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.

On the Mat

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Mar 142012
 

So GP Seattle-Tacoma was a lot of fun. REALLY busy, though. There was very little time to just hang out chatting as the line never shrank until the last few hours on Sunday.

As well as the playmats produced for tournament prizes, people requesting sketches on their own mats has become the big thing at recent shows. Playmats have been around for ages so I’m not sure why this has suddenly become so popular but I suspect the new mats with their smooth surface that takes drawings much better has encouraged this. Just a hunch.

I lost count of how many sketches I did. Some were certainly better than others – that’s always the case – but hopefully everyone was happy with their pics. These shows can become a blur and I often worry about getting too punchy and producing crappy scrawls.

One of the most bizarre pieces done was a hodge-podge Phyrexian that came about from an impromptu jam. I had drawn the upper portion of a Phyrexian warrior but had to call it at a certain spot when I had run out of time. Later the mat’s owner brought back the mat to show me that rkpost had added a lower torso and thighs to the creature (apparently he hates to see things unfinished) and then he thought he’d leave the legs for Mark Tedin. Franz Vohwinkel was last to get his hands on the mat and managed to bolt on a rather natty mini gun – with requisite ammo belt – to the Phyrexian’s free arm.

Here’s the crazy jam for you to enjoy –

Jam mat drawing featuring Venters, Post, Tedin and Vohwinkel

After the show, Mark and I were talking about doing this again and seeing what craziness happens. Only time will tell…

Finally, here’s a look at the finished Phyrexian Dreadnought playmat with all the noodly rendering completed.

Phyrexian Dreadnought mat finished

Mar 022012
 

One of the latest things happening at Magic tournaments, especially the new slew of Grand Prix events, is the attending artists producing playmat sketches for tourney prizes.

A lot of times these are done on the day – they are, after all, just a really big sketch – but I decided to have a shot at my mat before getting to the show…

So, if you’re going to Grand Prix Seattle-Tacoma, you could win this Phyrexian Dreadnought playmat:

Phyrexian Dreadnought mat prize for GP Seattle

The Magic card is included for scale! This wide mat also gives me a chance to try out the larger image window on the blog’s new format. Mmm, roomy.

The mat’s about eighty to ninety percent done at this point. I’m sure it’ll be on show with the other artists’ mats during Saturday and possibly a portion of Sunday. Considering rkpost and Mark Tedin are attending, I think it’s fair to say there’ll be some damn nice looking mats to win.

Don’t miss out. Don’t say you weren’t warned.

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.

Jan 302012
 

Man, it’s been two and a half months since I posted here? What’s that, twenty years in internet time?

So, I’m still around, still working the freelancing gig, still keeping an eye out for new work (who isn’t?). The last few months have been filled with seasonal holiday shenanigans, training in ZBrush, swearing at Painter, occasionally dealing with a flooding basement, and trying to deal with a backlog of card signing requests. Y’know, the usual.

So, here’s a quick sketch I did one evening after returning from the upstairs room I call my studio to find my wife watching one of her perennial comfort movies, Beetlejuice…

And when I say quick sketch, I really mean quick. This took four minutes.

Beetlejuice 4 minute sketch

Those of you who’ve seen me sketching at shows, are probably not surprised by that. Attendees who want a free sketch get what I call my “thirty second goblin” which is a goblin head-shot that takes 30 seconds when I’m really in the zone, 50 the rest of the time.

Anyway, I decided I needed to do a better bio-exorcist pic, so here’s a color version I whipped up as a warm-up one lunchtime…

Beetlejuice color sketch

Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice! Wait, damn, does that mean I should have done a third sketch? Hmm…