Saturday, September 1, 2012

Night Shift

Here's a recent piece for Artists of Magic. Copyright Action Sports. I'm honored to have done a piece for them as they really select some top talent to work with them. I hope I didn't disappoint. I assume I didn't as it looks like I have several more to do for them. I chose this one to do first out of the line-up because it's one of the simpler ones in some ways. Mostly in the sense that it's easy to put on a breastplate and hold a sword to get some good reference. The others will be more difficult with reference but easier content in my opinion. All of the subjects are the stuff that tends to make for more popular prints.

Anyways, I thought of this as an audition for M:tG and in that sense I think I could have made it read better at a smaller size. More over the top. There's actually a card by Wayne Reynolds with a guy doing something similar that I think shows what I could have done to make for a better magic card. It's just more simplified so that it reads much better. The idea for the illustration came from a Pathfinder RPG spell called "Moonstruck". It basically forces someone to unwillingly become a werewolf for a couple of rounds.

It's an improvement but I think I could do even better and am really looking forward to the next one. I was able to take my time and feel more calm working on this piece. It didn't actually take longer than any of my book covers though. The calmer state seems to lead to more efficient work. Not really advice you can give to artists struggling to make a living though is it? "Just calm down and taker your time." It's not really an option most of the time.

GENCON

GenCon was really different for me this year as I wasn't attending as an artist. I didn't bring my portfolio. I didn't have a booth in the art show,etc. I manned a booth for Dark Skull Studios (GO SUPPORT our kickstarter!) so I didn't even get to play any games. So it was a little bittersweet. It hadn't occurred to me though that I would have to review the portfolios of other artists as I'm the AD at DSS. I've given plenty of artists critique but never in the role of AD talking to a prospect. The poor artists found it awkward and I did as well. Most all of them were extremely nervous and I have just never had anyone feel so nervous about talking to me before so it was strange. It would have been easy to tell everybody, "oh this is great and we'll keep you in mind" but I didn't think that would be the right thing to do by them. I always remember Chris Pritchard complaining about a portfolio review he received from somebody once where it didn't give him any insight into how to improve the quality component of his work but talked about content instead. I really tried to give the artists clear feedback on problem areas and how to change. I was a bit worried that I'd have nightmares about giving these rough critiques or one of them would stab me or something.



I really enjoyed getting to talk at length with Eric Lofgren though who stayed in the house with us. It was also great to see some of our other artists such as Christ Pritchard, Pat Laboy and Jeremy McHuge.


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