Saturday, November 7, 2009

Talisman: Frostmarch & Some Thoughts...

-Snow Goblin Copyright Fantasy Flight Games

-Treasure Map Copyright Fantasy Flight Games

Hey all! Several long, long months ago I was fortunate enough to do some art work for Fantasy Flight on their now released Frostmarch expansion to Talisman. Besides just being a fun assignment, Frostmarch holds a particularly warm and fuzzy place in my heart as it was the first Card Art I had every done and my first freelance illustration gig. Crazy.

...and boy, does the whole "first" vibe show through. One of the many and prevalent obstacles facing any illustrator is the notorious NDA and the concomitant fact that it will be several months to over a full year before you're legally allowed to display your work publicly. What makes this an obstacle is that by that time, usually, your previous work is no way near the level of your current skill set and a certain reticence to show said work tends to set in.

Certainly, after I received my comp copy of Frostmarch (which was awesome!), I took a look at these images on my computer, and I couldn't help but think, "hmmm..." with a noticeable wince. This, of course, is one of the oldest stories in the long saga of artistic neurosis replete with doubts of quality, relevance, and representation. Is this the best piece I've done? No. Does it represent either my current skill level or artistic style? Hell, no. But.

But...did I do a good job? Was the client happy? Well, I believe, honestly, yes to both, and that, in the end, might be the best way to look at any assignment ultimately. True, you are only as good as your next piece, should always strive to be better today than yesterday, but should such thoughts be your only concerns? No, because though today's piece may not have been better than yesterday's, if you did a good job and your client is happy, then you have a good shot at making tomorrow's something really special.

At the very least, you'll be a little saner.

Oh, and if you'd like to see some really kick ass art, here's a link to the Cover Illustration done by the very, very talented Ralph Horsley. Seriously, treat yourself, you deserve it...


  1. O wow! I love Snow Goblin!
    the details are pretty darn amazing
    how do you get these fun projects

  2. Looking good man! Thanks for sharing which ones were yours. I was wondering. I remember stopping on both of these when I was flipping through all the cards. I didn't know this was your first FFG and card art project too! Very cool , looks like we were both at the right place at the right time :)

    Looking forward to seeing more work when you can show it.

  3. Love how you worked the map, you clever boy you!
    The character in the snow goblin is spot on mate, loves it! :)

  4. Jeff!
    Thanks! My clever and rather flippant answer is smoke, magic, and a liberal helping of ritual sacrifices, but the actual answer (as best as I can tell) is simply perseverance, dedication, and a not so inconsiderable amount of luck (luck often coming to those whose courage holds). Of something like that.

    Thank ya kindly. As soon as I got my copy, I was having fun trying to guess who had done what illustrations. I still get a giddy thrill knowing that I've had the good fortune to meet so many of the artists that have contributed to the same projects I've had a chance to participate in. The fact that they're all such talented folk, well, is supreme icing on the cake.

    Now, a compliment on my goblin by Mr. Goblinoid himself, that's something I can take to the bank (not to make lite your compliment Jeff, by the by)! 'Course, the map ended up being my favorite piece mainly because I had to really think to make it, well, interesting. Snow Goblin Marauder kind of "writes" itself, but a map...yeah, not so much, at least of me.

  5. HI MU!!!!! Wow, you're killin' it in here dude. I love seeing your posts. You raise the bar on yourself every time. I agree the snow goblin is pretty sick, and the treatment on that map is solidly done m'friend. Nice work indeed.

  6. Christine!

    Thanks! Exclamation Point! Well, I have no real comment for the bar as I personally believe I set it kind of low at first, so surpassing it...

    There I go not taking a compliment. Again. I'm such a cad... ;)

  7. Dude, I *love* the snow goblin! The armor and look of him is original!

    Even though you're your own worst critic, it IS great. :)

  8. Hey buddy! Hows things?
    I just have thought I check in and what I found is simply amazing! Your skills are getting better and better each month!
    Keep on pushing man and congrats for the FFG cards!

  9. Rachel!

    You're always so good to me. How'd you get to be so sweet :)


    Thanks, my friend! Things aren't too bad at all, I have to admit, and your comments certainly help make my day all the better. I figure I'll only need a few hundred more years to be a solid "Todd Lockwood" on the Todd Lockwood scale of awesome. :P

  10. Mu!

    I'm only being appreciative and truthful about the kick-ass work and artist! :)

    Todd wasn't always a "solid" himself though, remember that! And I doubt you will need hardly as much time as you think to be a "solid" anyone, you are already quite amazing! Crazy boy...