RPGCCs - Atop the Sentry Wall

From RPG Character Compendiums, Volume I

RPGCCs: Atop the Sentry Wall

by Jeshields

This piece was created from the RPG Character Compendium polls at www.patreon.com/jeshields where I create 20 high quality character illustrations per month. Part of that includes weekly polls to nominate and select illustration theme, subject, and pose and/or scene. The nominations that were selected from the polls for this piece were Theme: Post-Apocalypse, Subject: Mad Max character, and Scene: Protecting a girl with a gun. While the girl turned out older than desired, I love the lighting in this piece.

Blogger Tricks

RPGCCs - Above a Martial Foe

From RPG Character Compendiums, Volume I

RPGCCs: Above a Martial Foe

by Jeshields

This piece was created from the RPG Character Compendium polls at www.patreon.com/jeshields where I create 20 high quality character illustrations per month. Part of that includes weekly polls to nominate and select illustration theme, subject, and pose and/or scene. The nominations that were selected from the polls for this piece were Theme: Fantasy, Subject: None, and Scene: Martial Art Pose. The speculative anatomy was difficult but it pulled through effectively.

RPGCCs - Amidst the Laser Blasts

From RPG Character Compendiums, Volume I

RPGCCs: Amidst the Laser Blasts

by Jeshields

This piece was created from the RPG Character Compendium polls at www.patreon.com/jeshields where I create 20 high quality character illustrations per month. Part of that includes weekly polls to nominate and select illustration theme, subject, and pose and/or scene. The nominations that were selected from the polls for this piece were Theme: Sci-Fi, Subject: Space Pirate, and Scene: Dodging Lasers. I am pleased that I stepped out of the expected with this one.

RPGCCs - Before the Battle Breaks

From RPG Character Compendiums, Volume I

RPGCCs: Before the Battle Breaks

by Jeshields

This piece was created from the RPG Character Compendium polls at www.patreon.com/jeshields where I create 20 high quality character illustrations per month. Part of that includes weekly polls to nominate and select illustration theme, subject, and pose and/or scene. The nominations that were selected from the polls for this piece were Theme: Post-Apocalypse, Subject: Amazon Warrior, and Scene: None. This piece turned out better than I expected.

RPGCCs - Inside the Cryptid Corpse

From RPG Character Compendiums, Volume I

RPGCCs: Inside the Cryptid Corpse

by Jeshields

This piece was created from the RPG Character Compendium polls at www.patreon.com/jeshields where I create 20 high quality character illustrations per month. Part of that includes weekly polls to nominate and select illustration theme, subject, and pose and/or scene. The nominations that were selected from the polls for this piece were Theme: Steampunk, Subject: Crptid Hunter/Librarian, and Scene: Examining a Dead Body. This image may not appeal to you, but it is my absolute favorite illustration lately. Not a lot of action... but a whole lot of character and story. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

Cover Art - Amidst the Burning Flames

Cover Art for a Fantasy RPG

Fantasy Cover Art: Amidst the Burning Flames

by Jeshields

This piece was done for a classical fantasy-themed RPG cover. The process of creating this illustration was more in-depth than most as it had more parts to it. I enjoyed the process and learned a good bit. I love the story I included in this one... there's a reason nobody trusts the rogue...

RPGCCs - Against Uneven Odds

From RPG Character Compendiums, Volume I

RPGCCs Volume One: Against Uneven Odds

by Jeshields

This piece was done for an RPG Character Compendium patron at www.patreon.com/jeshields where I create 20 high quality character illustrations per month. Part of that includes random weekly drawings to select character descriptions from those submitted by supporters of the project. This character was submitted by Justin Halliday.

RPGCCs - Behind the Crumbled Wall

From RPG Character Compendiums, Volume I

RPGCCs Volume One: Behind the Crumbled Wall

by Jeshields

This piece was done for an RPG Character Compendium patron at www.patreon.com/jeshields where I create 20 high quality character illustrations per month. Part of that includes random weekly drawings to select character descriptions from those submitted by supporters of the project. This character was a result of the polls.

RPGCCs - Through the Dungeon Halls

From RPG Character Compendiums, Volume I

RPGCCs Volume One: Versus Undead Hordes

by Jeshields

This piece was done for an RPG Character Compendium patron at www.patreon.com/jeshields where I create 20 high quality character illustrations per month. Part of that includes random weekly drawings to select character descriptions from those submitted by supporters of the project. This character was submitted by Tim Czarnecki.

