Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Rumours of this blog's demise...

Well that was something of a long pause between posts, eh?

So what's been happening? The One Ring is out. I have been most neglectful in not posting at least the highlights of the artwork here, but it is all over at my DeviantArt account, and indeed on my website. We went immediately into production on several supplements, so there's been no let up on the Tolkien front. Can't complain about that. I love it.

Battles of Azuran, the Facebook game I've been doing loads of art for is nearing full release. We're on the last lap there. In more general freelance I've been busy for Paizo, and D101 Games.

Shadows Over Scotland came out for Cthulhu Britannia, which was a major victory for Cubicle 7, and I'm extremely proud of the artwork the team put together for that one. It was a big book, fraught with challenges. But we did it, and it looks beautiful. Living here in Scotland I really couldn't let it be anything less, loving this country as I do.

The big news however is that on the 1st of October this year I went in house at Cubicle 7, full time, to do art direction and produce illustrations for The One Ring. There's so much art needed for the game that it made good sense to take me onboard more or less exclusively. I am still free to freelance for other companies, provided I can fit it all in. I plan on taking on a couple of things a month just to keep me fresh, which will benefit everyone.

If I can find the time I'm hoping to write up a couple of longish articles about my 12 years of full time freelance. I learned a lot of stuff, and whilst I may well return to that at some point (hopefully not for a couple of years at least), I'd like to mark the end of that particular era with some reflections on what I learned and what I did.

The sense of relief at having a confirmed income every month, and being able to focus on painting and art directing to the best of my ability without the distractions of running a business is quite a thing. I think it was time for that particular change to happen. Despite enjoying some real career highlights in the last 12 months, I've also encountered more chain-yankers and non-payers than ever before, and it has really ground me down. Whilst I don't have any regrets about being freelance for so long, I think it had reached the point where psychologically it was paying 100 cents and costing me 99.

I guess it would be wrong to make a post without some art, so here's a couple of my favourites from The One Ring:

Descending the Misty Mountains:
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Greatspider of Mirkwood:
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  1. Congrat's John, you've earned it mate.
    Great artwork, your style really lends itself to the Lord of the Rings visual athmosphere.

  2. Glad to see a new post and new art on here!

  3. Any chance of seeing a One Ring Calendar of your art.......or just a calendar of your art in general ( I'm most partial to your Dragon Warriors stuff myself.)

  4. I can't thank you enough for overseeing and being a big part of the amazing art in Shadows Over Scotland, Jon.

    My sincere hope is to be able to work with you again. :-)