Monday, April 11, 2016

Making monsters with Zoe Robinson

It is an end of an era. After nearly a decade, Zoe Robinson will be leaving Fantasy Flight Games for bigger and better fun at Blizzard. For the past seven years I have had the opportunity to work with Zoe to make a lot of fun monsters for some of my favorite licenses.

Sam Flegal, your truly, and Zoe Robinson at Illuxcon when it was still in Altoona, PA.
Photo by Jeannie Zaengle Wilshire

I have written about the ups and downs in my career here on the blog before. From 2005 - 2008 I worked exclusively with Wizards of the Coast, but that all came to an abrupt end around December of 2008. Zoe was one of the first art directors to give me work in 2009 when I decided to double down and stick with working in the gaming industry. In April of 2009 I received my first assignment from Zoe, and some how she saw something in it and gave me more and more over the years. I wanted to share with you some of the work I created with Zoe as my AD. Consider this a celebration of the opportunities she has given me, and I am sure many of you out there, to create art for some of our favorite games and franchises.

The very first one... in all its "glory".
The Basilisk from Taliman: Frost March was the first piece I created for Zoe in April 2009.
It is hard to look at now with all its flaws, but I was learning a lot and it was printed very small.

Jump ahead a year and a half, at the end of 2010 Zoe asked me to paint all three of the Game of Thrones dragons. I knew nothing about AGOT at the time, which was kind of for the best so that I did not over think the assignment and sabotage myself. Also, note the difference a year and a half can have on someone's art.

Zoe knows I love monsters so she had me make a TOTALLY NOT Shelob for one of the nightmare decks for the Lord of the Rings card game. Apparently when she got the art order she thought of me.

Zoe reached out to me to make, in the end, five different pieces of the dragon Smaug for the Hobbit card game. I had not thought I was up the challenge of doing five pieces, but I was convinced by my wife and Zoe tag teaming me into taking the assignment. This one continues to be my favorite.

FFG got the license to do the Star Wars games and Zoe was the lead on the games. She gave me my first assignment in Star Wars with the choice of a Wookiee or a Tuskin Raider. I picked the Wookiee... ALWAYS pick the Wookiee. While there were some ups and downs with this piece it marked the start of many years of Star Wars art.

Zoe knew what monsters I would like best and gave me the room to make the pieces I wanted to make. The art order for this Salacious Crumb piece called for a very different portrayal of Crumb but I knew the piece I wanted to make and Zoe supported me all the way. This is still one of my favorite pieces that I ever created with Zoe.

When something new needed to be designed and illustrated for the Star Wars RPG Zoe came to me and I got to design something for Star Wars!

When I decided to make the transition from digital to traditional Zoe supported me, as long as I could provide a comparable quality and I dealt with revisions. This was one of the first pieces I did for Zoe traditionally and continues to be a favorite of mine.

Last, but surely not least. This is my favorite piece that I ever did for Zoe and is among my favorite pieces that I have ever created. I threw myself into this piece and Zoe supported me through the process to do the piece I wanted to do of Yoda.

Thank you Zoe for all the monsters and fun over the years. Thank you for fighting the good fight to get the artists that worked for you higher rates at FFG. Thank you for the fun at conventions. And thank you for giving me that second assignment after I gave you that wonky Basilisk. While many of us will miss working with you at FFG I know you will be doing great things at Blizzard.

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:

No comments:

Post a Comment