RPGCCs - Versus Undead Hordes

From RPG Character Compendiums, Volume I

RPGCCs Volume One: Versus Undead Hordes

by Jeshields

This piece was done for an RPG Character Compendium patron at www.patreon.com/jeshields where I create 20 high quality character illustrations per month. Part of that includes random weekly drawings to select character descriptions from those submitted by supporters of the project. This character was submitted by Michael James Smith.

Support the RPG Character Compendiums!

Come join the RPG Character Compendiums!

Support the RPG Character Compendiums on Patreon

by Jeshields

I create 20 high quality illustrations like these each month for the RPG Character Compendiums at www.patreon.com/jeshields.

 $20 per compendium ($1 per piece) grants an indefinite license to use the art for commercial projects.

The art is created from both submitted character descriptions and from themes, characters, and scenes that are nominated and then voted upon. Some of my current patrons include Evil Hat Productions, Alyssa Faden of Torn Worlds, Spartacus Publishing, Pantheon Press, and many more. Preview additional art HERE!

RPGCCs - Over the Blazing Forge

From RPG Character Compendiums, Volume I

RPGCCs Volume One: Over the Blazing Forge

by Jeshields

This piece was done for an RPG Character Compendium patron at www.patreon.com/jeshields where I create 20 high quality character illustrations per month. Part of that includes random weekly drawings to select character descriptions from those submitted by supporters of the project. This character was submitted by Romall Smith.

RPG Interior Art - JAGS Energy Blast

Energy Blast!

RPG Interior Art: JAGS Energy Blast

by Jeshields

I love superheroes. I love roleplaying games. I LOVE COMBINING THE TWO! This piece was done for the JAGS roleplaying system and the client was ecstatic about the results, which made me very happy. I hope that my negotiations for them to find more room for more of my art in their RPG pays off. I had a blast with these. Colors continue to be a struggle for me, but the client was happy.

Novel Cover Art: Bieber's Finger

Cover Artwork for Craig Nybo's novel, "Bieber's Finger"

Cover Art for Craig Nybo: Bieber's Finger

by Jeshields

This is the cover I have been working on for Craig Nybo. He continues to be enthusiastic over my work. I feel like this is an improvement in my work... or at least in the process I used to create it.

RPG Character Art: Skra'at

Black & White RPG Character Line Art
He's got a knife!

RPG Character Art: Skra'at

by Jeshields

I love roleplaying games. Their interior art has always been an influence to me. Ever since I fell in love with Palladium Rifts' interior art, I have had a desire to create art for the industry. This piece is a return to my roots. Pencil, pen and a little Photoshop touch-up. Expect more of this variety.

Interior Scifi Art: Poison Nickels Across the Universe

Interior Artwork for Craig Nybo's Science Fiction Novel

Interior Art: Poison Nickels Across the Universe

by Jeshields

This project was very exciting for me as I have never had a more unusual subject matter assigned. The client was very encouraging and positive throughout the project, allowing me to enjoy the process. I look forward to the cover work for this novel.

Colonial Gothic RPG - Wafiyah de Wilde

Wafiyah de Wilde - A Character for Rogue Games' Colonial Gothic
Wafiyah de Wilde
Colonial Gothic RPG:
Wafiyah de Wilde

by Jeshields

Rogue Games continues to be a favorite client of mine. This particular piece for their Colonial Gothic RPG was my favorite as I felt a bit uncertain as to whether or not I could capture a subtle fiery look in a beautiful Sufi Muslim woman. However, I reaaly like how she turned out and even more that Rogue Games was very pleased with it.

Jeshields.com's Freelance Rate Calculator

Freelance Art Post Image
My Custom Rate Calculator

Custom Rate Calculator
for Freelancers

by Jeshields

In my relatively short time as a freelance artist, I have encountered many potential clients who have desired to work with me and asked about my rates. Any full-time freelancer should know that the administrative aspect of freelancing takes up way more time than one would like. Corresponding with clients doesn't pay. Therefore, the less time I spend emailing, figuring out a fair rate for each project, estimating the amount of time for completion, the cost of supplies, taxes, fees, and licensing considerations, the more time I can spend on what actually pays: making good art. That is why I created my own personal rate calculator to do the number crunching for me. Since I like to share and help out other artists, I decided to make it public and accessible. I hope it helps out. Make sure to pay attention to the instructions, but if you have any questions, don't hesitate to drop me a line or catch me on any of my social networks. Additionally, feel free to download the template and modify it for you own use if it doesn't meet your specific needs as it is.

