Monday, January 25, 2016

Waddle Beak

I am leaving a new monster in charge of the blog today while I am elsewhere. Let's see if it can do its one job to show up on time and be a monster on the blog...

Waddle Beak
9 x 12 - Pencil on paper
© 2016 Christopher Burdett

Yup, that just about covers it. Scribblings on paper of a very waddle filled beaky monster fellow. That is all for today, I had to be elsewhere or this would have been an more robust post... RAWR!

That is all for another exciting Monday on the blog, see you back here on Wednesday! Until then...

For more samples of my work or to contact me regarding my availability head over to my website: www.christopherburdett.com

Friday, January 22, 2016

Fresh from the drawing table... Crab (Giant)!

I have for you another drawing that is fresh from the drawing table. This time around it is a Crab (Giant)! Continuing with "C" monsters, I have for you today a mighty crustacean that came here to eat your face and chew bubble gum... and it is all out of bubble gum. I present to you my version of a Crab (Giant)… 

Crab (Giant)
9 x 12
Pencil on paper
Original - Currently not available
© 2016 Christopher Burdett

I continue to stick by my belief that most, if not all GIANT versions of mundane monsters are the work of some mad wizard with WAY too much free time. ...Or that the Realms are way more radioactive then first thought. Maybe the rift in time and space that keeps allowing Beholders, Mind Flayers, and dinosaur people through is actually irradiating the planet and causing most of problems that adventures face. No matter the cause, the Giant Crab continues to scuttle about the beach eating anything it can grab in it huge beefy craw. ...that tasty tasty huge beefy crab claw. On second thought, maybe the Giant Crab is in more danger then it actually creates. The Giant Crab is sought out by Dwarvian foodies, its shell used as armor by pirates, and let us not forget that one dumb druid that tried to tame it so they could ride it as a mount... Froothian the Druid, you will be forever missed.

My first 100 original Dungeons & Dragons Monster Manual redesigns (A - Z): Aerial Servant, Ankheg, Ant (Giant), Ape (Carnivorous), Ape (Gorilla), Axe Beak, Axe Beak (version 2), Baboon, Badger, Barracuda, Basilisk, Baluchitherium, Bear (Black), Bear (Brown), Bear (Cave), Beaver (Giant), Beetle (Giant) - Bombardier, Beetle (Giant) - Boring, Beetle (Giant) - Fire, Beetle (Giant) - Rhinoceros, Beetle (Giant) - Stag, Beetle (Giant) - Water, Beholder, Black Pudding, Blink Dog, Boar (Giant), Boar (Warthog), Boar (Wild), Brain Mole, Brownie, Bugbear, Buffalo, Bulette, Carrion Crawler, Catoblepas, Cerebral Parasite, Chimera, Cockatrice, Coutal, Crab (Giant), Demon Type III (Glabrezu), Demon (Juiblex), Demon (Manes), Devil (Ice), Dragon (Red), Elemental (Earth), Ettin, Eye of the Deep, Flightless Bird, Frog (Giant), Fungi (Violet), Giant (Hill), Goblin, Golem (Flesh), Hobgoblin, Homunculus, Hydra, Imp, Intellect Devourer, Ixitxachitl, Jackal, Jacklewere, Jaguar, Ki-Rin, Kobold, Lich, Lizard (Giant), Lizardman, Manticore, Mind Flayer, Minotaur, Naga, Neo-Otygugh, Nixie, Ochre Jelly, Ogre, Owlbear, Peryton, Pixie, Purple Worm, Quasit, Ram (Giant), Roper, Rust Monster, Sahuagin, Salamander, Shambling Mound, Treant, Troglodyte, Troll, Umber Hulk, Unicorn, Vampire, Wasp (Giant), Wight, Wyvern, Xorn, Yeti, and Zombie.      

That is all for another exciting week on the blog, see you back here on Monday! Until then...

For more samples of my work or to contact me regarding my availability head over to my website: www.christopherburdett.com

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Upping My Frame Game

Since I have shared two new paintings in the last two week, I think this is a good opportunity to share some of the stuff I have been doing behind the scenes to create an overall more professional finished product with my paintings. What I am focusing on right now is upping my frame game. I look to my friend and fellow artist, Sam Flegal, as a guide on how to up my frame game. On top of being an amazing artist and businessman, Sam has great taste in frames and presentation. A lot of what I am doing to better my own frame game is learned directly or through observation from Sam. Recently, I have gone that extra step and started to finish off the backs of my framed paintings...

