Its been awhile since i posted so….
This last week i was a guest artist at the MTG Eternal Weekend in Pittsburgh Pa. Eternal Weekend is a convention that host the only vintage Magic the Gathering Grand Prix, so most of the players are old school players, meaning they have been playing Magic the Gathering since the 90’s. I had a really fun ( but exhausting) time there, sold the repaint i did of pendelhaven, and did a bunch of autographs and sold some prints and playmats.
What really makes these events and cons fun are reuniting with my fellow artist and talking and hanging out with the fans.
On a low note..i broke my phone on the way there, so my good friend and agent Mark Aronowitz took pictures for me. i have to pull them off my phone though in order to post them. I will..dont worry.
This week ill be going to Vegas for Channel fireballs MTG event. Ill be there from the 14th to the 19th….
So…as fate would have it, as soon as i begin to make prints, my expensive Cannon Pixma Pro 1 dies. It had a good life and was a great machine. I will mourn him. The down side is that the new prints i will be offering will have to wait till Top Deck Games Vintage weekend in Pittsburg.
Ill post about the convention, upload plenty of pictures…maybe even get in mischief..lol.
Its been a busy couple e of months. In march i was proud to be invited to Channel Fireball’s Grand Prix NJ from March 9th-12th in Secaucus, NJ. What a great show it was . Got to hang out with Drew tucker, Jeff Menges, RK Post, Mark Poole, Kieran Yanner and the new guy Joseph Meehan. Signed alot of autographs, did alot of custom alters to my cards, brought home homework. 2 days later I was off to Milan Italy for another Magic the Gathering Event from the 15th-22nd.
This was my first time back in Europe since 1995 ( Essenfest “95), and I was very nervous since i was going solo, luckily Mr. RK Post was also going to this event and took me under his wing ( wew! ). What impressed me most about Milan was the quality of food and the quality of life. I went shopping at a local mart where i bought wine…the best i have had, for $2.90 a bottle, pasta for $.49..etc.
None of the food had high fructose corn syrup in it and everything was fresh. Even the restaurants buy fresh and local. The convention was held in a little game store.
i really had an amazing time, and big thanks to Stefano and Andrea who were my hosts/ translators and guides. Now im 2 weeks back in philly…still havent unpacked completely and now im getting ready for Tanukifest in late April.
In 1993 I had the joy of being able to be one of the first 49 artists for the Magic the Gathering CCG phenomena, (with thanks to Richard Thomas and Jesper Myrfors). Even though I was among some of the last artist hired by Jesper, it was one hell of a ride. From 1997- 1999 I had the privilege (Thanks to John Zinser of AEG) of being an “out of house” Art Director for Wizards for the Deadlands CCG.
During this period between 1993 and 1999 I had the privilege to meet many fantastic people who I was/am proud to call friends, some from within WOTC (Wizards of the Coast), some from other companies, and some from working with during my WOTC time. In 1999 I found myself laid off, without work, divorced so I changed my name to Mutt and opened a small airbrush shop in Philadelphia’s “South Street” area (I had owned an airbrush shop before the WOTC/ White wolf days). During this time I lost contact with almost everyone from my previous freelance/illustration life, mind you I say almost everyone.
Even though I lost contact my feelings of friendship never left for those I knew during that time. Around 2010 a fan of MTG searched me out, (Scott Mosser) and reintroduced me to the Convention and WOTC world. I began to reconnect with many of the artist I knew from 93-99 and found their feeling of friendship had not lessened either, it was as though an 11-12 year gap never existed. I also developed new friendships with Artist I had known of but never met, or artist who were newer to the genre.
I, because of my business am very familiar with death since “In memory of” paraphernalia are what for 12 years kept my doors open. I became so familiar with death that I began to become numb from it, after all I live in the north east quadrant of the US in a major city where there is a murder or 5 a day (and when you lose friends to suicide or murder and witness a few…), so when a customer who has been coming to me since he/she was 13-15 years old and 5-10 years later their friends are coming in to get shirts and banners painted for them I can paint it with little feeling. I have or at least thought I had become numb to death.
The death of my friend Quinton Hoover in 2013 was the first to shake that belief of numbness. Quinton and I had many things in common including a divorce and ruin after WOTC and many a night we would talk for hours and both of us get drunk talking about everything from doing a comic book or him doing a graphic novel to love lives to, well everything. Quinton was one of those artist friends whom I reconnected with after my reemergence in the Illustration/WOTC world. His death shook me to the bone even though I knew his health was not the best.
Now I find myself shaken again with the passing of Christopher Rush and Wayne England.
Chris was one of us first 49, but he was the legend…the guy who painted the original “black lotus” art for the card. Chris was another of that reconnection of friendship artist and was “that guy who got lucky and happened to do art for the number one card in the game”, and he was such an excellent human being you couldn’t get mad at him for his luck. Chris and I also connected on many levels since he too was divorced with a kid and was in financial ruin from the end of the WOTC days.
Wayne England, he was one of the artists whose work I had known from his Warhammer and 40k art and whom I did not personally know until my agent Mark Aronowitz began repping him. Though I had only spoken with Wayne through messenger and through my agent, he was one of those iconic guys…like Keith Parkinson, whom I also knew (as an acquaintance) through those olden WOTC days, whose personality shone through his work and whose sudden passing pierced my numbness.
I will miss these friends. Their passing has made me realize how important they were in my life and how precious those friendships I have made throughout the years are.
I found out this morning an old friend passed away. His name is Joe Keyser. Ive been working painting for the mummers so ive been isolated from news, etc. I had gotten a communicate that he has had a stroke or heart attack, but nothing more. when i went to his page today i found out that he had passed. Joe and i had a interesting history, because he was the guy who brought me to my first MTG event…well its more than that. Back in 1993 when i was painting for the Magic the Gathering Legends set i had a studio up on Frankford and Cottman avenues, on the second floor. it was a huge space that i shared with another creative. Joe had found out i was a artist for the game and cold called me asking ” if i would like to go to the opening sales for the legends set ” at one of the local game stores. At that time i had no idea what Magic was, never played the game, had no clue. Joe was a fan of the game and played regularly…i was curious as to what i was painting for so i invite Joe over to my studio, we met and the next day we went to the opening. I saw grown men brawl over the last box of legends cards. It was unbelievable. i remember Joe sitting next to me, him look over and smiling. He had told me how popular the game was when he visited my studio…but i had no idea until then what i had been blessed into. After that Joe and I became good friends and i brought him onto the Legend of the Five Rings game i also had begun painting for a year or so after in 94-95?. The convention circuit came after, most of which i did with Joe and his crew of fellow gamers. He also taught me how to play Magic the gathering which led to me making many life long friends of whom I am still blessed to know. Joe is a part of a chapter in my life which is closing too quickly. He was a good friend, and a good guy in general and a good businessman. You will be missed joe
Back from the Star City Games Open in Kansas City Missouri. Had a Great time. This was one of the smaller events, but still in all did signings and allot of alters. The best thing about Kansas City aside from the people who are really nice are the BBQ’s….
The first night there we ( Me and my agent Mark Aronowitz) went to jacks. i highly recommend this place. unbelievable. I ate so much i felt pregnant afterwards…lol.
As I said I did a bunch of alters, most on my foil Friday Night Magic force spikes.
I attended the Star City Games MTG Open this last weekend at the Philadelphia Convention Center. Had a really great time signing autographs. met allot of new fans and some old. for a small event it has a big turn out. 600 the first day and 500 the second. here are some pictures of the event.