The direct link is here. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Goosebumps - Plight of the Pretty Princess

A Birthday Present for my Goosebumps Girl
A Princess in Peril!

Goosebumps:
Plight of the Pretty Princess

by Jeshields

This piece was a labor of love. My oldest daughter turned eleven. Since she loves the Goosebumps series, my wife and I felt she'd love a poster of herself as the main character of a Goosebumps book. It was a bit emotional posting this for the world to see. I pray that I spend as much time as I can with her over the next ten years. I love this girl.

How Artists Create Good Art for Cheap

Art for Cheap Blog Illustration
Not Compensated Cheaply.

Afford QUALITY Art on a LOW BUDGET

by Jeshields


I am in no way stating that artists should be cheaply compensated for their work.

This article is the result of several conversations that I have had with clients who were willing to adjust their contracts to compensate me for the value of the art I would provide.

If you are a freelance artist, you need to be including these considerations in your contracts. Each point below reflects the intrinsic value exchanged between artist and client. If you are a client on a low budget, you can still afford quality art if you are willing to be flexible in the following areas:


1 - RIGHTS OF THE ARTIST
Wikipedia's Copy Right Symbol
Artists have rights.

According to copyright law, by default, a work of art belongs to the artist who created it -- not to the client. The only time this is not the case is under contracts labeled 'Work for Hire'. Unless you are adequately compensated, don't ever work for hire. I am NOT saying, "Do not work for hire." Rather, I am saying, "Be compensated for it."

There are many more options than "work for hire". 


What are the needs of your client? Is it only going to be used for a limited purpose, like a novel cover, card art, or t-shirt design? Then why relinquish full rights? Does the client plan to be using it in a few years? If not, why do they need full rights? Therefore, below are several types of contracts, listed from those that should demand the most compensation to those that demand the least.
Work for Hire - Clients get all rights.

All Rights for a Limited Purpose - The artist retains ownership, but clients may use the art for the purpose stated to their hearts content. Artist may then profit from using the art for other purposes.

All Rights for a Limited Purpose for a Limited Time - The artist retains ownership, but clients may use the art for the purpose stated until the stated time has passed. In the mean time, the artist may profit from using the art for other purposes and afterward for whatever they desire. Time frames can be anything as little as a few months to as much as years.

One Time Rights - Artist retains ownership, but clients may use the art for one purpose for one time. Afterward, clients must negotiate additional licenses.


2 - REVISIONS BY THE ARTIST

Whether they admit it or not, artists work by the hour. Therefore, anything that affects the amount of time spent on the project should proportionately affect the price of the project.

Revisions need to be limited to a specific number.


The aim of every revision requested should be to get the art to as complete as possible with specific instructions on how to do so. Artists should include a revision clause in their contract stating how many revisions are included in the cost of the contract, with specific prices for revisions beyond those that are covered.
When revisions have a dollar value, clients are far less likely to nit pick and more likely to be specific about their requests.

Avoid the project creep!


Project creep is when the scope of the project slowly grows larger and larger. What may start off as a portrait illustration may grow to a full body illustration with a detailed background if the artist does not make sure to detail the full scope of what the contract covers.
Some questions to consider:

How many colors? Full color, monochrome, black and white?
How large is the final file size expected to be?
Is the final product a flat image or a layered file?
Is it a bust or full character illustration?
Are detailed backgrounds included?

3 - REDUCE THE ART'S FOCUS

Illustration for Art Focus
Define the Project's Focus
In a perfect world, a client would have all that his heart desires in a commissioned piece. However, in a perfect world, a client would have an unlimited budget.

We are not in a perfect world. More than likely your client is not Wizards of the Coast.

So if the previous suggestions have not helped to reign in the balance between the budget and what the artist can provide, it may be time to consider reducing the scope of the project.

Size: How large does the art need to be?

Does the art really need to be created on an 8.5 by 11 inch document at 300 DPI if the art is only going to be printed on something the size of a playing card? Obviously, if there are other planned uses for the art, reducing the size may not be an option. Additionally, if the artist plans to use the work outside of the contract, then reducing the size may not be an option either. However, if there is no other use planned, then reducing the physical size of the art will reduce the amount of time needed to be spent on the art.

Crop: What needs to be in the illustration?