Choosing the right frame for the right painting is part of it and I am constantly trying to find ways to better frame my work in a cost effective way. When someone is buying a painting you want to give them a finished complete item, so sometimes that means addressing the parts you don't always see.

BAM! I have started to clean up and finish off the backs of my paintings.

I have had custom stickers made so that my branding and info is clearly presented on the back!

Made sure to put little rubber feet on the bottom of the frame for a better hanging experience.

In the end this was not as difficult step to take as I first imagined. Once you have the supplies to do it, which were not terribly expense, it comes together quickly and easily. It is just a matter of taking that extra step to invest the time and effort to make a more finished product. To be honest, I didn't realize this was even an option for me until recently (thanks to Sam... THANKS SAM!). When I started painting, I didn't even think this was necessary, I was just thrilled to be painting.  In my opinion, for what it is worth, I feel that the presentation of the painting is enhanced and it now feels professional and finished in a way my open backed paintings did not. My only regret is that I have sold paintings before I started doing this and I wish I could go back and finished off those paintings. BUT, this IS a learning process and you can't expect things to be perfect immediately.

That is all for another exciting Wednesday on the blog, see you back here on Friday! Until then...

For more samples of my work or to contact me regarding my availability head over to my website: www.christopherburdett.com

Monday, January 18, 2016

Concussion Rifle - Star Wars LCG: Galactic Ambitions

As mentioned last week, the newest deluxe expansion, Galactic Ambitions, to the Star Wars Living Card Game has been announced. It just so happens that in the announcement article that both of my cards appearing in this set were spoiled! Last week I shared with you my 4-LOM painting, this week I have the second painting, a Besalisk having a lot of fun with a Concussion Rifle...

Concussion Rifle
Star Wars LCG - Galactic Ambitions
14 x 11 - Acrylic and pencil on board
Art Director - Taylor Ingvarsson
© 2016 Lucasfilm, Ltd. TM Lucasfilm, Ltd. Under license to Fantasy Flight Games

Concussion Rifle
Star Wars LCG - Galactic Ambitions
17 x 14 - Pencil on paper
Art Director - Taylor Ingvarsson
© 2016 Lucasfilm, Ltd. TM Lucasfilm, Ltd. Under license to Fantasy Flight Games 
 
First and foremost, this painting is in NO WAY a self portrait... nope, tooootally not...

Okay, you got me, this piece is totally a self portrait of me as a gun wielding Besalisk...
 
 Handy dandy Concussion Rifle reference
(Expect more when I post the process of this piece in the coming months!)
Photo by Achsa Nute

I had thought when talking this assignment that this piece was going to be my only contribution to Galactic Ambitions. With that in mind I poured a lot of attention into this piece and had a ton of fun working on it. While I love a good aberrant tentacled beast, the chance to paint myself as a monster is also a love of mine. Adding a little playfulness or humor goes a long way too! I am still really happy with how all my thumbnails turned out for this piece, I still may finish them as drawings at some point. This by far was my favorite concept for this piece. I am really happy with how this painting turned out as well, at the time it really felt like a turning point in my handling of paint. I hope to talk further about this when I share the process of this painting.

Concussion Rifle in handy dandy card form!

That is all for another exciting Monday on the blog, see you back here on Wednesday! Until then...

For more samples of my work or to contact me regarding my availability head over to my website: www.christopherburdett.com

Friday, January 15, 2016

Fresh from the drawing table... Coutal!

I have for you another drawing that is fresh from the drawing table. This time around it is a Coutal! Continuing with "C" monsters, I have for you today and mighty feathered serpent inspired from the beliefs from Central America. I present to you my version of a Coutal… 

Coutal
9 x 12
Pencil on paper
Original - Currently not available
© 2016 Christopher Burdett

I like scales, but I am not necessarily a fan of feathers in the same way I am not necessarily a fan of fur. Scales though, are fun. So a Coutal gives me some of what I like and some of what I don't go running for. When I visited the Yucatan I saw many images and sculptures of serpents and feathered serpents. Those images stuck around with me and I keep them in mind as I designed my version of the Coutal. Not sure if a crazed wizard had anything to do with this or if the Coutal just kinda happened on their own. Weird stuff slips in from other realities all the time. Maybe there is another world where the highest form of life is feathered snakes...

