Posted on December 13, 2004 by Flames
How did you get into gaming?
Well, I got started doing artwork for gaming when, at a comic convention sometime back around 1990, an art director for Mayfair Games approached my table and started talking. I started doing work for them, then I believe someone at White Wolf contacted me and I started a long working relationship with them that continues to this day. I have done hundreds of paintings for White Wolf for books, ccgs, etc. Wizards soon followed, this being around 1993, and then a slew of smaller companies started using me.
Where do you see Art in the RPG industry headed?
Well, not being really a part of the community, I don’t really know. I do see more digital work in the books my work is also in, which makes sense, there being much more digital work being done nowadays (and some of it really good).
Where do you get your inspiration? How do you keep your ideas fresh?
I am inspired by many, many things, as all artists are, I think. Film, other artist’s work, fiction, music, nature, and more. When I start on, for example, a bunch of portraits for a White Wolf CCG, the descriptions play a major part, of course. After doing sketches and shooting reference photos, those photos sometimes inspire me to go in a different or specific direction as well.
Do you have a favorite medium? Why?
Watercolor has become my favorite medium mostly by default. It is a quick medium, and the final results can be either tight or loose, depending on your style and needs. I have thought, for awhile now, of picking up another medium to infuse some new blood into my work. I may try oil wash, as David Dorman does, since it has the saturation of oils, but a possibility of looseness that watercolor has.
What has been your most challenging work in the RPG industry?
Well, I don’t know if I have been particularly challenged by any particular assignment. One of my favorite groups of pieces was for Imajica which, unfortunately, went nowhere. I also always like the VTES portrait pieces…they are relatively easy, but I can still instill some individual characteristics in the characters and have fun with the peripherals, backgrounds, etc.
What differences and/or challenges do you face when working on an RPG vs. a Comic book?
Oh, for me, comics are much, much harder. For one, of course, you usually have much more actual art to do. Usually, you have to draw many more things, since your characters are most likely moving through a specific world, whereas in gaming, you are mostly depicting a very specific moment in time and place. You obviously also have to take into account continuity of story, storytelling, things like that. It’s sorta like the difference between drawing one horse by itself and the horse, its stable, the other horses, the ranch, the terrain, flora and fauna, etc.
What RPGs are you currently playing? if any?
None, really…to be honest, I don’t and never have had time for that sort of thing. Too much work to do and too many bills to pay!
What’s next for you?
Well, for now, mostly non-gaming work. For one, I just finished a new Tori Amos RAINN benefit calendar, for which I did one painting, the design and production, contacting the other artists and even arranging the distribution. All pro bono. You can see it and order it at www.rainn.org/calendar.html. Other artists include Michael Kaluta, David Mack, Wendy Froud, Christophe Vacher, Daren Bader, Terese Neilsen and more. I have also been doing various freelance projects for DVDS, cds, mainstream clients, educational media and more. I also recently started back to school to hopefully finish my degree. For now, the production cycle for rpgs is in a different cycle, art production still months away. I may be involved in a Lord of the Rings and Star Wars ccg, but am waiting to hear from the company.