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Interview with R. K. Post

Posted on December 14, 2003 by Flames

How did you get into gaming?

I started illustrating for RPG’s my last semester of college. I had a professor, Mark Nelson, that was doing that kind of work and introduced me to the people at TSR. It kind of grew from there.

You’ve done work for large publishers and small press companies, what are the major differences you’ve encountered?

Everybody is different….even amongst the larger companies. I have had one larger publisher take more than a year to return work and one small publisher with a two day turnaround. Advances in technology (digitally captured art and digitally rendered art, high speed internet, digital cameras, faster computers) have changed things on both ends. With some companies, you send original art to have them shoot it…..and others, everything is pixelated (mostly on my end). Lot of time and effort is being saved and that equalizes most companies.

What is the process for getting art in a gaming book? How much instruction/guidelines are you given by an editor/developer for a book that you’re doing art in?

You start with a description of what the art should cover, capture, or describe. Some are pretty brief and others describe everything down to eye color. I work best with brevity … it makes creativity flow a bit easier. I then work out a rough sketch to submit for approvals … then make changes to that when I go to a final rendering. I then submit that to the publisher via email, cd, or original art. They do the rest.

What advice do you have for the hopeful artists out there trying to get into the gaming industry?

Be patient, don’t expect to support yourself right away, keep drawing and improving, and keep updating your portfolio or site with new work while eliminating the older stuff.

You do a lot of Conventions, what makes a good Con experience and what makes you groan?

Pretty much all con experiences are good ones….you meet new people and get to see some folks that you may not have seen in a while. There are times that sitting for 8 hours can get tiring…..that’s natural. With con experiences, like my art, I like to have things mixed up a little to keep it interesting. It can be a little hard doing sketch after sketch after sketch….especially if there is a line.

How do you keep your work innovative and fresh; what inspires your art?

Back to the changing things up to keep it interesting. Painting the same thing over and over again bores me and makes driving a rusty spike into my forehead an appealing option. I also try to challenge myself to work out problems that I generally have with composition, lighting, or anatomy. Try to learn with each new piece and try to keep it fresh and from stinking of something that I have already done. I don’t always succeed. ;)

You’ve done some modeling for other artists, what’s it like being on the other side of the brush?

It is always fun to see where you end up when translated through somebody else’s eye. I have my own thoughts, perceptions, and roadblocks and it is nice to see how others work through theirs … with me in the picture. ;)

You’ve done a huge mix of fantasy, sci-fi and horror work for RPGs, does one appeal more or less than the others? Why?

Depends on a rotating mood and fun subjects, I suppose. When given a fair amount of creative freedom and trust … with a minimum of editorial changes, makes some jobs go far smoother than others.

You’ve done some work for Apophis Consortium on the Obsidian: the Age of Judgement line (including the cover of Inside the Zone), what about that setting appeals to you?

Sci Fi with a flavor for the evil is always fun…..it is pretty much what I am about and what I enjoy doing. Nuff sed!

What’s next for you?

I currently work onsite full time at Microsoft concepting and texturing NPC models for an MMORPG called Mythica. On the side, I still freelance, painting card art, game covers, book covers, movie concept art, game concepts, and whatever else comes across my desk. Got to keep the name alive!

For more information on R. K. Post, visit Postmortem at http://www.rkpost.net.

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