My first 100 original Dungeons & Dragons Monster Manual redesigns (A - Z): Aerial Servant, Ankheg, Ant (Giant), Ape (Carnivorous), Ape (Gorilla), Axe Beak, Axe Beak (version 2), Baboon, Badger, Barracuda, Basilisk, Baluchitherium, Bear (Black), Bear (Brown), Bear (Cave), Beaver (Giant), Beetle (Giant) - Bombardier, Beetle (Giant) - Boring, Beetle (Giant) - Fire, Beetle (Giant) - Rhinoceros, Beetle (Giant) - Stag, Beetle (Giant) - Water, Beholder, Black Pudding, Blink Dog, Boar (Giant), Boar (Warthog), Boar (Wild), Brain Mole, Brownie, Bugbear, Buffalo, Bulette, Carrion Crawler, Catoblepas, Cerebral Parasite, Chimera, Cockatrice, Coutal, Crab (Giant), Demon Type III (Glabrezu), Demon (Juiblex), Demon (Manes), Devil (Ice), Dragon (Red), Elemental (Earth), Ettin, Eye of the Deep, Flightless Bird, Frog (Giant), Fungi (Violet), Giant (Hill), Goblin, Golem (Flesh), Hobgoblin, Homunculus, Hydra, Imp, Intellect Devourer, Ixitxachitl, Jackal, Jacklewere, Jaguar, Ki-Rin, Kobold, Lich, Lizard (Giant), Lizardman, Manticore, Mind Flayer, Minotaur, Naga, Neo-Otygugh, Nixie, Ochre Jelly, Ogre, Owlbear, Peryton, Pixie, Purple Worm, Quasit, Ram (Giant), Roper, Rust Monster, Sahuagin, Salamander, Shambling Mound, Treant, Troglodyte, Troll, Umber Hulk, Unicorn, Vampire, Wasp (Giant), Wight, Wyvern, Xorn, Yeti, and Zombie.      

That is all for another exciting week on the blog, see you back here on Monday! Until then...

For more samples of my work or to contact me regarding my availability head over to my website: www.christopherburdett.com

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Gen Con and Infected By Art 4

Last was a busy week for with several announcements going out that effect many artists in 2016.  Primary among these announcements are the artists accepted into the Gen Con Art Show and art accepted into Infected By Art 4. I am happy to say that both of these effect me!

GEN CON

I am happy to announce that I will be returning to the Gen Con Art Show this year in Indianapolis, IN. I hope to see you August 4-7 for the best four days in gaming. Thing will be a bit different this year at the Gen Con Art Show so it should be interesting for everyone involved. Artist will, for the first time, be handling all of their own sales. I hope this transition goes smoothly for all involved. Fear naught, I will have LOADS of monsters with me for you to see and take home! RAWR!

INFECTED BY ART 4

I am also happy to announce that I have had a piece accepted into Infected By Art 4. For the second year in a row I am pleased to find my work included in this up and coming art journal! This year my Magic the Gathering piece, Ancient Carp, made the cut. I will have more info about IBA4 as it comes available, but I will assume that it will follow the last few years and will be released late 2016. My thanks goes out to the judges and to all those involved in making IBA happen! RAWR!

"Ancient Carp"
Magic the Gathering: Dragons of Tarkir
12 x 8.7 - Digital
© 2015 Wizards of the Coast

That is all for another exciting Monday on the blog, see you back here on Wednesday! Until then...

For more samples of my work or to contact me regarding my availability head over to my website: www.christopherburdett.com

Monday, January 11, 2016

4-LOM - Star Wars LCG: Galactic Ambitions

Late last week the newest deluxe expansion, Galactic Ambitions, to the Star Wars Living Card Game was announced. It just so happens that in the announcement article that both of my cards appearing in this set were spoiled! I will be sharing one with you this week and one with you next week. First up is the mighty bounty hunter droid, 4-LOM...

