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The Evolution of a Master Artist
Jeff Haynie

There are few stories more inspiring than that of a young artist who, despite growing up in an area with little exposure to the arts, manages to pursue his passion and become one of the most sought-after illustrators and art directors in the entertainment industry. Such is the story of artist and teacher Jeff Haynie, who, through his lifelong fascination with fantasy art and his unwavering dedication to his craft, has left an indelible mark on the world of illustration and game design.

Growing up in southern Louisiana, Haynie found inspiration in the natural world around him, especially in the shimmering waters of the river where he would often fish. He would spend hours drawing spaceships and fantastical creatures under a tree during recess while his classmates played on the playground. It was the artwork of Frank Frazetta and the release of “Star Wars” that solidified his interest in fantasy art, and he began using an airbrush to create stunning murals and illustrations on everything from t-shirts to tractor trailers.

Painting of Cats, Aliens, and Donuts called “Giving and Receiving”

Haynie’s talent and passion for art led him to attend art school at Louisiana Tech University and later at East Texas State University, where he met his future wife, Sherri, and became a devout Christian. It was during this time that he honed his skills as an illustrator, learning from some of the best artists in the industry, including Bart Forbes, Don Ivan Punchatz, Jack Unruh, and Mike Presley. After college, Haynie founded Green Acres Studio, which produced illustrations for a variety of high-profile clients.

Painting for a jigsaw puzzle published by Buffalo Games.

In the late 1990s, Haynie began working in the entertainment industry, first at DreamWorks Interactive, where he created digital artwork for computer games and eventually became an art director. He later worked for Electronic Arts, THQ, and Midway Games, contributing to such iconic game franchises as “Need for Speed”, “Evil Dead”, and “Medal of Honor”. His journey ultimately brought him to Big Fish Games, where he served as the art director for the “Mystery Case Files” series, overseeing everything from concept art to animation and special effects.

Despite his success in the entertainment industry, Haynie remained committed to his personal artwork and to using his talent for a good cause. He and his wife partnered with cat rescues across the United States, donating a portion of their art sales to support animal rescue and adoption efforts. His artwork, which draws inspiration from his beloved cats and from his deep sense of whimsical wonder and childlike innocence, has been featured in numerous galleries and publications, including Disney, Pixar, and Warner Brothers.

Painting called “Patron Saint of Green Chile”

Today, Haynie continues to create stunning works of art that capture the imagination and inspire awe in all who behold them. His journey from Louisiana to Hollywood and beyond is a testament to the power of passion, dedication, and hard work, and serves as an inspiration to aspiring artists everywhere.

Jeff recently painted a breathtaking mural on the walls of the Casita at Tranquil Buzz in Silver City, NM. The mural reflects the soul of the area and celebrates the deep-rooted spirit, history, and culture of Silver City. It showcases the ancient indigenous people, the awe-inspiring scenery of the Gila National Forest and Gila Wilderness, and the iconic Kneeling Nun landmark. Jeff skillfully captured the unique and vibrant wildlife of Silver City, including the enchanting Gambel’s quail with their swaying plumage. The ruins in the area stand as a testament to the dreams of people who sought riches or to find themselves. Jeff also incorporated a Road Runner and a warm, inviting fire that adds to the mural’s charm. In a touching gesture, Jeff immortalized his rescue cat, Grizzly Bear, who now resides with him. This exquisite masterpiece is a visual ode to the soul-stirring beauty of Silver City and a tribute that will endure through the ages.

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The views expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Southwest Word Fiesta™ or its steering committee.

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We respectfully acknowledge that the entirety of southwestern New Mexico is the traditional territory, since time immemorial, of the Chis-Nde, also known as the people of the Chiricahua Apache Nation. The Chiricahua Apache Nation is recognized as a sovereign Native Nation by the United States in the Treaty of Amity, Commerce, and Friendship of 1 July 1852 (10 Stat. 979) (Treaty of Santa Fe ratified 23 March 1853 and proclaimed by President Franklin Pierce 25 March 1853).

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Mimbres Press of Western New Mexico University is a traditional academic press that welcomes agented and unagented submissions in the following genres: literary fiction, creative non-fiction, essays, memoir, poetry, children’s books, historical fiction, and academic books. We are particularly interested in academic work and commercial work with a strong social message, including but not limited to works of history, reportage, biography, anthropology, culture, human rights, and the natural world. We will also consider selective works of national and global significance.