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A lot of people noted that my art reminded them of Subnautica, or that I should work on it.

So I contacted the studio and looks like I will be! You should be seeing some of my designs there :)
Hey Folks!

Over on Patreon I am releasing a never before seen Birrin image peice by peice; one completed several years ago. Here are some WIPS...

Take202 by Abiogenisis

Head on over and check it out!
All slots taken, thanks!

The Lord and the Colonel by Abiogenisis  Winding Down by Abiogenisis  CNSA Nanking by Abiogenisis  P-26A Peashooters by Abiogenisis

Price Guides: 

Black and White Sketch - $100

Coloured Line Art - $250

Full Colour Character - $200

Full Colour Scene $400+

I can offer scifi, wildlife and most other form of illustration from sketches to complete detailed scenes.

Drop me a note if you're interested to discuss your ideas and a price quote.

My site has some examples of work not found here as well -
Every image of the Birrin wearing clothing seems to confound people as to how they put it on.

My answer is via a combination of beak and limb use, but the fact that I have to explain it so often means there is something wrong with my visual communication.

How do you guys think a creature like the birrin would use clothing? What would make it clear they could put it on?

Bonus Question: Would complex human clothing look intuitive to wear if we had 6 legs?
  • Listening to: Drone Music
  • Reading: Shark Biology
  • Watching: Portlandia
  • Playing: Minecraft
Anyone who voted for Trump is my enemy: you have extinguished the light of the West, and helped doom the ecosystems of this planet.

I will never offer compromise or a hand of aid to a conservative again. 
With the map of Chriirah complete, work is underway on the next image exploring life on this alien world.

The next artwork, now underway on Patreon, will portray the colorful and energetic beings which inhabit the understory of the Dawn Tree rainforest.

Here is a cropped WIP, and an example of the kind of content you will have access to even at the base level of patronage:

Hummingb05b by Abiogenisis

Head on over if you would like to support the project, and let me know if there are any rewards I could add that would make further support worth your while!
  • Listening to: Steve Roach
  • Reading: Drones
  • Watching: On Cinema
  • Playing: Battlefront 2 (retro style)
  • Drinking: Milo

Up next, I am going to design an aspect of the Birrin universe that I have kept mostly vague until now; their homeworld, Chriirah, and its solar system with attendant planets, asteroids and parent star.

Many years ago I sketched out a possible map of the birrin world, which you can see above, as well as sample 3D renderings of the planet from space using mashed up Nasa Blue Marble imagery. I even attempted to design a working tectonic plate system!

Using these basic images as starting points, I will begin the design process on my Patreon. As always, feel free to comment and call out anything you see that may not be scientifically plausible, or to ask any questions you have!

Check it out and join in here!

P1 by Abiogenisis

MaproughExpanded by Abiogenisis

For my next image... Anyone want to see what the Birrin planetary system looks like, gas giants, rock worlds, moons and all?
Ladies and Gentlemen, 

The Birrin have arrived on Patreon! 

I am grateful for all the followers I have gained over the last several years, and your interest in the birrin world and seeing it grow, as well as your suggestions for improving it, have helped inspire me to take my artworks to higher levels of complexity and accuracy.

Now with Patreon set up, ya'll can be a more direct part of the project. Any support is greatly appreciated, and even at the lowest level all patrons will have access to my creator blog there. The reward tiers can be seen on the site itself, go check it out! If you do take part, your pledge is only charged WHEN I deliver content, so if I am involved in other projects or an image takes more time, you wont pay a cent that month.

I will still of course post finals here completely free, but if you want a deeper role and more behind the scenes material, as well as make my art output increase in both quality and quantity, head over and check it out!


I am reconsidering the idea of starting a Patreon for the Birrin project, as well as other personal artworks.

My question is: what sort of things would backers want as rewards?

