“Do You Sign Cards By Mail?”

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Mar 032016
 

CardsYes, I do indeed sign cards by mail.

However, I cannot guarantee how long it’ll take before I return them to you. If you need your cards within a certain time window, I would recommend catching me at a show rather than mailing them to me. Typically people wait three or more months to get their cards back.

With that caveat out of the way, let’s get into a (not so) little guide to sending me cards… Continue reading »

A Tale of Two Kickstarters

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Mar 052013
 

Gatekeeper-thinSo, in an effort to be ridonkulously busy, I’m involved in TWO ongoing (and rather successful) Kickstarter projects!

Now, that’s not to say I’m running two Kickstarter projects simultaneously, they have rules against that…

In the first project – The Maze of Games – I’m the sole illustrator. Apart from handing in artwork I have no direct involvement with the Kickstarter page. That is all in the hands of puzzle-maestro, evil-genius and utter lunatic, Mike Selinker, who is the author of the book and all its fiendish puzzles.

Trust me, I’m not kidding about fiendish. The puzzles start off merely tricky but ramp up to ‘brain-spasm difficulty’ pretty quickly. There’s even a hidden puzzle on the Kickstarter page itself and regular puzzles in the updates. See previous statement about “utter lunatic”.

If you need to take your brain out for a bracing puzzle-filled marathon (with requisuite *headdesking*) be sure to check it out as it only has a few days left in its campaign.

The second Kickstarter launched a week ago today. I’m helping run the Kickstarter page and the Facebook page for it, and I’ve done a painting for it too. It’s a very special project to me as it’s for the 20th anniversary of Magic: The Gathering…

CommemorateThe Gathering is an art book featuring new art by over 30+ of the original Magic artists who’ve contributed a new painting for the book, most of them derived from one of their favorite / popular cards.

It’s especially big news because Wizards has never done an art book with a focus on the artists. Crazy, but true!

We debuted four pieces of art at launch and are periodically revealing more. If you know anyone who used to play Magic back in its earliest days, let them know about this book. Especially let friends know if they used to play Magic but have quit, because they may get a big kick out of this book and most of our current channels are probably not reaching them!

Nothing sadder than someone missing out on a Kickstarter that was something they’ve always wanted.

Okay, I’ll catch you after the craziness! Whenever that is.

Jan 172013
 

Looking back at 2012… well, I haven’t been around much on the blog, have I? A technical problem with what I wanted to do with the next blog post led to me putting it aside until I had time to work out what was up. Then I got busier.

Unfortunately two projects I was involved with look to be dead. One was an app which I did some graphic design work for, and the other was a charity art book similar in vein to the Transmetropolitan one I worked on back in 2011. It required copyright clearance from a licensee before we could proceed. We got the clearance and started on gearing up a very cool book only to have the licensee rescind the permission three months later, with zero explanation. One part of me just shrugs and says “them’s the breaks”, but another part thinks the licensee can bite me. Sorry, but it’s not worth the trouble to give specifics.

There was some CCG art for an app. Unfortunately, that’s not out yet so I can’t share that with you either. Sheesh.

Shedu_EPI did a cover for a local metal band called Shedu. Portions of the cover can be seen at the top of their webpage – which you can find right here. Give them a listen.

The image on the right is a quick something I whipped together for their EP. I should mention that the monster is my doing, not the band name treatment which is a friend’s handiwork.

Looking ahead into 2013, a couple of things that have been eating up my time these past few months are almost ready for prime time. Both are Kickstarter projects and both are books…

The first of these is a puzzle book that I’m illustrating. It should be launching on Kickstarter before January is out. More news on that soon.

The second Kickstarter project is an art book celebrating the original artists of Magic: the Gathering and commemorating the 20th anniversary of the game. It includes new art from 30+ of the original artists done especially for the book, along with anecdotes and insights into their art and their experiences with the game. It’ll be on Kickstarter very soon – hopefully February. When the launch is near, you will know. Trust me.