Does the project require the character's full body to be in view?
Can it be reduced to a dramatic angle that eliminates some or all of the lower torso?
Would a bust of the character still portray what the project needs?

Obviously, an artist can put just as much time into a bust as he or she can into a full body illustration, but for many artists, there is much less to consider when the project is able to crop out unnecessary portions of an illustration.

Color: How much color is required?

Color adds a certain feel to works of art that simply cannot be captured in black and white illustrations. However, the reverse is true, so it is worth exploring whether or not a project needs color. Whether artists like it or not, many clients will just want color whether an illustration can still meet the needs of the project without it or not.
However, the options of reducing the color of an illustration do not have to be so black and white... pun intended.

Monochrome color schemes with a touch of color can do wonders for the impact of a piece that an illustration with many dazzling colors just could not match. At the very least, reducing the amount of color can be just as impactful as a full color illustration. Additionally, while full color may be required, a project may not need -every- element of the illustration to be in full color. The bottom line is that if budget can't meet the scope of the project then an artist and a client should negotiate wherever possible to meet in the middle... without cheapening the artist or his work.

Detail: How much details does the project require? and where?

Every seasoned artist should know that detail can be used to draw the eye to the focal point(s) of an illustration. If the art is focusing on one central figure or object but the project requires the art to be placed in an environment, then detail of the environment may not be required.

Detail on the entire character or object may not be required.

Unless it is a very specific environment, or if the illustration just needs to give the feel of an a specific environment, implied shapes, colors and shadows may be enough for the needs of the project. Again, this all belongs in the negotiation between artist and client.

4 - ROYALTIES FOR THE ARTIST


The reality is that budgets are a huge deal and vary greatly and the bottom line is that a client may simply not have the cash on hand to provide adequate compensation even if the above considerations have been made.

At this point, a client may need to consider offering or an artist may need to request royalties...
But how much is fair?


I would propose the following percentages for those who are the sole artist working on a project.
If there are additional artists, these percentages should be divided proportionate to each artist's contribution.


Zero to 15 Percent

This range is what I would suggest an artist be willing to accept but only if there was some additional monetary compensation provided in conjunction with completing the art. The percentage accepted in this range should be proportionate to the additional pay offered by the client.

15 to 30 Percent

The range is what I would suggest under two conditions.

1) If the project benefits from, but does not necessarily require illustrations and little to no other monetary compensation is available in the budget. This percentage should vary, and could exceed this range, depending upon the amount of art requested.

2) If the project is almost primarily illustrated but some additional monetary compensation was provided upon or prior to completing of the artwork. Again, this should fluctuate based upon the amount of art required.

30 to 50 Percent

This range is what I would reserve only for those projects that are primarily illustrative in nature and little to no monetary compensation was provided. As stated before, this amount should be proportionate to the amount of art needed in the project. I don't necessarily suggest this type of working arrangement, but they do exist and would not be an unfair arrangement when collaborating with a partner.

An artist should be very diligent to include not only the specifics of royalties in a contract, but also the right to review quarterly, bi-annual or annual reports to verify that the royalties are received fairly and accurately.

5 - REPEAT BUSINESS


Offering repeat business for future projects is not a guarantee of additional work and does little to compensate for an artist's time.

So, catchy phrases like "This project could lead to additional work." are empty promises that only work on rookies.

However, giving work in bulk is a huge deal. It is more effective in reducing prices when a client carefully selects one artist to commit to a project than several artists. Consider the following:

Fewer artists require less management.

Many artists on a project require much more time to communicate with, bring to the same quality of work, finalize contracts and file paperwork in order to get them paid than it does one committed artist. This consideration may not save anything as far as the art budget is concerned, but certainly it frees the client of a lot of time that would otherwise be invested in managing multiple artists.

More trust can be built.

Carefully selecting and working with one artist builds an immense amount of trust. The artist becomes more than just a number among a selection of dispensable artists but he or she becomes a trusted business partner and potential friend. Eventually, as client and artist work together, assigning projects will require less overhead as the artist will know exactly what the client wants. Additionally, gauging the commitment of one artist to a project is infinitely easier than a multitude of an individual and it becomes less likely than a client will need to scramble to find someone else to fill the gap of a missing artist.

Bulk work frees artists to do art... instead business.

