Craig J. Spearing's Shoggoth

I love the sense of narrative here, the scale with the human figure, the fact that I have had one imagine in my mind for years of what a Shoggoth looked like (which was much more ameboid, or perhaps a cube of jelly with eyes) and Craig has given me another. Very nice.

Kate Laird's Brown Jenkin

No story has ever scared me as much as "The Dreams in the Witch House" did when I was an adolescent. Thanks, Kate, for giving my nightmares a form. Really. That's Brown Jenkin pitch perfect. Thanks. Appreciated. Now I won't sleep tonight. Or ever again.

The Great Race

Andrew Barr's the great race. I must be a sucker for the Great Race. I love the cartoonish style here, the fez is a nice touch, and agree with the artist's own comments of the difficulty of distinguishing "evil" vs "just alien." A cup of tea is probably more appropriate here than a beer.

IlluxCon Continues

This is important, not just because of the people involved, but also because of the industries that are represented. What might not be readily apparent (unless you know the players involved) is the breath of experience that was sitting at the front of the room. The field was covered from Film and TV, table top gaming, digital gaming, advertising, publishing, and more. I don't think there was a single question that didn't get answered with numerous points of view from numerous industry perspectives. I'll be honest. I was captivated myself. I walked out of the session with a lot more knowledge about some of the other industries, and a whole lot more respect for the folks in those roles and industries. This was one of the best panels, for me, at the con. I hope the audience got even half as much out of it as I did. After the round table, I dashed over to my space at Le Bistro and kicked of my tour of duty with the portfolio reviews. This is one of my favorite activities. Reviews went until 9 pm, and I'll admit that I was getting pretty toasty towards the end. I got to meet some great folks, and check out what the "kids" are doing in school today. I was floored by a few portfolios. Several of the aspiring artists had a breath and maturity to their work that belied their years. Made me said to realize the time and energy I squandered in my art school years. One Young man was Sam Burley. A quiet young man with a stunning grasp of environments. I really look forward to seeing his work after his next growth spurt. In the mean time... here are a couple of his pieces. Please welcome him to ArtOrder.

Great Race of Yith

Pat Callahan's the great race of Yith. I love the sense of expression in the almost-slumped shoulders of this very non-human creature, which seems to capture, not just the look of the creature as detailed in the description, but the tone of it and it's effect on a human observer, as in this passage "it is not wholesome to watch monsters and monstrous objects doing what one had known only human beings to do." I get trapped trying to map my own human emotions onto a completely nonhuman form. I do wonder if it wants to grab a beer and complain about it's day.

Psychic Connection

I know that I don't normally write on the weekends, but this hasn't been my usual weekend. I'll have to keep it short today, because I've got to dash to work pretty quickly. Yesterday was a grand day here at the con. I didn't have much in the way of free time, but I sure got a lot out of all the wonderful little things that happened throughout the day. There were few big highlights to my day... As has become the norm, Robh Ruppel and I had our "psychic connection" breakfast gathering. This time, we ended up joining up with Matt Cavotta as well. Another great start to my morning - wonderful conversation, and a nice breakfast. The next big activity was a round table dicussion I was honored to be involved in. The title of the event was "Art Director faq". I have to say though, the audience skipped right past the "frequently asked questions" and jumped into some wonderful thought provoking questions. I loved the way this event played out. It is important to note who was involved: Robh Ruppel from Naughty Dog Games (I love that name, makes me giggle every time I say it); Ben Thompson and Jeremy Cranford from Blizzard Entertainment; Lou Anders from Pyr Publishing and myself from Wizards of the Coast.

Bram Sels' Shantek

This is the first illustration that really struck me on my initial look through and it has stayed with me for several days now, possibly because there is a sense of narrative here, possibly because I believe that this thing exists in a way I don't believe all Lovecraft's creatures do (the textures here of wing and bone sell that verisimilitude nicely) and possibly just because I wonder who those riders are that are crazy enough to mount these terrible things!