But for now, I’ll just leave you with a couple of links –

There’s now a site dedicated to Magic original art. They interviewed me and you can find that here at the Original Magic Art site.

iO9 ran an article on their favorite Magic art of the last twenty years. Alas, no mention of any of my pieces. Humph. Pitchforks in 3… 2… 1…

Anyway, that’s it for now. I’ll be back soon with more info about my first Kickstarter project.

The Curse of Commonality

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Mar 152012
 

It’s true in every corner of the commercial art world that if your artwork is attached to a popular product then your art is going to benefit from that association. The popularity rubs off, so to speak.

It’s especially the case in Magic, and probably all collectible card games. If your art graces a hot (and most likely) rare card then you’re going to be able to sell more prints, charge more for the artist proofs and if you’re working in traditional mediums, ask a nice sum for the original art too. It’s all about demand.

In CCGs the opposite is also true. If your art ends up on an unpopular card then you may never sell a single artist proof unless you find a particularly masochistic player with a strange connection to the card. Hey, it’s happened…

But it goes further than that, the perceived value – that is to say the quality – of the painting itself is changed in the minds of the card buying public. I have some early paintings that aren’t remotely close to the quality I produce today, but they’re on popular cards and I sell prints of them at every show. And I have some paintings I’m really proud of that’ll never sell a print because of where they landed, usually a junk common that no one cares about.

And that’s the curse of commonality.

Tomorrow (yes, really, three updates in a week!) I’ll show you one of my favorite paintings that you may never have paid any attention to as it was lost to a junk common.

And as a footnote, even commons have their moment in the spotlight…

Image courtesy of the fiendish Magic Cards with Googly Eyes Tumblr where I have discovered my art is featured with frightening regularity.

Man, I think the eyes totally improved the Necrogen Censer. Just look at it, it’s absolutely cute now… like some raggedy left-for-wet Pokemon.

Event Alert: Grand Prix Seattle / Tacoma

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Feb 282012
 

I’ll be attending Grand Prix Seattle / Tacoma this coming weekend. I should be there Saturday and Sunday from about noon onwards (I-5 traffic allowing).

Come along for all manner of signing, sketching and shenanigans.

Click this link or the image for event info and location.

Event Alert: Grand Prix San Diego

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Nov 042011
 

I’ll be attending GP: San Diego next week! You can expect to find me there prepared for all manner of signing and sketches.

My hours (approximately) –
Friday Nov 11th 12:00 – 2:00, 3:00 – 6:00
Saturday Nov 12th 11:00 – 1:30, 2:30 – 6:00
Sunday Nov 13th 11:00 – 1:30, 2:30 – 5:00

Hopefully, I’ll see you there.

Sep 232011
 

Another drought of posts invariably means I’ve gotten busy with work. But hey, work = paying bills = well, you get the picture.

I’ve had only a little time to try out more sculpting with ZBrush. The goblin head got a little more detailed and I’ll share that with you soon.

Some people have asked if I’ve considered using 3D printing to make the goblin head a physical reality. You bet I have! But I’m not going to jump into that until I feel I know what the hell I’m doing so that when I make the sculpture available, it’s worth people’s pennies.

Chances are that when it comes time to make the sculpture, I’ll use Kickstarter to produce it. Seems like the best way to reach people worldwide and ensure the production run isn’t horribly over or under stocked.

Here’s a link to someone who’s managed to really capture people’s attention on Kickstarter with a 3D printed sculpture. It’s a beautifully ornate skull. He started with the hopes of raising $500 and he presently stands at just shy of $34,000 with 30 days left to run!

Just look at the static image for his video, that’s just damn cool and sells the piece before he’s even said a word. Besides the beautiful design, I think the subject matter appeals to a wide audience and that’s fueling this amazingly successful endeavor. I don’t think a fantasy based sculpt could hope to come close to that kind of total.

Though I’d be happy to be proven wrong.