The biggest consideration of offering work in bulk and using fewer artists is that freelance artists don't get paid for just the time they spend creating the art. While they are the artist of their business, they are also the manager, accountant, company representative, janitor and more. Therefore, a significant portion of their work week must be spent on other duties beyond simply creating the art.
The more a client can fill an artist's week with projects, the less time they need to invest in doing the things that don't directly pay them for their effort.
So if an artist is spending a quarter of their week on those management duties and a project is able to fill that time, then they can afford to charge less. Obviously, the more weeks you can fill, the lower they can reduce their rate. However, a freelancer will always need to make sure that there is work beyond their present project, so that need will never be completely gone but it can be greatly reduced.

Timely Art Payment Photo
Pay should be steady and on time.

6 - RELIABLE PAYMENT


Reliable payment will never reduce the amount of time needed to be spent on a project. However, artists do, at times, get in a financial crunch and less money now may meet their immediate need than more money down the line. So, I am not saying that conditions don't exist in which offering reliable payment won't reduce an artist's rate.

By reliable payment, I am referring to payment up front, by milestones or immediately upon completion.

Reliable payment should be a standard between artist and client.

When I order food at a restaurant, I don't wait till the food has digested to pay for my meal. When I get my car serviced, I don't wait a few weeks before I pay the mechanic. Neither should a client withhold an artist from the pay due to him. I find the 'standard' practice of paying an artist within 60 days after publication to be a detestable one. It should be done away with and brought up to the standard of all other professional industries.

The biggest benefit of reliable payment is the trust and respect built between an artist and a client.
I will continue to brag on indie publisher, Rogue Games. Except for royalties, they (whether they meant to or not) have been willing to accept all of the above considerations in their contract and/or work ethic. Their contract has included the 'standard' sixty day clause, but they have paid immediately upon completion. Whether it speaks for the artist or their standards, I am not sure, but they have accepted my artwork with zero revisions. They have required no color and little to no backgrounds and all of the character art I have done for them has focused on portraits rather than full body illustrations. They are the perfect example of how a company with a small budget can still afford quality art. In fact, doing so, has rated them higher than many established 'professional' RPG companies. If you are a member of PACT, you can read their review here.


Well, this article includes a significant chunk of information and became much larger than I originally intended. Regardless, I hope it helps other artists in negotiating better terms that are more proportionate to the value of their work. I also hope it helps potential clients who may not have as big of a budget as they'd like to still be able to afford quality art.

If you are a client who needs quality character art from an artist who would be willing to make the above considerations, feel free to check out my portfolio and contact me if you like my work.

Four TRAPS that Amateur Artists Fall for:

Illustration for Four Traps Blog Post - Jeshields.com
Don't Fall into these Traps!

TRAPS that Clients Use

by Jeshields


Well, I fell for it.

I had read about this type of project before and knew to watch out for them, but something blinded my eyes this time. I have convinced myself that it was a need for more work coupled with the love of the genre. However, I am also certain that my chronic optimism had a hand in it deceiving me into accepting the project.

Initially, I looked at the type of character illustration they wanted, the rates they were paying, and my own abilities and said, "Yeah, I could get that done in a couple hours and make it worth my time." Admittedly, those thoughts did occur with some added hesitance. Nonetheless, I pushed forward.

It started with some miscommunication. Suspicion grew further after correction upon correction was requested. It wasn't long before I realized the severity of the situation. I was being held to highly professional standards at what worked out to be an hourly rate that was less than what I could earn at Wal-Mart.

In all fairness, the guy was very nice. But that doesn't help me provide for my family. Regardless, the whole experience led me to this blog post. I hope it encourages other freelance artists.

Four Traps that Amateur Artists Fall for:


Illustration of an Old School Trap
Not this kind of trap.

It's going to get you published in the gaming field!

    For the record, in case you didn't know, it is not hard to get published in the gaming field... it's a HUGE field! However, I promise you that being published in a field is not NEARLY as important as by whom you've been published. Being published in a certain field bears very little weight in comparison to making a name for yourself. Aside from that, you need to discern to whom and what you attach your name. You don't want to be known for working on the industry's biggest flop or with a company that's known to put out pathetic products. So don't let the lure of being published in the game industry (or any particular industry, for that matter) snag you.
       

The project is on a shoe-string budget.

    What is this mysterious "shoe-string budget"? Aside from being an abstract concept, it is usually a statement to justify the rate for which they want you to work. It should be a keyword that throws up a gigantic red flag for freelancers with one singular message: We aren't going to pay you what you're worth. Actually, that phrase should be modified because more than likely they aren't going to pay you anything NEAR what your worth NOR leave you with the rights you DESERVE. A project being on a shoe-string budget is no excuse for abusing an artist and his work. Neither should it be an excuse for the artist to justify working for next to nothing and relinquishing all of his rights.
   

