (Amazon series, 2023), Godzilla VS Kong, Godzilla King of the Monsters, Kong Skull Island, Edge of Tomorrow, Star Trek Beyond, The Strain, Maleficent, and Pacific Rim. His creations range from the cane sword handle for The Strain’s main character, Abraham Setrakian to the 3 headed dragon King Ghidorah in the movie Godzilla King of the Monsters.
He has taught workshops at Electronic Arts, Blizzard, ArenaNet, Valve Software, The Mill, Disney, & Dreamworks in his career and offers sculpture and creature design classes to artists from all around the world.
“To me, art is a form of visual communication, and I always try to communicate with intent and with emotion. We make imaginary worlds for the audience’s entertainment, but to the characters in those worlds, their existence is very much real, and I would approach it as such. The characters that I design may be make-believe, but the emotional energy that they project is very much real. Musicians use musical notes to transport the listeners to a different place, and I do the same thing, but my notes are visual. I do what I do because I am a visual storyteller. I have been one since I was five years old. I am good at it and my audience is willing to listen. And since I create out of emotions, I would never run out of things to say. ” – Simon Lee.
In 2022, Simon Lee joined Spin VFX Creature Lab – an in-house dream team dedicated to conceptualizing, developing, sculpting and pitching creature design – as the Creature Art Director and now runs it together with our Head of Creature Team – JW Pang, Head of CG – Mahsa Ghorbankarimi, and Head of Animation – Peter Giliberti.
The core mission of the Creature Lab is to provide world-class creature design services for the film and TV industry. When a new project comes our way, the Creature Lab, under the leadership of Simon, embarks on a meticulous creative journey to develop and bring to life each character. Their initial step involves comprehending the client’s design expectations and objectives and coming up with concepts that are an extension of their vision.
One of the keys to the Creature Lab’s success lies in its ability to balance imaginative conceptualization with practical deliverability. In the world of creature design, crafting originality is essential, but ensuring they seamlessly fit into the cinematic world is equally crucial. Simon Lee, as the art director, delves deep into the initial conceptualization phase by immersing himself in the script, embodying the characters he’s designing, and understanding their intentions and behaviours.
Keep an eye out for the mesmerizing creatures that will soon grace our screens, courtesy of the magic happening at our very own – Creature Lab.