John Bl anche
The artist on what it takes to work at Games Workshop…
What was Games Workshop like, back in the 1970s?
There wasn’t a model soldier industry around in those days; it was very embryonic. So it was uncharted territory. Everything we did was new, fresh, vibrant and exciting.
What’s been the secret to the company’s success?
The imagery is so violent, so savage, so bloodthirsty. And yet gamers are such gentle people, so it must be cathartic! We live on a dark, savage planet – it’s just a way of expressing that.
How do you create your art?
No digital whatsoever. I’m oldfashioned, all analogue. I can work very fast. I generally work with pen and ink. They don’t all go right: some of them go wrong and I screw them up and throw them away, and just take the best ones in.
What kind of artists is the company looking for?
You have to have a knowledge and understanding and very deep enthusiasm for what we do. At the same time, if someone just comes along and draws pictures of what we’ve got already, that’s no good either. Because it doesn’t develop our imagery, it doesn’t give it any forward momentum. So it’s a mixture of both.
What advice would you give to applicants?
Ask yourself: do you love our games, do you love our miniatures? That’s always the best start. The other one is: learn to draw people! Go to life-drawing classes, at least.