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illustration of oriental village
One of Gogol’s illustrations for Marco Polo.

The designer and illustrator for hits such as The Matrix, Pirates of the Caribbean and Beauty and the Beast will share original pitch board drawings in a public lecture at Kapiʻolani Community College on Monday, November 18, 7–9 p.m in Kopiko 202A.

Darek Gogol, who has worked on the visual development of more than 40 Hollywood movies, will discuss how illustrations ignite the creative process and will show how concept ideas are shaped into camera ready form.

“So many times, directors have said to me, ‘Show me a world that’s never been seen before,’” Gogol said. “Digital tools have opened up new frontiers for concept artists, but the challenge remains the same: to conjure up a world that is visually astonishing.”

Kapiʻolani animation students will benefit from Gogol’s visit

illustration of sea creature
One of Gogol’s illustrations for The Pirates of the Caribbean.

While he is in Hawaiʻi, Gogol will also work with animation students at Kapiʻolani CC. He last visited and worked with Sharon Sussman‘s students in 2013. Filmmaker Edgy Lee produced a video about that visit for Pacific Network TV.

Sussman said she first met Gogol in 1996 when he was working at DreamWorks Animation as a production designer for The Prince of Egypt.

“He was one of the most innovative artists in the studio,” said Sussman. “Since that time I have watched him excel at so many different studios, with so many different directors, and on so many different types of movies. And this isn’t only working in different situations, this is drawing all types of environments and characters, creating stories about all kinds of different topics taking place in different places and in different centuries.”

The public talk is a co-presentation of the New Arts Lecture Series and Kapiʻolani Community College with special support from the Wallis Foundation.

Gogol’s filmography includes Pirates of the Caribbean 1-4, The Matrix, Minority Report, Stargate, Armageddon, Enchanted, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, The Lion King, Pocahontas, Prince of Egypt, I am Legend, Dreamgirls, Windtalkers, Broken Arrow and the Academy Award-winning Memoirs of a Geisha. He is currently developing a new musical for Universal Studios.

(Video credit:

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