For over 30-years, Aaron Sims has established himself as one of the most innovative and versatile concept artists of his generation. To industry insiders and peers, he is revered for his pioneering techniques and aesthetic of creature development and design.
To audiences around the world, he the visionary artist behind some of this generation’s most iconic cinema creatures (Gremlins, IT, I Am Legend, Planet of the Apes, Stranger Things). At his flagship design, Aaron Sims Creative a cutting-edge digital design approach that develops cutting-edge characters, creatures and original IP from ‘Sketch-to-Screen’.
Sim’s youth in Arlington, Texas was filled with animation and highly detailed pencil renderings inspired by his passion for horror and science fiction. As a teenager, he began working for the renowned illustrator Don Ivan Punchatz. In the mid-80s, Simms moved to Los Angeles to begin his career as a special effects makeup artist in the film industry. His work quickly attracted the attention of legendary Academy Award winner Rick Baker, with whom Sims collaborated for the next twelve years. During that time, Sims served as a leading special effects artist on some of the most popular, defining movies of the decade: Evil Dead, Gremlins 2, Batman Forever, Mighty Joe Young, Nutty Professor, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, and Men in Black.
A pivotal event in defining Sims’ career evolution came when he witnessed the emerging digital effects technologies on display in 1993’s Jurassic Park. From there, Aaron fully immersed himself in the 3D capabilities of Softimage, entirely self-taught and able apply his foundational skills and experience of modeling and sculpting to groundbreaking effect. Sim’s was one of the first designers to make this quantum leap in to the digital world, adapting traditional techniques with modern-day technologies, long before it became an industry staple.
In 2000, working alongside Stan Winston at the renown Stand Winston Studio as their resident Art Director, Sims pioneering techniques came to fruition when he introduced his visionary process to Steven Spielberg, and became the lead character designer for Artificial Intelligence: A.I. Aaron went on to create unprecedented 3D character designs for all of the film’s robot characters, thereby validating his groundbreaking approach to digital character creation.
Soon after mastering the possibilities of this new medium, Sims decided to leave the Stan Winston Studio to work as an independent concept artist on 30 Days of Night, Big Fish, The Golden Compass, The Day the Earth Stood Still, Chronicles of Narnia, and The Incredible Hulk. As the industry continued to evolve and embrace the emerging technologies of the digital medium, Aaron’s expertise proved indispensible, as he frequently served as a pivotal design consultant for major studios and filmmakers alike in evolving the disciplines of practical special effects with the technological advancements of visual effects. The ripple effects of this industry shift still resonate today and are more present than ever at Aaron’s flagship studio, The Aaron Sims Company, which he founded in 2005.
Sims’ new studio quickly emerged as a full-service design studio that cultivated elite digital artists from around the world to collaborate on such films as The Amazing Spiderman, The Mist, I Am Legend, and Clash of the Titans. In 2010 ASC began
synthesizing the disciplines of Concept Design, Previs & Postvis, and Visual Effects to create a proprietary ‘Sketch to Screen’ methodology that shepherds characters from concept & development through final on-screen debut. Having expanded in to a gamut of tangential disciplines including Virtual Reality, 3D Prototyping, and original IP development via it’s ASC Universe department, the newly renamed studio Aaron Sims Creative, continues to explore the frontier of digital design and in collaboration with award-winning filmmakers, designers, and brands across the globe.