4-LOM
Star Wars LCG - Galactic Ambitions
14 x 11 - Acrylic and pencil on board
Art Director - Taylor Ingvarsson
Original - SOLD
© 2016 Lucasfilm, Ltd. TM Lucasfilm, Ltd. Under license to Fantasy Flight Games

4-LOM
Star Wars LCG - Galactic Ambitions
17 x 14 - Pencil on paper
Art Director - Taylor Ingvarsson
© 2016 Lucasfilm, Ltd. TM Lucasfilm, Ltd. Under license to Fantasy Flight Games

I received this assignment when I reentered the country after having been in Italy and German for close to two weeks last summer. I had already worked on a piece for Galactic Ambitions (look for it next Monday) and had long since turned it in before the trip to Europe. 4-LOM was a straggler and had a ridiculously tight deadline, something around five days from start to finish. I almost didn't take the assignment until I saw it was for 4-LOM. Any other droid, save for IG-88, R2-D2, or C3PO, would not have gotten that type of attention from me with only five days for thumbnails, drawing, and full painting. It came together, thankfully, very fast and I made the deadline with time to spare. AND, I am really happy with how the piece turned out.

4-LOM in handy dandy preview card form!

That's all for another exciting Monday on the blog, see you back here on Wednesday! Until then...

For more samples of my work or to contact me regarding my availability head over to my website: www.christopherburdett.com

Friday, January 8, 2016

Fresh from the drawing table... Catoblepas!

I have for you another drawing that is fresh from the drawing table. This time around it is a Catoblepas! With all of the "A" and "B" monsters completed (and many others too) it is now time to turn our attention to "C" monsters! To start "C" off I picked a very old monster that is a mixed up mess which I am all too familiar with. I present to you my version of a Catoblepas… 

Catoblepas
9 x 12
Pencil on paper
Original - Currently not available
© 2016 Christopher Burdett

Having illustrated the Catoblepas for Magic the Gathering as well as being very familiar with the the different versions of the Catoblepas from D&D I was in a bit of a pickle design wise. So, I decided to go in a completely different direction that was fitting to the original monster. It is a fairly common belief that the Catoblepas was a chimera born of varying description of animals be ancient Greek travelers. A little water buffalo here, a little giraffe there, and a bit of this that and the other thrown in for good measure. ...just the sort of thing a crazy old wizard would do. I mixed it up a bit, threw a bunch more pieces into the pot and walked away. And so the Catoblepas was born...

My first 100 original Dungeons & Dragons Monster Manual redesigns (A - Z): Aerial Servant, Ankheg, Ant (Giant), Ape (Carnivorous), Ape (Gorilla), Axe Beak, Axe Beak (version 2), Baboon, Badger, Barracuda, Basilisk, Baluchitherium, Bear (Black), Bear (Brown), Bear (Cave), Beaver (Giant), Beetle (Giant) - Bombardier, Beetle (Giant) - Boring, Beetle (Giant) - Fire, Beetle (Giant) - Rhinoceros, Beetle (Giant) - Stag, Beetle (Giant) - Water, Beholder, Black Pudding, Blink Dog, Boar (Giant), Boar (Warthog), Boar (Wild), Brain Mole, Brownie, Bugbear, Buffalo, Bulette, Carrion Crawler, Catoblepas, Cerebral Parasite, Chimera, Cockatrice, Coutal, Crab (Giant), Demon Type III (Glabrezu), Demon (Juiblex), Demon (Manes), Devil (Ice), Dragon (Red), Elemental (Earth), Ettin, Eye of the Deep, Flightless Bird, Frog (Giant), Fungi (Violet), Giant (Hill), Goblin, Golem (Flesh), Hobgoblin, Homunculus, Hydra, Imp, Intellect Devourer, Ixitxachitl, Jackal, Jacklewere, Jaguar, Ki-Rin, Kobold, Lich, Lizard (Giant), Lizardman, Manticore, Mind Flayer, Minotaur, Naga, Neo-Otygugh, Nixie, Ochre Jelly, Ogre, Owlbear, Peryton, Pixie, Purple Worm, Quasit, Ram (Giant), Roper, Rust Monster, Sahuagin, Salamander, Shambling Mound, Treant, Troglodyte, Troll, Umber Hulk, Unicorn, Vampire, Wasp (Giant), Wight, Wyvern, Xorn, Yeti, and Zombie.      
 
That is all for another exciting week on the blog, see you back here on Monday! Until then...