Switching gears, but still sticking with Kickstarter, my wife Jillian, better known as the Lady of the Manners from Gothic Charm School is helping out on an indie coming-of-age goth movie called ‘My Summer as a Goth’ and they’re also raising money on Kickstarter to help with initial costs. One of the donation rewards is a part in the movie! Anyway, check it out here.

With that, it’s back to the current assignments. Eventually I’ll be able to share them with you but for now I’ll leave you with these tidbits about this mystery commission;
It’s for a company I’ve never worked with before.
They’re a HUGE company.
The stuff I’m drawing for them is probably one of the last things you’d ever imagine me doing.

…Aaaaaaaand that’s all my NDA will allow at the moment. Okay, back to work!

Aug 012011
 

Question: If I was to use Kickstarter to fund creating an original fantasy painting, available as a print ranging from standard US letter size (8.5″ by 11″) all the way up to 2′ by 3′, would you be interested in supporting it?

What size print would you want?

It couldn’t be Magic the Gathering related (copyright issues), but what fantasy thing would you like to see?

Guesstimate prices would range from $15 to probably $120. With some super rare stuff in the $300 category.

So what d’ya think?

Jun 292011
 

My ever-under-construction website will eventually feature a fairly exhaustive FAQ. I’ve got a bunch of questions, and managed to lose a whole bunch more (I’m gifted that way). Occasionally I ask myself if I’m missing some important questions.

Then I realized the blog might be a good testing ground for current questions – Did I cover everything? Was it a clear explanation? – and an opportunity to collect new questions.

With that in mind, let’s start with the basics (and – full disclosure – some that are kind to my wallet);

A: Do you sign cards by mail?
Q: Yup. Check out this article about exactly that before sending me cards.

Q: Y’know, come to think of it, I don’t know all the cards you’ve done.
A: Click the handy Gatherer link up on the right column. It’ll take you to a visual spoiler of every Magic card I’ve done artwork for. Not for the faint-of-bandwidth.

Q: Do you have prints for sale?
A: Yup again. Currently 60 different ones. They’re $12 plus shipping and are printed on high quality archival paper stock. My email is linked at the top of the blogs right column, so drop me a line and I’ll send you a list.

Q: Do you have Artist Proofs for sale?
A: Yes indeed. Prices vary as does shipping depending on how many you want. Drop me a line for a complete list.

Q: Do you have original art for sale? Magic art?
A: Astonishingly, yes. I held on to almost all of my originals until I could buy a scanner that could make satisfactory high-end archival scans so that I could ensure I had an excellent digital copy of the image before the original left my hands . I picked up a great scanner a few years ago and have slowly been selling pieces ever since. Drop me a line and – surprise! – I will send you a list.

Q: How much do Magic originals cost?
A: Mine run the gamut from $450 to $1600 with most sitting at $950. That price includes Fed-Ex two day shipping with insurance. Shipping outside the U.S.A. costs up to $80 extra. Originals from Doomtown and V:Tes tend to be $300 to 650 in price.

Q: Are Phyrexian Dreadnought, Baron Sengir and the Abyss available?
A: Nope, sorry. Not every high profile card is gone, however. Check the list.

Q: Do you have any original sketches for your Magic cards?
A: Yeah, though those are less well documented. Ask and I’ll let you know if what you’re interested in is available.

So, got an idea for a FAQ entry? Drop me a line in the comments here, on the various message boards I inhabit or at my email linked above (that right column again).

Behind the Scenes

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Jun 172011
 

Sorry it’s so quiet here. I’m in the process of re-arranging my workspace; putting in new bookshelves, throwing out and recycling the usual crap that builds up and – OMG – dusting.

Yeah, living the high life, that’s me.

I’m also working on one image that is a meeting of two fascinating steampunk worlds and I’m developing a comic book. It’s been a while and clearly it’s not just my room that needs dusting off.

Funny how no matter how many shelves you have you never have enough for those really tall books…