Paris, France - Nov. 29-Dec. 3. 2006
2006 World Championships Artist Information
John Avon is a freelance illustrator living in the United Kingdom. He has been working as a professional artist for nearly 25 years in areas as diverse as book covers, CD covers, advertising and fantasy art. His wife is also an illustrator and they have two sons aged 10 and 7.
How did you start working on Magic?
I started working for Magic by sheer chance. About 12 years ago the art director at the time, Sue Anne Harkey was recruiting artists in the UK, she had lined up a meeting with a fellow illustrator in my studio, and I happened to be in that day... the rest for me is history!
At the time I had no idea what the game was and felt like it was probably just another 'one-off' contact - how wrong I was...
What does it represent for you to work on a game such as Magic?
Magic for me literally is 'Magic'. Firstly I need to earn a living and support my family. Because my land art has been such a hit with the fans, I have been given work on a 'regular basis' - anyone who is freelance knows this is very rare. Secondly I am, within the confines of the style guide, able to really express my art. Every year Magic is in a new world and re-invents itself, this is just great for us artists as it never gets stale. Literally I think "ok guys so where are we off to now?" :)
Lastly the travel and events are just amazing. I am 45 and already been to countries like Australia, Japan, South Africa, Malaysia, America, Russia, not to mention all over Europe. I have met some great people, fans, artists and many event organizers have become great friends. As I say, it's 'Magic'.
What are your preferred pieces of art?
The art I most enjoy doing are environments and landscapes (with the occasional figure or creature). The reason for this is quite simple. In this world of pain and problems, when talking to the fans I now know how important it is to sometimes escape. Fantasy art does that 100 percent and what a privilege to be able to take the viewer to a new dream world! Even better that it is on a simple piece of card he/she can hold in their hand and share with their friends.
There are some images like the Arena Ravnica Lands, which artistically, actually ended up as I intended them to. All 5 paintings are based in reality, but surreal and a bit mad at the same time. Something I try to achieve in my art is the idea 'beautiful but scary' rather like in dreams when your afraid but transfixed by an amazing scene... (see the Arena Ravnica Swamp). I also try to paint with 'light,' an image that has not got great lighting has very little emotion for me, and I hope I have sometimes achieved a 'feeling' in my art.
What do you appreciate most when working on Magic cards?
So finally what do I most appreciate about Magic cards? Having spent so many years illustrating every manner of images across all areas of the visual world, Magic time after time comes up with new and exciting challenges. Imagine what it is like to illustrate a Forest made of metal, a world where everything is made of gothic architecture or my most bizarre assignment, a 'Meditating Underwater Octoperson'!!!
See John's work at www.johnavon.com.
A concept artist and Art Director in the video game industry for 7 years, Aleksi was lead artist on ColdFear, the horror-action game developed by DarkWorks for Ubisoft, and more recently on Splinter Cell Double Agent, from the hit series and Haze (still Ubisoft). He also contributed on the Heroes of Might & Magic 4's trailer and the Prince of Persia 3 2005 E3 's booth banner. Also an illustrator, he drew pieces for RPG books (hundreds of interior illustrations), magazines, and comics. He did covers for Mage, Vampire,C.O.P.S Rpgs, Tolkien, J.V.Jones, Bradley books, Horroclix (Wizkids) packagings. He's also one of the main cards and packagings artists for Wizard of the Coast (Dreamblade, Magiccards). As for comic books, his early works were the comics adaptation of the videogame Alone in the Dark 4, then Spawn : Simony The graphic novel for TMP, best selling trade paper back in the US for May 2004. He had also taken part in the Legends of the Round Table, a comic-book for the European market. He's also a cover artist for Hellgate, a Dark Horse limited comic-book series, and keeps on illustrating Merlin, an ambitious 130-page artbook about the legendary wizard. He is also an instructor for the international ConceptArt / MassiveBlack workshops. Twenty-eight years old, Aleksi lives and works in Paris.
See Aleksi's work at www.aneyeoni.com.
Information coming soon.
Information coming soon.