  • Critiques of their own art?
  • Work in Progress blog?
  • High Resolution art?
Any suggestions are welcome!
  • Reading: Blue Remembered Earth
  • Watching: Blackfish
I am considering starting a Patreon campaign as a way to fund more regular Birrin artworks, and am curious:

If you were to become a supporter, what sort of rewards/perks would you like to see?
  • Reading: Blue Remembered Earth
  • Watching: Blackfish
While I am working on another of the Birrin's ancestors, I am curious:

What would you all like to see depicted regarding the birrin, and/or their world, in my upcoming works?
  • Reading: House of Suns
  • Watching: Gaming Garbage

Ladies and Gentlemen, I am proud to announce that this year saw my first fully illustrated book come to market! Written by Helaine Becker, Zoobots is a childrens' book illustrating modern, and a few future, bio-mimetic robots and the animals that served as their inspirations. It is published by Kids Can Press and is available in the US and Canada, as well as online.…

UncleSamEX by Abiogenisis  AquaJellyEX by Abiogenisis  SquidBotSPOT by Abiogenisis  WhitesidesEX by Abiogenisis

It may be aimed at kids, but you can be damn sure I put every weld and circuit in the right place :P

Alex Ries FB Timeline Cover Creature-Design 01 by Abiogenisis

... And registration is open!…

"If you're looking to really dig deep and learn about design from the inside out, learning how to make the implausible plausible, then you have found your teacher. From former student Janya Pavlin:

"Alex’s class was absolutely wonderful and I learned an incredible amount from him! Rarely is an instructor with so much knowledge so generous with their time, knowledge, and technical skills. He took a personal interest in everyone’s project and his guidance made all the difference not only in our final work but our overall skill level as artists. I would recommend Alex’s class not only because of the tools he shares in thinking about art but the real impact it makes in creating that art! "

Come in and and challenge yourself to be the best you can be. Take the first step into a better tomorrow. Secure your spot today and flame the creativity of your imagination through education.…
Thank you to everyone who posted in the last journals relating to interstellar probes and multiple moon ideas of the birrin world.

The results are that I have decided to reduce the number of moons to one, as with earth, and any future birrin artworks will just have that.

I have also decided that fusion propulsion is currently too poorly understood to place in the birrin world, which I feel need to be kept to plausible technologies.
Current depictions of the Birrin world show it with two moons, one large and one small. However current research I can find suggests multiple moons around an earth sized planet are inherently unstable.

Does anyone have any knowledge of a way a multiple moon system could work?

If not, I will be reducing the Birrin world to a single-moon planet like earth.
Hey Folks,

I am working on a design for a birrin interstellar probe. It will be a large vehicle, powered by a fusion reactor, and completely uninhabited.
What resources and ideas do you all have about such vehicles? The idea of using near future technology to send at least an unmanned vehicle to another star has always intrigued me.
  • Listening to: Planetes OST
  • Reading: Revelation Space series
  • Watching: Rifftrax
  • Playing: Minecraft
  • Drinking: Milo

Hey folks!

This weekend I will be conducting a live interview in the lead up to my class at Phoenix Atelier!

It will run from 11am this Saturday, PDT

Check out the promo here.

If you like what you see, head on over to Phoenix Atelier and sign up.

Any questions you have regarding the program, feel free to send me a note or comment and I will be happy to answer :)

Look forward to seeing you there!

Alex Ries

Hey folks! Here is a sample of my working style and a rundown of some of the things you can expect in my Phoenix Atelier class.


 If you are interested, head over and check it out: Here

Any questions you have, don't hesitate to ask, or drop me a note :)

Also worth considering: The materials of the class will remain accessible to you for a year after you sign up!</span>

Phoenix Atelier by Abiogenisis

Good news folks!

From the 21st of October I will be leading this online class in creature design with Phoenix Atelier.…

You can see an interview with me here:…

It's an 8 week program, during which I will walk you through the processes I use when designing my non-humanoid critters, from the Birrin to Needlejaws.

We'll cover research management, artistic technique, and the considerations one must make when taking an evolutionary approach to alien design.
The class will consist of a combination of live tutorials, written course material and narrated videos of my design process for the critter you see here.
I'll demonstrate how to effectively manage research materials and design dynamically, without necessarily needing to produce large numbers of development sketches.

Digital rendering techniques will be covered in some detail, as will custom brush creation and the various strategies for rendering body coverings from feathers to jelly.

With these strategies covered, one becomes much better positioned to overcome and then transcend some of the limitations of digital painting and the stagnation that exists in some areas of creature design.

I look forward to seeing you there!…