Current members of the team believe in the project.

    What does this even mean? Is this faith that the project is worth investing in? Is it a belief that it has a message that will speak to people? Even if it's an expression of the project's possible success, it does nothing to to strengthen a pitch. It's a vague term that speaks nothing concrete. Frankly, there isn't a single project that a person begins without first believing in it, either in its content, its viable marketability, its message, or some other aspect. This statement is a cheap method to appeal to an artist's desire to be a part of a project that means something or will be successful.

This project will give you exposure.

    Exposure means very little unless the audience is known. Sometimes not even then. Exposure to other similar clients? They're going to expect the same standard of work and low rates that you gave to the previous client. Exposure to those who will buy their products? Very few will even care! Especially if it's art that is obviously on a "shoestring" budget. Instead, good, positive exposure happens not by prostituting your work, but from honest, hard work in the form of contacting Art Directors, networking with other artists, getting involved in communities and interest groups, etc. If you want exposure, work for it and earn it without cheapening yourself and disrespecting your work.

I hope this has helped you in some degree. Now, go... Do what you love. Just be professional.

The DANGERS of leaving your first love!


Don't leave your first love! - Jeshields.com

If you are reading this and you are an artist, let me encourage you not to leave your first love.

I began freelancing full-time over a year ago. (I use full-time rather loosely.) Consequently, because I have been doing my work pretty much solely via Adobe Photoshop, very rarely have I worked with traditional mediums. Earlier, I picked up my sketch book and played around with a mechanical pencil, my number one art choice at one point.

Having done so, I realized something... I MISSED it! I had completely forgotten how much control the medium gave me while maintaining that rough and rustic feel to the art. I was having a blast. Consequently, I was inspired to encourage others not to leave their first love. So I present to you the dangers of doing so:

1. You'll drop out.
Anyone reading this probably has not done it, but that doesn't mean you're not in danger of it. Essentially, don't stop your art! Even if you decide not to be a professional artist, please don't stop creating altogether.

I have a close friend who would have had an AWESOME testimony as an artist. He was the one who really sunk me into comic books and we would have these awesome art jam sessions together. However, he wasn't born with an artistic 'ability'. From a creative standpoint, he started bankrupt with only the desire to create art. So, he WORKED and taught himself to draw... but after high school, he gave up. Now, he's lost over a decade of time of potential growth.

Quitting is almost as bad as the worst thing to ever happen to an artist. However, it's not too late. Not too late for him, nor you. Pick up that pencil. Start again.

I can say this because I succumbed to it too. I practically quit growing in my art for over a decade. Oh, I'd draw here and there, but nothing serious and definitely not growing. I was wasting my God-given ability, so at my wife's encouragement, I nearly literally jumped into freelance illustrating.

In less than 4 months, I was already growing again. Check out my growth below.

4 Months of Growth - Jeshields.com


2. You'll sell out.
Draw what you love. Specialize. You will get hired for what is in your portfolio. Hate drawing logos? Don't do them. But definitely, if you -have- done them, don't put them in your portfolio!

I speak from experience. Having once been at a point where I just wanted to be a freelancer, I was willing to do anything I felt I was capable of. Consequently, I was making logos, advertisements, web designs, coding html, css, javascript, editing photos, -and- illustrating. I was working not for sake of the art... but for sake of the money. I am not advocating to work regardless of the money. I am advocating to be paid for what you enjoy. Learn to say no and free your art from the bondage of money.

So... hate drawing hands and feet? Don't do them. I mean, Liefield got away with it... and established himself as a professional in the industry! Okay, that last part was a bit facetious... but it still remains true - do what you love.

3. You'll wear out.
Art may be a job but it doesn't have to be work.
Take time to admire your work. Be your own fan. If not for the final piece, at least for the process. Art is supposed to be fun. It is a process to be enjoyed. Chris Oatley could not have expressed it more perfectly.

"I think, as a culture, we become so obsessed with art as a vocation that we forget that it started as play ...when we were five."

Let's get back to loving it with our whole heart... whatever your first love may be.

The WORST Thing to Ever Happen to an Artist

If you are not familiar with the incredibly talented Dan Luvisi, you need to get to know his work. Recently, he sustained an injury to his arm from doing what he loves best... ART. He's been out for weeks, just aching to get back to painting.

