John Lakey began his career in Miami, Florida as an illustrator and by the late seventies, was an award winning Art Director for Media Production at Miami Dade Community College, working on educational films for college courses. By the early eighties, the Lakey family had relocated to North Carolina and created a freelance illustration business called “Artifact”.
During the next decade, the studio produced hundreds of pieces for a diverse group of clients, including National Lampoon, Asimov, Analog, Amazing Stories, Warren Publishing, Marvel, and a host of other publications. Work for TSR, the Dungeons & Dragons company, and other gaming companies, quickly followed. In 1985 John began working for Xavier Roberts, creator of the Cabbage Patch Kids, who had located his toy company and in house agency in the North Georgia mountains.
Serving as the Creative Director, John designed and conceptualized new toy products and their promotional materials and wrote two highly praised stop motion animation specials. The work caught the eye of recruiters from Fox Feature Animation and in the nineties, the family relocated to Phoenix, AZ.
John became Pre-production Designer and helped create the animated films Anastasia and Titan A.E. Since the studio's closing, he has produced hundreds of educational kids' book illustrations and has authored/illustrated his own series of high interest/low skill readers' books. And recently, he wrote a fantasy role playing game app for a major gaming company. John is semi-retired in Florida presently but still freelances as both a cartoonist and screenwriter.
Laura grew up in New York and was exposed to the art and culture of the city from an early age. She majored in art at SUNY New Paltz and shortly after, moved to Miami to be a television illustrator. It was there that she met John. She and John are one of the only long term, successful husband/wife illustration teams because they counterbalance each other perfectly. He's a cartoonist while Laura is a realist. He's amazing with watercolors and pencil while she works in oils.
With the fast turnaround times for magazine and comic art, Laura rarely had the chance to use oils but once they started working for Dungeons & Dragons, the client required it. In most cases, these were actual paintings that came with detailed descriptions of characters, armor, and world view backgrounds. Out of necessity, they often used themselves as characters in stories they illustrated. They knew how to do expressions, didn't mind wearing makeup and costumes, and never charged a modeling fee.
In the mid-1990's they moved to Scottsdale, AZ when John was offered the position of Pre-production Designer at Fox Feature Animation. Scottsdale has a large and vibrant art community as well as a multitude of excellent galleries, many of which showcase western art. Now that their two daughters were in school, Laura decided to get into the fine arts scene, something that she'd never had time to pursue. She'd always been attracted to western art and loved the history, characters, gear, and saturated colors. Luckily although John grew up in Miami, he'd been a cowboy since before he could walk, so they had ample holsters, chaps, hats, etc. Laura did a whole series of historical western paintings, concentrating on character rather than location.
The historical series did very well in Scottsdale, was showcased in galleries, won some awards etc. and things were going along swimmingly when she was diagnosed with breast cancer. The experience inspired her retro cowgirl series, a nod to the pulp covers and movie posters from the 40's and 50's as well as her illustration background
These days, the Lakeys live in Florida. Both she and John are available for commissioned work, and much of the original art from their vast portfolio of published work, is available to collectors. They can be contacted by selecting the contact button above, or by emailing them at: .