Fantasy Art Scholarship Ends this Month

Here’s a copy of the letter I’ve sent to educational art institutions. Feel free to send this information to any institutions, groups or others that you know of.

My apologies if this has reached the wrong person/department or a college/university without relevant course but I had to scrape contact emails from UCAS. Please take the moment to pass this on to the appropriate department or person.

Short version:
I run a small publishing company concentrating on producing analogue games (tabletop games, mostly role-playing games like Dungeons & Dragons but also card games, board games and electronic publishing in PDF and ebook formats). In running this company I have often had cause to hire young artists and that relationship has meant I have helped pay young artists through college and university with commissions over the years.
One young artist I worked with for several years was Zachary ‘Zel’ Harris, who was unfortunately killed a few years ago. Since then I instituted a scholarship fund in his memory. I continue to use and sell his art – as stock art – along with donated art and art from those who have previously won the scholarship. This money then goes forward to help pay the scholarship in future years.
This year the fund available is around $600 US dollar and applications are open until the end of February (with about a week’s leeway).
I would greatly appreciate it if you would let your art/design/illustration etc students know about this opportunity and encourage them to enter.
Long Version:
Hello there,
My name is James ‘Grim’ Desborough. I’m an author and game designer in the field of tabletop games. I have worked for several of the larger tabletop gaming companies and now run my own imprint, Postmortem Studios. In the course of my work it has been my privilege and pleasure to work with many young and student artists in the course of that business, helping them pay their way through college and university.
Two things drove me to create this scholarship. The death of my friend and regular contributor Zachary Harris, and my own aborted artistic career. Before I became a writer I wanted to be an artist but my interest in fantasy art, comics etc was not held by my tutors and teachers and resulted in me dropping out. Young people who are into fantasy and science fiction art, anime, manga, comics, horror etc do – sadly – often seem to get a raw deal from the formal artistic teaching structure.
To encourage them and in memory of my friend I created this yearly scholarship to try and encourage and help young artists who need all the help they can get.
How the Scholarship Works:
When Zachary died he left an amount of work that was being sold as stock art through my company for other games companies and individuals to use. I wasn’t comfortable continuing to take the money without doing something with his share so in consultation with his family we decided to use the money still being produced through the sale of the art to fund this scholarship, along with donated art and the winners of the yearly scholarship competition. At the end of each year the money raised by the sales is totted up, added to what we produce from a fundraiser and then paid out to whoever wins the scholarship. The winners art is then sold (along with any new donated art, including runner-up entries with permission from the entrants) to raise money the next year.
  • Entries for the scholarship should be sent in digital format (high quality JPG or PNG) to
  • They should be at least A6 in size at 300-600 dpi – suitable for print.
  • They should be ‘genre art’, that is they should be usable in games genre formats such as fantasy, science fiction, horror, detective, military, detective etc.
  • Entries should be send by the 28th of February 2017.
  • Entries may be sent from already existing art, so long as the entrant retains full rights to that piece.
  • Entries should be accompanied by an email with their name, any online portfolios or contact details they want to make public and why they’re applying.
  • Entries can be almost any type of art, digital, traditional media (scanned or photographed at high quality), photography and so forth. So long as it meets the other criteria.
  • Entries must come from students (in full time art education) or artists in reduced circumstances (long term unemployed, disabled, medical debt etc). Please feel free to pass on information about this scholarship to other educational institutions, departments or anyone else you think would qualify.
Please do pass on this information to your students, other art institutions and any individuals you think might qualify. We are also still accepting art donations to support the scholarship into the future and are still open for monetary donations as well. More information and the donation site can be found here:
If you have any questions please email
Thank you!

James ‘Grim’ Desborough

Postmortem Studios
For the Darkzel Art Scholarship

One response to “Fantasy Art Scholarship Ends this Month

  1. Reblogged this on Cirsova and commented:
    I just kicked $100 towards this scholarship this year – so, if you’re an artist, you should apply for it; if you have money, you should donate.

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