My name is Mallory Gwen Van DeSande, but for short I go by Mal. I was born in the city of Miami and have lived in the US State of Florida for all my life. I am a proud Floridian and have received a lot of inspiration from the nature and culture of Florida. From the age of 3 to the age of about 17, I was a self-taught artist who drew mostly dragons, mythological animals, warriors and aliens; my professional training began when I started preliminary Figure Drawing studies in Palm Beach Community Collage and then continued further when I entered Ringling College of Art and Design. I graduated in 2010 and within three months got a job working at Digital Domain LLC as a rotoscope artist; at the end of 2011 after the company job fell through, I got a job volunteering at the Busch Wildlife Sanctuary and currently hold down a second job at home working as a commission artist online.
At the moment I am working on two projects: the comic book Yardville, and the graphic novel The Empire of Zyn.
Yardville is a comedy about six animals who live alongside two humans in a yard within a rural town in South Florida. It stars Handy, the friendly disembodied hand; Raffles, the naive lab rat; Buster, the tough-guy gargoyle; Ophilia, the soft-spoken insightful legless lizard; Regina, the scrappy raccoon; and Flannery, the matriarch flamingo. It also features the humans Dr. Howard Wattzinniger, the mad scientist and whom Handy was originally attached to; Madam Skelda, a 1,000-year-old witch; and their "pet" half-chainsaw/half-shark monster named Sawzburg. Along with wordplay and physical comedy, the comic also dabbles in political and social satire.
The Empire of Zyn is a Post-Apocalyptic/Cyberpunk adventure/drama set thousands of years in the future on a distant planet populated by highly-developed animals called "Anthroids". It follows the coming of age story of Sage, a heroine who eventually becomes the chosen leader of an advanced empire that does battle with another for control of their planet.
My early childhood influences mainly came from animated movies (Don Bluth, Hayao Miyazaki and Disney), both animated and live action TV shows (mostly Nickelodeon) and Japanese anime. As a kid, I also grew up watching thriller, classic black-and-white horror, and sci-fi flicks.
My favorite movie of all time is 1984's Rock & Rule. This film has served as the main driving inspiration behind The Empire of Zyn among other things. Other favorite films I enjoy are Blade Runner, To Live (活着), The Hunchback of Notre Dame, My Neighbor Totoro, Dragon Heart, Alien, Key Largo, The Dark Crystal, The Birdcage, Akira, and Gojira.
20 years of practice and experience in pencil drawings, color pencil, concept art, and mostly dry media.
10 years of practice and experience in cartoons, graphic novels, portraits, character art, and comics.
Bachelor's Degree in Illustration from Ringling College of Art and Design