From rural dreaming to trading-card queen, Terese’s rich, textured work is unmistakable. Jem Roberts follows the artist through her fantastical adventures
erese Nielsen is an immediately recognisable name in fantasy art. She’s a painter and mixedmedia experimenter at the top of her fields – notably, trading card artwork for the likes of Magic: The Gathering and Harry Potter, and of course Star Wars art. Given the star-skipping theme of this issue, it’s irresistible to draw comparisons between young Terese, and another ambitious young farmhand on a planet far, far away…
“I’m from Aurora,” Terese says, “a teenytiny farming town. We didn’t have computers or cell phones, and video games were barely beginning to happen, so there wasn’t anything to do! I would stay home and draw. I wasn’t ever bored, but had a lot of time to learn how to do stuff without being distracted by a million things, like today. Growing up on a farm, you see the seasons turning.”
Sharing an upbringing with a twin and older brother (fellow fantasy artist Ron Spencer), creativity ran in the family. “We have a strain of it going on there – my mom took art classes in college early on, but then got married and did the stay-at-home mom thing. But she was a cultured lady.
Descendants’ Path A 2012 Magic: The Gathering illustration from the set Avacyn Restored. “Probably one of my most personal and meaningful M:tG pieces. It features portraits of my own family history.”