For more samples of my work or to contact me regarding my availability head over to my website: www.christopherburdett.com

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Virulent Worm - Kaijudo - Process

Today I have for you the process and steps that went into one of my paintings that I created for the now cancelled game, Kaijudo. While I only worked on the game a short time it was a lot of fun and I was sad to see it go. The painting I will be talking about today depicts a very bad day for a Beast Kin and a possibly good day for a big worm monster. Here is the final painting for Virulent Worm...

"Virulent Worm"
Kaijudo - Eye of the Storm
11.2 x 8 - Digital
© 2014 Wizards of the Coast

The Virulent Worm was the very first Kaijudo card that I ever worked on and it is unfortunate that it never was released as a real card. It was released as a virtual card as part of the last set that had already been created prior to the decision to kill the project. Since this was the first card I worked on, it was the piece that I worked out all style choices so that the piece felt like a Kaijudo piece. I sent this piece repeatedly during production to my art director to make sure I was on track. Not only was it a new project with a distinct style and look I was working with a new art director.

In the end the all worked out... obviously. Since this was my first card I really spent a lot of time working out the thumbnails for it. I tried to give production a lot to work with and some variation. The card needed to depict a massive worm creature on a rocky ledge of a cave. A Beast Kin was minding its own business as it slogged trough a river of strange goo... little does it know it is WORM GOO. Here are how the thumbnails turned out...

Virulent Worm - Thumbnails
© 2014 Wizards of the Coast

The thumbnails were well received, though I am not sure I ever had a favorite. I liked some of the worms in some of the compositions and I liked some of the Beast Kin in some of the others. This turned out to be true for production too. I was asked to do some mixing and matching with elements to work out a final image. With the pieces selected I was given the go ahead to work on the final drawing...

Virulent Worm
12 x 9 - Pencil on paper
Original for sale over on my web store!
© 2014 Wizards of the Coast

The drawing was approved without comment and it was time to work on my first Kaijudo painting. It was generally a straight forward process, but as mentioned before I checked in with my art director during the painting process to make sure I was getting the look and feel of Kaijudo. Some of this conversation about the piece lead to the worm being pushed much further into shadow. I had thought it needed to be much lighter and brighter and the AD definitely wanted more moody and scary. I was happy to do just that. Here is 12 easy steps is the Virulent Worm taking shape...

Virulent Worm - Process Progression
© 2014 Wizards of the Coast

The Virulent Worm was approved without comment, and I would like to think that is because of my efforts to reach out the my AD and make sure I was working towards the image they needed me to make. Of my Kaijudo work, this is the only piece that I did this with. I needed the first one under my belt to get a feel for what needed to be accomplished with the paintings. The AD is there to help you and give you the input needed so that you successfully meet your, and their, goals of an approved and effective painting. ADs are your friends in the creation of art!

As an added bonus here is a handy dandy animated process thingy to better show the process and creation of the painting...

Virulent Worm - Animated Process
© 2014 Wizards of the Coast

Here again is the final painting for the Virulent Worm and the (vitrual) card form of the art. Do to the amount of chrome on the card there was a bit of cropping on the image, but all the important bits are still there. If it had been a printed card it sure would have been a pretty one... of well, these things happen...

"Virulent Worm"
Kaijudo - Eye of the Storm
11.2 x 8 - Digital
© 2014 Wizards of the Coast

"Virulent Worm" if it had been an actual real life handy dandy card instead of a virtual card.

That is all for another exciting Wednesday on the blog, see you back here on Friday! Until then...

For more samples of my work or to contact me regarding my availability head over to my website: www.christopherburdett.com

Monday, January 4, 2016

2015 - A Year in Paint

2015 in my studio looked a lot different

I feel for the past several years that my year in review posts have been a bit negative, or at least had a frustrated edge to my thoughts and feelings towards making art and the gaming industry. I am happy to report that this is not the case for 2015. Starting in August of 2014 I turned everything on its ear art wise in my life and began working traditionally for my clients. Not only have I produced more in art in the past year than I have in any year that I can remember, I made more time for myself to do non art things as well as make art for myself. So, that's it! I am making more art, I am happier with my art and art making, and I am making more time to do other things in my life. 2015 was really really good to me and I am optimistically looking ahead to 2016. Is there a need for me to keep writing and you to keep reading? Let's see as I dig a little deeper…

