By day, the Oakland artist Shawn Feeney works in the art department of Industrial Light and Magic, the visual effects division of Lucasfilm. By night, he uses his training in forensic art to draw charcoal portraits that combine the features of strangers who submitted their photos to him on the Internet.
How did you get into forensic art?
I’ve been drawing as long as I remember. My dad is a cop on Long Island, and whenever I would visit him at the police station, I would visit the forensic artists. They would critique my drawings of X-Men. In 2006, my dad told me that his police department was hiring a civilian forensic artist. I took a three-week course in forensic facial imaging at the FBI academy in Quantico. It covered the interview process, facial anatomy, age progressions and postmortem drawings. I tend to be obsessive, meticulous, but it helped me loosen up. You can’t expect a witness to sit there for five hours while you draw every little pore on the face. Read More