Q&A with Richard Anderson, Flaptraps Art

By   Hannah Bickerton 3 min read

Richard is a senior artist from Seattle, now living in London. Working in the entertainment industry for over 15 years, Richard’s work focuses primarily on film, games, commercials and publishing. 

Richard has worked with many notable clients, including  Marvel Studios, Warner Bros., Universal Pictures, 20th Century Fox, Disney, NC Soft, Studio Canal, Samsung, Psyop, StarDust, and Random House. He has been involved in the creation of multiple Hollywood blockbusters including Thor, Prometheus, and Guardians of the Galaxy.

1. Tell us a little about yourself and Flaptraps Art.

I’ve been working as a professional artist for a little over 15 years now. I studied 3D/2D animation at the Art Institute of Seattle. I graduated in 2002 and started my first job in early 2003 as a 3D environment artist at Arena Net (on the GuildWars franchise). However, my true goal was to become a concept artist and illustrator, and I achieved this in 2007.

Flaptraps Art started when I was told to use a handle and not my real name, so I used a nickname I was given years and years ago. I was posting my illustrations under that name and it just stuck; now people know me only by that name and not my real one, so it has become my studio name.

2. What inspired you to pursue a career in art and illustration?

I was always intrigued by drawing and art. I remember being really young and noticing the difference between bad art and good illustrations. I drew all the time; I wasn’t allowed video games or action figures so for fun I just built stuff and drew a lot. People told me I was good at it and that really helped me build the confidence to go for it. I was a horrible student and just barely graduated; getting good at drawing and trying to get a job was my only way out, and I had a natural passion for it.

3. You have worked on a broad variety of games, films, commercials and books. Is there any one project which you particularly enjoyed or which stands out? 

My projects are all so different in terms of how I work and what is required of me as an artist. I think the big corner stones and the projects I learned the most from, and am most proud of, are GuildWars, Guardians of the Galaxy (being a big comic book fan as a kid), and a few books: the Chronicle of the Unhewn Throne series, Dinosaur Lords, and Kings of the Wyld. I have chosen these books as I think the stories and authors are amazing; I am always really honoured to do covers for stories which I truly enjoy. I had an exceptional art team and art director on GuildWars who really taught me well, and I took big steps forward in developing my style and skill-sets.

When I moved to London I found it very surreal. I was suddenly on set with celebrities playing characters from a comic book I had read as a child when I lived in a trailer house in Montana. Thinking about that always made me smile on my commute.

4. Have you ever considered writing and illustrating your own book?

Writing – no, I’m horrible at writing, but I have something in the works right now with a friend who has been known to be a pretty good writer.

5. Finally, what’s next for you. Is there anything you are working on currently that you are excited to share? 

This last year I was working on Marvel’s Captain Marvel movie for about eight months, so when that gets released next year it will be exciting to share some of the production work I did for that. Also, I am excited to show a few new book covers that I have been working on, that will hopefully be released shortly. Lastly, my secret project (I will know if it will be moving forward in the next year) – which will be pretty exciting.


You can find out more about Richard Anderson and Flaptraps art by heading to his website, Facebook, Twitter, Artstation and Instagram

Hannah Bickerton
Hannah Bickerton
Hannah has worked in marketing for nine years, specialising in strategy development for start-ups and EdTech companies. Having recently jumped across industries to join the Whitefox team, Hannah isn’t a complete stranger to the publishing world with previous employment at Macmillan and TES Global. She is now dedicated to ensuring that anyone who has something interesting to say knows all about whitefox.