Keith Thompson, who contributed fifty illustrations for the interior of Leviathan, began freelancing as an artist in high school. After graduating, he studied illustration and continued his freelance work. He has contributed art for books, video games, film, and television.
Preparing the Leviathan illustrations involved a year of planning and working on the project, drawing the illustrations as author Scott Westerfeld wrote. He often asked questions of Westerfeld to find out his conception of the visual elements of the story.
In an interview with Irene Gallo on Tor.com, Thompson is asked if he was a fan of steampunk before Leviathan. He replies:
Yes, definitely. Since this is just the way I work creatively, I really only view it as something set in 1914, though. One of the interesting things about steampunk is that it hasn't formed an expectation of tone in the same way that something like cyberpunk has. If anything, steampunk tends to consistently ...