Interview with Brad McDevitt (200 clipart critters!)

Have you always wanted to be an artist?

Just ask my mom…I was (no joke) drawing before I could talk or read… so being an artist was pretty much a life-sentence! My parents used to joke that I was an easy one to raise: give me a pencil and paper, and they knew where I could be found for the next few hours… days… weeks…

What was your first, paying art gig?

That was in the mid 80’s, back during the heyday of literary zines before the internet took over that end of the publishing industry. As a horror geek, I zoomed in on the small press of the time, ending up doing some illustrations for magazines like Deathrealm and After Hours before moving over to gaming.

How did you come to work with Postmortem Studios?

Lol… it has been so long, obviously Grim doesn’t exactly remember either. If memory serves, Grim had posted hat the forums on that he was looking for a logo for a sci-fi game; I emailed him, we hit it off, and that was 2004 or so. Clip Art Critters came a few years later after a company in Michigan stiffed me for some art, and I was looking for a way to recoup my “loss”… I really need to find that company and thank them!

Name drop… what companies have you worked with?

Err… GDW, TSR/WOTC, FASA, Atlas Games, Goodman Games, Fantasy Flight Games, Pinnacle Entertainment Group… the list goes on and on, not counting, obviously, Postmortem Studios. I have literally lost track of how many companies I have done work for since the late 1980s… thought that might just be senility setting in.

Of what work are you most proud?

That is a hard one to peg; I STRIVE to make each new piece a product to be most proud of, in terms of quality, or in terms of what I take away from the piece. For example, I am teaching myself Adobe Photoshop right now, and with each piece I finish in that program, I am learning a new trick, so I am proud of a lot of what I am accomplishing that way. I am particularly proud of my run on Ars Magica for Atlas Games, as well as my work for Age of Cthulhu for Goodman Games. But I am most proud, actually, of my achievements as the author of It Came From the Late, Late, Late Show, NightLife, and Haiiiii-Ya!

Any unfulfilled professional desires?

…not that spring to mind, except to get some of my books out of head/hard drive and out where people can enjoy them! I get paid to draw monsters, robots, and beautiful women, so I can’t complain.

What’s your favorite thing to draw?

Give me something slimy and creepy to draw, and I am happy, which is why I am so happy to work on stuff like Age of Cthulhu, actual Call of Cthulhu stuff for Chaosium, or the re-launch of Dark conspiracy.

Do you ever get to game?

Not anymore…lol… I am usually working or too busy doing art to worry about it! I still read games whenever possible though. Usually, my wife and I just end up doing a card game, or board game or pretty standard video-game stuff on the Wii.

What’s your favourite game?

That is a good question… when I did game, I absolutely loved first Champions, then Shadowrun, but for the past bit, when I have had time to game, I have wanted to run (not surprisingly) my own games or games I have in the process of writing.

What advice would you offer anyone getting into the biz? (Other than ‘Don’t)

Two things: ONE… accept that you are not going to get rich being involved the tabletop gaming industry! There have been a few people, who did get wealthy doing this, but those are like the top 1% of the business… the other 99%, like me… this is the best HOBBY in the world. TWO… be patient (this applies to any field of endeavor, I know)… it took me five years to break from working for really small companies like Tri-Tac Games to getting a job at GDW… and the pay was, while better, still nothing to get terribly excited about. On the other hand, if you are comfortable with eating Ramen noodles, and having a sense of accomplishment over a fat bank account, maybe gaming is your path to Nirvana.

Brad McDevitt has been working with Postmortem Studios for a long time now and has very kindly been releasing his clipart through us in a very mutually beneficial way. Brad’s also a stand-up geezer, an incredibly hard worker and a good friend and he deserves a hell of a lot more recognition for his efforts and his artwork which has, quietly, defined the look of a lot of gaming products over the years.

I wanted to give Brad the chance to talk a little about his work and his time involved in the gaming industry and hobby and I wanted to pay forward all the great stuff he’s done for me by drawing more current attention to him.

You can see his great online portfolio and contact him HERE.






One response to “Interview with Brad McDevitt (200 clipart critters!)

  1. Love Bradley’s work, especially his GDW days. Wonder who his favourite game illustrators are. I’ve always liked Rob Caswell, Tom Peters, Steve Venters and Blair Reynolds. Tim Bradstreet was interesting but I recognised so many of his photo sources that eventually I despaired of seeing anything original by him. How wrong I was.

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