The Big Switch

I have spoken at length about my transition from painting digitally to traditionally here on the blog. Simply look to my wrap up of 2014 or any of my traditional process posts this year. This transition does need to be addressed again because of how it has made this year a much more positive one. I started out as a digital painter. I am comfortable painting digitally and I think I do a pretty good job at painting digitally. Painting traditionally has been a roller coaster of pleasure and fear. No matter how crazy the transition has been the one result is that I am making real life tangible paintings for the first time it my life. Having the tangible painting has in and of itself has been worth ALL the hard work to get to this point. Even if my traditional painting skill set is not currently at the level I may be able to reach digitally, it is in my hands and is a real object. All I need is time and more experience with the media to bridge the digital / traditional quality gap. I can now make precious and unique items that I can never have with a Photoshop file. I have always had my drawings, but paintings and drawings are a little different.

Jabba's Rancor
Star Wars LCG - Imperial Entanglements
14 x 11 - Acrylic and pencil on board
Art Director - Zoe Robinson
Original - SOLD
© 2015 Lucasfilm, Ltd. TM Lucasfilm, Ltd. Under license to Fantasy Flight Games

I will be the first to say that I have always had a bit of an inferiority complex when it came to how I felt about my digital paintings compared to other artist's traditional paintings. I didn't feel like I was a "REAL" artist. Which is silly, I know, but I just did not feel I was making anything when working digitally. No matter the tool, the quality and impact of the art is what matters. I realize this more now than I ever have in my entire career of making art. It does not matter if the work was done digitally or traditionally. Does the work meet the needs of the client? Is the work successful? What does it matter if you use paint or pixel? It only matters to the artist making it and the collectors that will want to own it. I paint traditionally now because I NEED to.

The mighty pile. Current stock of traditionally painted work. Not all has been released, many secrets to come!

I will be honest, the last three paintings that I produced in 2015 were painted digitally. They are most likely the best three digital paintings I have even painted and way better than the work I was doing digitally before I made the switch to tradition media last August. I made the choice to paint these pieces digitally, I knew they needed to be at a level I have not yet reached traditionally. Which is totally okay. I also needed to have COMPLETE control over the painting to tweak and edit them from start to finish and I have that level of control when working digitally. The client I was doing these for requires my best work and I made the call to do them with a tool that allows me to do just that. I was more than surprised to see that after more than a year of not working digitally that my skill set had actually improved! Which makes sense, seeing how I had a certain level of learned skills already working for me when I started painting traditionally. It does not matter if I was working with paint of pixels, I am painting all the same. When I made the switch in August of 2014 I made a promise to myself to only paint traditionally for the foreseeable future. I went over a year just working in paint and plan to continue to do the vast majority of my work in paint. I have one client and one assignment that will continue to have me pairing digitally for the time being. Which is totally okay. The right tool for the job. That is being professional.

More ME time

While I don't have any tangle evidence that I worked less this year, it certainly feels like I have. Not only that, but I feel I have worked less while still producing more. What I can say is that in 2015 I traveled to Jamaica, Italy, German, and made multiple trips to Disney World this year while making more time in my schedule to spend time with my wife and friends. I did all these things and still produced a pile of paintings and drawings by the end of the year. I see this all as being really important and directly related to my happiness in 2015. While I am happier with what and how I was painting, I am also giving myself time to NOT work. For the first time in… forever, I feel like I am not working constantly. I am busy, of course, I work two full time jobs, how could I not be busy, but I have been making the time to take breaks, to travel, and to play. Case in point, for the previous two of three weeks from when I am writing this I have not made any art. I have down a little scribbling and a revision for a client, but I made a conscience choice to clear my schedule and take a break. A break to clear the mind, a chance to catch my breath, see friends, play video games, do holiday stuff, clean up after holiday stuff, do some stuff around the house, sleep… the stuff I will not have a lot of time to do in the coming months most likely. For the first time in a long time I do not feel guilty or regret about not working, and I am not fixating on filling my time with work. It has been glorious. For once, I feel like I am relaxed and ready to start the new year on the right foot. …a rested and relaxed one. I am finding it interesting with how much I can do when I try to do so little.

Burg Eltz
Near the Moselle River between Koblenz and Trier, Germany. Possibly the best castle I have had the chance to see in person.

