Welcome to a new series (until I run out of artists to meet at GPs) on Roxie Cards. The idea came to me at Grand Prix Las Vegas. While most people like to talk to artists about their favorite pieces or other topics, I wanted to go a different route. Not one to hold up the a line (as they were very long at times), I decided I would present a simple question, “What is your least favorite art you’ve done for a Magic card?”
While some artists had to think about it, others came up with their response quickly. I didn’t get to catch up with every artists at Vegas, but I did get a couple more answers at Grand Prix Charlotte this past weekend and have presented their answers based on what they told me. Below are their responses and reasons why.
Fan favorite Steve Argyle was my first artist and he had a fairly quick response with Lavalanche (Bonfire of the Damned before it was cool). He stated that the art had a lot of detail that did not translate well into a small card image.As you can see from the below image, there is actually building being covered in an avalanche of lava, which is tough to see in the small version.I can see why he wasn’t a fan.
Without hesitation, classic magic artist Christopher Rush said Bone Flute was his least favorite art. Describing it as a rush job that he completed in a few hours, he did not like how it turned out.
Theros weapon artist Yeong-Han told me that he was not a fan of Bident of Thassa. The reason being is that he was told to tone down the original art for the card. He said it was the first time he was told that and he did not like how simple the final result looked. While I think the card is fine, I could not find his original version of the art online to compare. Perhaps he will post the original one day for us to compare.
My memory is a bit fuzzy because we talked about other things, but I think Izzy mentioned not liking landscape art, particularly Marsh Flats and Soaring Seacliff. Looking at his other work, it’s easy to see that he does prefer creating art with characters in it.
Old school Magic artist Pete Venters’s least favorite art is one of his popular ones. He does not like Syncopate due to the tough design notes. He was supposed to show fireballs with steam coming up from them, which unless they are bouncing off a surface, is hard to do. He also states that the original name was something along the lines of dissipate and when the final card name came out, it did not quite match the art. Conversely, he was excited to work on an Assassin card for the game, because traditionally assassin card were rare and popular. After spending a good amount of time on the art, the final product was Zombie Assassin, a common card that was not used in game play. So remember, next time you get your Syncopates signed, bring some Zombie Assassins too!
Relative newcomer Yohann Schepacz does not have a lot of Magic art yet, but he does have a few popular ones already. His least favorite one is Renowned Weaver, stating that the art notes were to show a person boasting their weaving skills. While I think he pulled it off well, it doesn’t seem too exciting for an artist to work on.
Zach Stella’s least favorite card is the one everyone calls the Natalie Portman card, Ephara’s Warden. He states that the character in the art did not turn out exactly like he wanted. He was also not a fan of Cached Defenses for similar reasons.
Conflux card View from Above quickly takes top pick for Howard Lyon’s least favorite card. So much so that he even had to write it on the artist proof. He said he hated pretty much everything about the card, and while I don’t think it’s that bad, his other art is much better.
Another classic Magic artist, Mark had a quick answer for his least favorite card, Burrowing. Describing it as drawing a Pokemon, he said he wasn’t sure what he was thinking when he made the art. It’s easy to see what he means looking back at the art compared to his classic cards like Birds of Paradise.
Most famous for his planeswalkers, Eric Deschamps least favorite art is a recent one from Fate Reforged, Arashin War Beast. Another card with tough art design notes, he was told to draw a beast with human armor and glowing claws. While he does hit the mark on the design, the card does look a bit of a mess and I can see why he does not like it.
That is it for now! It’s very interesting to see the thoughts of each artist on their work, and while most said they could name more of their work they didn’t like, overall they do great work. I plan to check up with more artists and bring a part two to this series.