pla ying hard ball

Aaron was against tak­ing on this pro bono project, but it be­came a key spring­board for his Magic work…

ImagineFX - - Artist Portfolio -

De­pict­ing a dwarf ranger scout­ing out some orc raiders, Scout­ing Party was com­mis­sioned at desk­top art for an on­line gam­ing con­ven­tion in 2013. It proved to be a mile­stone project for Aaron that ul­ti­mately got him no­ticed by Magic: the Gath­er­ing, but he wasn’t at all keen on tak­ing it on at first.

“I tried as hard as I could to turn this job down,” he re­calls. “After two ‘no thanks’ emails, the art di­rec­tor called me to find out why I didn’t want to do the work. For starters, there was no money. Zero. Then the project de­scrip­tions were hor­ri­ble, from my per­spec­tive. They called for com­po­si­tions I don’t par­tic­u­larly care for, and had no de­sire to cre­ate.”

All the more ap­peal­ing sub­jects were al­ready taken, he re­calls, and the lack of fee on top of that seem­ingly made the re­jec­tion a no-brainer – but Aaron opted to move the goal­posts in­stead. “Asked what I would pre­fer, I men­tioned crea­tures. He re­called a de­scrip­tion that had a dwarf rid­ing a lizard. I ex­plained it was an overly busy scene, but I liked the main theme and would cre­ate some­thing that worked for me and they could take it or leave it. The art di­rec­tor agreed.”

Aaron’s per­sis­tence paid off: the re­sult­ing paint­ing was the event’s most-down­loaded im­age. “Con­fi­dence won out, and I de­liv­ered what the client ac­tu­ally needed, rather then what they thought they needed,” he adds. “I try to re­call this project when I feel my con­fi­dence slip­ping.”

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