Life Beyond My Studio

2015 was filled with more art activities that did not center on me being in my studio working. Every year I have had two big art events, Gen Con and Illuxcon. This year, for the first time, I have been looking for other venues and avenues to do art things outside my studio. Don't get me wrong, Gen Con and Illuxcon continue to be a lot of fun and are true highlights of my year. This is when I get to see my art family. Illuxcon was especially amazing this year as I was part of the Weekend Salon for this first time. This then leads into my recent announcement that I will be part of the Main Show of Illuxcon in 2016. I am both humbled, excited, and energized by this news. Illuxcon has and continues to be near and dear to the wife and I. Earlier in the year I was a special guest at the Space Coast Comic Con, and it was an extremely fun time. Can't say enough about how much fun it was to be a part of the Space Coast Comic Con.

My booth at the Space Coast Comic Con featuring my shiny new set of Pro Panels I bought this year to help me do events just like this.

One of the biggest personal events for me in 2015 was my RAWR! show at 621 Gallery in Tallahassee, Fl. I posted a lot about it, but it was a big deal for me and a blast to do. It was a long term goal to show in a gallery and it was a very interesting and educational experience. Really interesting to see people interact with my work in the wild. I had work accepted into Infected By Art 3, which came out a couple of months ago. I really like what IBA is doing especially in connection with Illuxcon. I took part in a very fun Free Comics Day event as well as a couple local Magic the Gathering events. All of these things have added to my over all enjoyment and happiness in 2015. I do not need these things to be happy, but I am finding a lot of fulfillment and happiness through them. It is nice to see my hard work paying off in the world beyond my studio. I am hoping this will continue into 2016. I am already scheduled to be a special guest this February at Pensacon in Pensacola, Fl. I am finding that getting out of the studio is good for me and makes me more focused once I return to it.

The big wall at my 621 Gallery show featuring my first 100 redesigns from the original Dungeons & Dragons Monster Manual.

Paint Like NO One is Watching


I have spent a lot of time over the years worrying about my art and if I was good enough or if it was "right". I have searched for shortcuts and tricks. I have been on a quixotic quest for the PERFECT line. Now… I just want to make art that makes me happy. That could be personal work or it could be from the assignments that I choose to take on from clients. I have been spending a lot of time lately playing in the Star Wars Universe and that has been really really fun. I have added myself and my voice into the monolith of Star Wars and could not be happier about it. I have recently returned to do some work on Magic the Gathering, and that has been a lot of fun. I have been doing some personal pieces when I feel like it, and that too has been fun. Are these all amazing, perfect paintings? I don't know. My clients seem happy, but I was happy with them before they were. Making art is work, don't get me wrong. I have said it time and time again, making art is hard work that requires a lot of time and effort to succeed at. Now though, after many years of ups and downs, it has become something more and I am getting more out of it. I am finding a joy and happiness that does not require an external qualifier to make it so. It has taken a long time to get to this point. Not sure this is were I will always be, but this is where I am and it is just fine for now. Is this because I am working traditionally? Maybe. It could be a product of my time in the industry, the level of experience I have, or some other ephemeral aspect of maturation. Who knows… but I certainly have no problem with it.

Wicket W. Warrick
Star Wars LCG - Solo's Command
14 x 11 - Acrylic and pencil on board
Art Director - Zoe Robinson
© 2015 Lucasfilm, Ltd. TM Lucasfilm, Ltd. Under license to Fantasy Flight Games

In Conclusion

Work hard, play hard. For far too long it was all about that first part. I was working a lot and working hard. This behavior led most likely to many of my previous year's recap posts. This led to me being burned out and fed up. Thankfully I found a way to change it all and in turn restart and refresh my outlook on art and life. Nothing is perfect, how can it be, but things are sure a lot better now!

I need to point out, above all, if not for the continued support and aggressively relentless encouragement of my wife, none of this would have even been possible. I have traveled a very long way with my art and all of the highest heights and deepest depths have been weathered with her at my side. Could not have down it without her.

Dear wife giving me scale reference in Germany. RAWR!

Thanks is all for another exciting Monday on the blog, see you back here on Wednesday! Until then...

For more samples of my work or to contact me regarding my availability head over to my website: www.christopherburdett.com