John Bl an­che

The artist on what it takes to work at Games Work­shop…

ImagineFX - - Feature | Studio Profile Games Workshop - Pre­vi­ously an art di­rec­tor at Games Work­shop, John con­tin­ues to work for the com­pany as a con­cept artist.­

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.

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