Saturday, February 21, 2009

Creature Feature #5: Nemo Ramjet

This week's Creature Feature, as the title suggests, is about Nemo Ramjet, one of the most interesting and creative illustrators and creature designers today.
Like Alex Ries last week, Nemo Ramjet does a lot of speculative creature designing, designing creatures and animals with evolutionary processes in mind. Let's take a look at a few of his projects.

The above images show imagined future forms of humanity. The second two images are from his "All Tomorrows" project, a future history of mankind following the next several hundred million years of our progress and evolution, failures and triumphs. It's a powerful work, and I'll provide a link to it as soon as Nemo's website goes back up. The first "All Tomorrows" image shows a few variations of an insect-eating form of humanity, while the second image shows a form of humanity that has evolved to become modular and cell-based; the being pictured is composed of several different humans. The first of these images shows another speculative future human, but is unrelated to his "All Tomorrows" project. As you can see, the human form is rich with creature design possibilities.
Also, Nemo Ramjet is one of the few creature designers that I know of to incorporate the reproductive organs as design elements.

The above two images, and the first image of this post, are from Nemo Ramjet's most well-known project: Snaiad. One of the most fascinating and creative creature design projects out there, Snaiad documents the lifeforms of another world. It is richly detailed and incredibly well thought out. Like many of Alex Ries' aliens in the last Creature Feature, these animals are all derived from a common ancestor, and their variation is due to modifications of a basic set of features. The most notable feature of Snaiadi animals is that they have two heads. The first head carries the jaws, sense organs, and genitalia (yes, the genitalia), while the second head holds the creature's actual mouth. The biology and evolutionary history of these creatures is very detailed and well worked out, so I urge you to visit that website and have a look.

The creatures above are from another project of the busy and versatile Nemo Ramjet. According to Richard Dawkin's "meme" theory, ideas spread, flourish, and die according to the same evolutionary principles as organic lifeforms. These beautiful creatures are animalistic representations of memes. The third one weaves a powerful argument around itself in self-defense, the argument represented by a series of gossamer glyphs. The fourth one is the embodiment of a catchy tune. Some of these creature have fearsome jaws, with which to destroy the arguments and logic of other memetic fauna. These are beautiful, fascinating creatures, and a testament to the possibilities of more abstract creature design.

The images below show some additional creature designs by Nemo Ramjet. The second image in particular is one of my favorite creature design images ever; you can see it in larger resolution on his DeviantArt gallery. The third image shows two aliens from another of his projects, this one about the life that develops on the inside of a Dyson Sphere (an artificial sphere built around a star). The fourth image is a drawing of a Pteranodon based on the work of David Peters, a paleontologist with some truly absurd ideas about the morphology of pterosaurs. The final image shows a speculative land-dwelling descendant of an antiarch placoderm, an ancient form of armored fish.

Relevant links:
Nemo Ramjet's website: It's currently down, but as soon as it's up I'll post a link!
Snaiad Homepage:
Nemo Ramjet's DeviantArt:

All images in this post are (c) Nemo Ramjet.