Which got me to thinking... how well could I draw if the worst thing to ever happen to an artist actually happened to me?

What if I LOST my arm?

So, I decided to find out and challenge myself, and extend the challenge to you. Here are the rules:


1. CRAFT WITH YOUR OTHER ARM. 
          Dan, fortunately is on his way to recovery. However, in this challenge, pretend it's permanent and you must now begin to use your other arm to paint/draw/sculpt/etc.

Note: For the sake of this challenge, you may use your regular arm for hotkeys and such. I'm not always a purist about things. (For you already ambidextrous persons, the challenge is with either your teeth or your feet. Cheaters.)

2. DEDICATE SOME TIME TO IT.
          I don't mean days.... but spend somewhere between 45 minutes to an hour on a piece.

To quote an older song, "The drummer from Def Leppard's only got one arm!" and he can rock the drums better than many professionals. After his tragic accident, I am sure he felt enormous frustration within minutes after getting behind the drums again, but he pushed past that frustration. You can too.

3. DON'T DERP IT! (No offense, Mike.)
           Mike Tiscareno is well known for his many, many, manymanymanymanymanymany doodled derps, but he admits they are just that... derps. He's pushing his creativity, not trying to make somewhat polished pieces.

This challenge, however, is to try to make something nice... well, nice for your offhand at least.

Remember: There are no bad artists. Just degrees of experience. I didn't know it, but I've been living with an inexperienced artist for years. Recently, I let OffHand take a shot at the tablet. This is what he gave me:


What can your Offhand make?

Xsteam Punks: Cyclocks

Christmas 2013: Tinkerbell

Creative Mage: White Ape of Mars

Perihelion Sci-Fi Cover

Original Concept & Lineart by Peter Saga - www.petersaga.portfoliobox.me

Rogue Games: The Sorceror

Rogue Games: The Wise Woman

Rogue Games: The Sheriff

Rogue Games: The Innkeeper

Mech Intruders WIP

Story RPG: The Intruder

Story RPG: The Author

Griffyn Card Art

Jeshua Card Art

Timewarriors RPG Cover

Mechanical Mariner: Danger in the Depths! - Page 1

Mechanical Mariner: Danger in the Depths! 
A collaborative effort with writer, Daniel Horowitz. Had a blast with this page. Fell in love with comics as an art medium. Life, unfortunately, got in the way and the story remains incomplete. The original concept was to create an homage to the Avengers in a Steampunk world. The first character whom you see above was our Iron Man tribute, the Mechanical Mariner. My favorite part of this project was directing my angle and pacing. Daniel was a very freeform writer with very little constraints as to angles or perspectives or even panel sizes. As much as I enjoyed the actual act of illustrating, I really enjoyed acting as my own director and figuring out the art form in the comic medium. Can't wait to do it again.
The Mechanical Mariner - by James E. Shields & Daniel Horowitz

Laugh by the Fire! - B&W RPG Art

Fireside Laughter
Like a Bowl Full of Jelly 
This piece was done with a mechanical pencil and pen, except for the sky and slight shading which was added with Photoshop after cleanup. I primarily wanted to experiment with lighting. Also, this piece was done while on a deployment to Iraq with the Unites States Marine Corps.

Character Art - The Fearsome Fork!

An RPG styled illustration of a pulp noir character.Sample RPG Art:
The Fearsome Fork

by Jeshields

This particular piece of character illustration began on a deployment to Afghanistan with the United States Marine Corps Reserve. While digging a post (which became a work of art, mind you) for our location over the next several weeks, a picture was snapped of me with a shovel. It became the reference for this character which I have always felt belongs in the pages of some RPG book

Sci-Fi Art - H.E.L.L. on Wheels

Sample Sci-Fi Vehicle Illustration
Heavy Energy Laser Launcher on Wheels

Sample Sci-Fi Art: Heavy Weapons on Wheels

by Jeshields

Similar to The Fearsome Fork!, this piece of sci-fi illustration began on a deployment to Afghanistan with the United States Marine Corps Reserve. On deployment, I realized that the majority of my work lacked in technical designs, so I took inspiration from what was around me and imagined it in the Wild West setting of Palladium's Rifts Roleplaying Game. However, I still couldn't resist including some type of character in the illustration. I would love to see this in the pages of a particular RPG some day.