heart Cards ARTISTS; best vs worst

15 Mar 2021 22:15 - 21 Mar 2021 09:47 #101861 by Kotoulas
After completing the Jyhad collection more than 20 years ago, I have recently – thanks to the Black Chantry initiative - restarted purchasing the VTES cards, more for collection than for playing.
When I jumped upon Jyhad, I was captured by the dark atmosphere of the WOD universe and the dark-bloody illustrations. Much better than the fantasy style of Magic the Gathering!
Great artists as Anson Maddocks, Mark Tedin and Ron Spencer were able to create such disturbing, freaky characters and drawings.
Now that I have restarted the collection, I have to admit that I am quite disappointed by some artists. Some are goods…but several are terrible. I understand that there is not the investment as for Magic the Gathering (that has now reached top levels for illustrations), but If the VTES will lack on atmosphere and personality due to a low quality, It will loose much of the appeal and remains just a card game.I assume that BC is usual to send a well defined brief to each artist, that should include: 1) the general background of VTES 2) the specific characteristics of each clan or discipline, to have the artist fits the work with the concept 3) a request for distinctiveness: something  (can be a pose, an expression, an element, …) that makes the card memorable, unique, able to catch/connect with users (just think to Gerard Windham and his blood mask).
That’s why I think Black Chantry should structure a customer experience open survey about new releases, to measure most appreciated artists and cut off the worst ones for future productions. Where it is not much a matter of personal taste, because some drawings are just bad and childish. And not even a theme of diversity: I agree to have different styles, but not having in VTES Simpsons-like characters for the diversity sake!Just to give my feedback, here below some of my preferred artist from the BC productions. And those I look forward to never seeing them again drawing a single card. And what about you, your opinions?Let’s give to BC some indications for improvement!

BIG FAILS
Marian Churchland: oh God, this is the main example of a missing brief. How to accept works such as Honest Abe, Gracetius, Jann Berger…? It’s nothing about vampires, nothing about WOD. Jake Washington….super elementary drawing
Steve Ellis: e.g. Paul Calderone: a bum in undershit. Here the fall of the VTES atmosphere
Leif Jones: e.g Nichodemus, Lord Ephraim…terrible drawings of old ugly normal men
Ken Meyer Jr: Montecalme, Pedrag Hasek…again, not Vampires, but ugly normal people.
Mike Ghaydos_ e.g Andrew Stuart, Vasily
Rebecca Guay: e.g Janine card (my 9 years daughter can draw better)
Jim di Bartolo: check Luca Italicus…really?!
Lawrence Snelly
Jim Pavelec
Jeremy McHugh (library cards): comic style, funny someway
Durwin Talon (library cards) comic style, very plain
L.A William: hand of Conrad seems to be drawn by a kid
Melissa Uran: how long took drawing Information highway? 1 minute? Could have chosen to add colour and shadows too
Mike Chaney: e.g Backways
Steve Prescott: Zillah’s valley is so basic
Peter Bergting,Riccardo Fabiani,Noah Hirka Gibor Nimeth Patrick Lambert Durwin Talon.. 

BEST ARTISTS
Mathias Tapia
Brian LeBlanc
Elrem Palacios
Samuel Araya (really top!)
Erica Danell
Heither V Kreither
Robin Chyo
Michael Ward
Mark Kelly
Carmen Cornet
Gines Quinonero
Christopher Shy
Amy Wilkins
Martin de Diego Sabada
Doug Stambaugh
E.M Gist - Harmony
Tony Shasteen – Arcane Appraiser
John Bridges – Spirit Claws
Paul Tobin
Last edit: 21 Mar 2021 09:47 by Kotoulas. Reason: bad formatting after copy paste from word

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16 Mar 2021 09:13 #101864 by Lönkka
Using line break between paragraphs would make this way more readable.

Now it is just mostly plain ol' unreadable.

NC, Finland
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16 Mar 2021 09:35 #101866 by Lönkka

 I understand that there is not the investment as for Magic the Gathering (that has now reached top levels for illustrations)
 

The problem with many a (more current, non-classical) MtG card I've seen is that they are trying to cram artwork with giganormous amount of minutae detail into a piece that will be smaller than a matchbox in size. It will just look confusing and busy, even if the technical provess of these artists might be high, at least in producing esthetically pleasing pretty pic for the eye ( = not necessarily high art).

One MAJOR part of the criteria for illustrations for a CCG is how recognizable the card is from PLAYING DISTANCE. This is expecailly where the busy cards with minutae detail mentioned above tend to fail miserably! You need to be able to recognize the card easily from the other side of the table. Also in sub-optimal lighting conditions. Plenty of the original MtG/ VTES artists did cruder work but seemed to understand this. Size of the scene/person in the art piece matters and especially what kind of colors are used. I personally really favour the use of bold colours in a big way. One such card that immediately springs to mind is the original Raven Spy with the striking red background.

As for cards not looking like vampires, well, vampires come in many shapes and forms and some of them adhere more closely to the masquerade than others.

Please also remember that artists follow art guidelines. So if a vamp portrayed in the artwork looks like something it is mostly because of the art guidelines.

Lastly, BCP has limited resources, while WotC has basically unlimited, as you kinda mentioned. But BCP can't be held responsible to the previous older artwork in the game. Even if they reprinted quite a few cards with older pics. Do remember that commisioning new art costs money and there is not an endless supply of that at BCP.

Also BCP has an art director who imposes the theme and mood of Vampie the Masquerade RPG on the artists AND White Wolf needs to approve each and every piece of art BCP is planning to use.

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21 Mar 2021 09:56 #101897 by Kotoulas
sorry to all for the bad post format, due to a copy and paste from Word (and the preview seemed fine). I adjusted it someway now.

I am aware, as said, about the shorter investments. Anyway there are a lot of great artists too. My post was intended for improvment, to convey a way to measure performance (through a simple survey among fans and customers), to identify the preferences.
I am sure they follow guidelines, but everything could be improved. Guidelines too, to be adapted to consumers evolving needs and expectations. To mantain fans and attract new ones. To grow...and then grow in investments too

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21 Mar 2021 22:16 #101898 by Malachy

BEST ARTISTS
Mathias Tapia
Brian LeBlanc
Elrem Palacios
Samuel Araya (really top!)
Erica Danell
Heither V Kreither
Robin Chyo
Michael Ward
Mark Kelly
Carmen Cornet
Gines Quinonero
Christopher Shy
Amy Wilkins
Martin de Diego Sabada
Doug Stambaugh
E.M Gist - Harmony
Tony Shasteen – Arcane Appraiser
John Bridges – Spirit Claws
Paul Tobin

Missing Ron Spencer dearly... best fera/gangrel illustrations EVER!!!

NC of Hungary

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22 Mar 2021 04:46 #101903 by smeeag
Replied by smeeag on topic Cards ARTISTS; best vs worst
For curious, you can find cards by particular artist with vdb.smeea.casa/crypt (Crypt) or vdb.smeea.casa/library (Library) using Artist filter at the very bottom.

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