Monday, April 06, 2009

Go China

A few months back, China's Fantasy Art Magazine had a feature article on yours truly, highlighting a cross-section of works of mine. Hot on its heels--in fact, as the earlier issue was hitting the stands, I was contacted again by them. They wanted to do a follow-up article on me focusing specifically on my work for the World of Warcraft TCG, for which I've done a few illustrations the past few years. After getting the ok from the license-holders, we went forward, and this appeared in Vol.34. As it's in Chinese, most of you won't be able to do much with it. I had the rare foresight to save the email with the interview questions. Perhaps they didn't use them all, but below is what was written.

They were quite taken by "Slay or Stay," apparently.

1. How did you begin to work for WOW TCG?
I was contacted in late 2005 when the project began, to create art for the WOW TCG. I produced many images, but only one image was printed in the first set--others were printed in later sets, and one or two have not been printed yet. Since then I have contributed artwork to further expansions of the game.

2. What is different from Magic?
Because Upper Deck produces the TCG and Blizzard produces the videogame, there are two sets of Art Directors. This means that all your artwork has to pass two tests to be approved. Blizzard are very demanding with their game--they want the quality of the videogame to be very high, and they demand that the artwork sticks to their standards for how World of Warcraft should look. So, it can be more work to please everyone.

3. Do you like WOW? Do you play it?

I love WOW the videogame--I have a level 70 character (Night Elf Hunter) and some other characters I don't play as much. I am also waiting for the 2nd videogame expansion to continue playing. I have not played the TCG, however. (note: I haven't yet picked up the second expansion, so haven't played for quite awhile)

4. What are the most important things when you do work for WOW TCG?
Blizzard has a very particular style with the artwork they produce and the style of the videogame characters--giant weapons, armor, and everything is just very super-large. For a painter who is used to realism, this can be difficult to do because these types of equipment are very unrealistic. So, the first thing to do is to throw the rules out the window and accept the WOW style. Also, it was very important for me to play the videogame so I had a good understanding of the world's style.

5. I find your WOW TCG is not too
bright-colored like in many other artist's work, why?
Most people find my artwork to be very colorful, but not super-bright like candy-colored. This is my usual style. I think also because I paint in oils, this helps keep my artwork from looking super colorful. Many artists now use digital, and it is easy to choose colors that are all very, very vivid (and then to use tools like "Saturation" to make them more bright). This is not a style I prefer, because it makes the artwork "look" digital, look plastic like a toy. Also, I think the videogame is very colorful but is not crazy-bright like some WOW artworks I see.

Thanks to Lizzy and Fantasy Art Magazine for supporting my work. Larger scans and original art for these and other WOW images can be found here.