lördag 7 mars 2015

Interview with rk post

Casualhörnan proudly presents rk post!

The official Swedish version is available on SvenskaMagic.


August: Hello, rk. On behalf of the Scandinavian Magic the Gathering community I'd like to thank you for accepting this interview.
To me you're one of the classic MtG artists and it feels kind of silly to ask, but just to be safe - please introduce yourself to my readers!

rk post: Hello, I am rk post, and I have been a Magic artist for almost 17 years.  A quick search on Gatherer will give you a little refresher on what I have done.  :)

Au: Before settling on illustration you studied to become a veterinarian. Please tell us more about this previous career choice!

rkp:  It didn't last long in college.  My grades were good, but not outstanding.  You need to have them to get into veterinary school... Guess what my backup career choice was?

Au: When did you start to consider working with illustration professionally?

rkp: I drew for as long as I could remember.  It seemed like a logical choice.  Towards the end of my college studies, I started to professionally illustrate for games.

Au: I get the feeling your career as an artist kind of started with Magic. Is that correct?

rkp:  Nope, a few years before.  I worked freelance for a while and eventually got a staff job with TSR, the company that produced Dungeons & Dragons.

Au: Cool!
What was your first job for Wizards of the Coast?

rkp: WotC bought TSR, so you could consider the work I was doing on RPG's the first real work I did for Wizards.  Not long after, I started doing Magic.

Au: One of your earliest cards is a true classic among MtG players. I'm talking about the iconic Morphling.
Please tell us more about this famous piece!

rkp: I had no idea that it would be an iconic card when I was working on it.  It was a small painting and I can't say I put more effort into it than other cards I was working on at the time.

Au: It is a common misconception among MtG players that artists are informed beforehand which cards are meant to be powerful and have a high impact on the game, and therefore they're asked to put extra effort into the art. Over the years, I've learned that this is not the case.

Morphling has a strong steam punk vibe, something which wasn't that common in the 90s. Was this your personal touch or just part of the general "Tolarian" flavor?

rkp:  It was the general Tolarian look established in a visual style guide that was put together before the artist began work on the card art. They still make style guides for sets to this day.

Au: Yes, I've discussed these style guides quite a lot with your colleagues. A group of artists are selected to design the overall look for an expansion block. 
Have you ever been part of such a team? A friend of mine suggested your style is very compatible with the Shadowmoor block, and I'd say he's got a point. The look of the "dark elementals" could have been your design, for instance!

rkp: Why, yes I have. Several of them. And you are oddly correct about Shadowmoor, I designed the look of the degraded cinderfolk.

Au: Ha, score!
Another classic is Lightning Angel. I think it's really cool how the colors of the cards are worked into the art. Who came up with that idea?

rkp: It is a nonspecific rule of thumb to work in the color palette of the card color into the art when doing it.  It isn't an absolute necessity, but generally plays in the back of your mind.

Au: Yes, I'm aware of this rule of thumb, but in Lightning Angel's case it's kind of extreme. Basically she's the angelic Captain America. I love it!

Let's talk about something more recent! I really like Overseer of the Damned from Commander 2014. It's got sort of a comic book aesthetic, but at the same time it looks really menacing. Can you tell us more about the Overseer?

rkp:  They wanted a big demon wearing worn silver armor leading a horde of zombies that were people of status at one time, I seem to recall. I tend to like things that are a little dark anyhow. :)

Au: What do you prefer - angels or demons?

rkp: Yes. Hahahaha!

Au: Um, ok...

I think many players today know art from Grand Prix playmats. Do you like working with this larger format? I imagine it must be nice to see you art in a larger scale!

rkp:  It can be.  Sometimes I don't get much time to do playmat art and that can be frustrating.

Au: Among your playmat art, my personal favorite is the Avatar of Woe motif. As far as I know, that's actually the third time you've painted the avatar. Do you enjoy revisiting the same character?

rkp: That one was an unofficial third go at it.  It was approved by Wizards, but my choice to do the art.  So on some level, I must really enjoy it.

Au: Wow! I thought playmats were commissioned in the same way as cards, but you're saying your allowed more artistic freedom with playmats?

rkp:  Almost. They are assigned by the event's organizer, but everything must be approved by Wizards.  The organizer may have an idea of what he wants or may just let you have fun with it.  

Au: In your webshop one can order art prints, playmats and even custom made tokens. Which product is your bestseller? 

rkp:  By far, my growing collection of printed tokens.  At times it's hard to keep up and I keep adding more and more tokens.  I am up to almost 100 different ones and more in the works as I type this!

Au: Question from my wife: if you had to choose, which character among your MtG cards would you pick as your best friend?

rkp: Wow, can you believe this is the first time I had ever heard a question of this nature?  

Au: Yes.

rkp: I don't truly have an answer... I really don't have any close personal friends, just a lot of lovely acquaintances.  I'd likely pick the most innocuous character out there. Ummm... thinking... something white... hmmmm... blah... Magister of Worth, maybe? Light with a little dark.

Au: What does the initials "RK" stand for?

rkp: Randall K Post.

Au: Ok, Randall, thanks for the interview. It's been a pleasure!

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