This past month I’ve had the pleasure of creating art with Scott Kurtz for a new tabletop card game by the world-famous game designer Jason Bulmahn! Pirate Loot is a quick-to-learn, devilish-to-play game of skull-duggery, high adventure, and competitive treasure-hoarding for up to 4 players.
The game is suit-based, which means that with each card you draw, you’ll be building a hand – er, crew – of pirates from different factions. Each faction has a different in-game behavior, enabling you to grab more treasure, steal crew from your opponents, backstab, or weasel your way out of discards!
We started out with just one pirate image per faction, but since the game has cruised past its initial $20k printing budget, these will only be the first of dozens of unique crewmembers!
It’s always a blast to illustrate using Scott’s concepts and style, so I’ve been enjoying myself thoroughly. I can’t wait to illustrate the rest! You can see more at Pirate Loot’s Kickstarter page, or pledge to receive updates and get in on exclusive cards that won’t appear in the commercially sold version of the game.
Earlier this year I had the pleasure of providing illustrations for a personal essay in Oregon Humanities Magazine, written by Dionisia Morales.
The article (“Picture Their Hearts”) discusses the author’s parents’ mixed-race marriage in 1950’s America, her experiences growing up biracial in a family that didn’t talk much on the subject of race and identity, and recounts adult conversations with her now elderly (but still reluctant) mother.
The story opens with descriptions of her parents’ honeymoon photo album.The challenges in this assignment involved making the images relatable without being too specific – the author didn’t want any of her actual family portraits to be referenced.
The art director thought that a comics-inflected set of illustrations would keep the material from feeling too clinical or academic (I also created several word balloons for pull quotes).
I ended up suggesting the presence of photos as much as possible while keeping faces not entirely in-view (with the exception of President Obama, whose public image I thought formed an interesting contrast to the “hidden” visual world of the family.)
I had a great time illustrating this really intimate and thought-provoking story. Many thanks to AD Jen Wick at Oregon Humanities!
Another page with the Roma family, although we’re almost done with this scene. Too bad; I love drawing mustaches, and the 18th century was otherwise a very clean-shaven era.
Now that election fever had passed (and thank heavens for that), it’s on to cheerier parts of the year. Coming up early on the world schedule of Festivals of Light is Diwali! It’s actually a little late this year – normally it falls in October. To celebrate, here’s my sixth goddess illustration – the Hindu goddess Lakshmi. Click to see her at full size!
Like many Hindu deities, Lakshmi has literally dozens of different forms, incarnations and names, has complex relationships with other deities (like Vishnu and Ganesh) and plays many roles. She’s probably best known for being a goddess of abundance – and that can mean simple good luck, personal fulfillment, or material wealth. Lakshmi is the one who fills your cup.
In most devotional images Lakshmi is depicted standing or sitting in a giant lotus blossom, floating on a tranquil sea – a bit like Aphrodite, she was born from the ocean. She has four arms (the better to distribute wealth!) and holds lotuses in two of them. She is sometimes attended by two white elephants. This is an illustration, not a traditional devotional image, so she is behaving a little less formally here! Lakshmi is generous of spirit, so hopefully she won’t hold it against me.
By an unknown artist: Jigoku Dayu, the “Hell Courtesan.” (I can’t help but suspect that’s a mediocre translation.)