-You're a Wizard,
I'm now an art director for keeps. Yay!
Translation: My managers at Wizards of the Coast saw fit to convert me from contractor to full time in August. I was certainly hoping that would happen, but I didn't want to get too comfortable in my seat until it was set in stone. I've now commissioned hundreds of pieces of art for Magic, and cut my teeth on all kinds of creative behind-the-scenes stuff I can't talk about. That's really the only downside- the shroud of mystery evokes a similar feeling to painting something I like that has to stay under wraps for a year, but protracted.
It's a fun, challenging, hard-ass job. I've learned a lot, and am still learning. Joking with a publishing AD I called it "atoning for all my sins as an illustrator." hah. It's a little true, though. If I could yell into the past, it would sound something like "Communicate! Don't rush that final! And for the love of god, name your files correctly!!"
From L to R: artist Sara Winters, art director Mark Winters, and me. On our way to PAX Prime, Seattle
As an extension of the art direction, I went to PAX Prime last month with my fellow AD Mark Winters to give portfolio reviews. I'll be flying to Pennsylvania for more portfolio reviews at IlluXCon in just a few short weeks: Sign ups begin at 6PM Eastern Time on October 3rd. Slots for reviews at IX have gone quickly in the past, so if you want to talk with me about your work, do not miss that signup date!
I've been remiss in my responsibilities to you and have skipped over posting a bunch of my artwork that's come out recently (for which I apologize). Some of this may be review for those of you who follow me elsewhere, but some will not. Starting off, my latest cover for Tor Books was released today, for Emily Foster's novella, "The Drowning Eyes," art directed by Christine Foltzer:
A couple more Tor book covers I worked on with Irene Gallo from earlier this year- for all the full art in one place, take a peek at my portfolio archive on Imgur: http://imgur.com/a/VVn9H
"A Daughter of No Nation" novel cover art, © Tor Books
"World's End" novel cover art, © Tor Books
Next up, some creepy Eldrazi and weirdly angelic Magic card artwork from the latest set, Battle for Zendikar (coming October 2nd!):
"Transgress the Mind"
And a few from the previous set, Magic: Origins:
"Archangel of Tithes"
"Send to Sleep"
(All Magic: The Gathering artwork above ©2015 Wizards of the Coast)
-Some semblance of a social life?
If you find yourself in the Georgetown area of Seattle, I highly recommend going to Atelier Coffee Company for a cup- the guys are awesome and will take good care of you. The storefront has a curiosity shop/steampunk/artist studio vibe, and on Sunday afternoons it's filled with amazing costumed models and a range of artists, from beginners to skilled pros (many of them are my coworkers) for really cool figure drawing sessions. Whenever I attend, I like to post sketches on my Instagram.
Here's some stuff from the last few weeks:
Heads up, Infected by Art Vol. 3 preorders will ship in October- Earlier this year, I was fortunate enough to win the juried contest for IBA3 and my art for Karen Memory is featured on the cover. I'm looking forward to getting a copy, not just for myself but to peruse its pages for artwork- some people may think art directors don't use annuals to search for artists, but pssst... we actually do. ;)
With the full-time job at Wizards, I'm not taking new freelance assignments right now, but I assure you that does NOT mean I'm going to stop making art. Hell no!
I hope I'll see some newcomers as well as familiar faces at IlluXCon! Signing off for now. Cheers, and happy painting.