#RPG – Darkzel Scholarship Winner Announced!

em1thumbThe winner of this year’s Darkzel Scholarship is Emily Vitori, who received a $600 payment thanks to the fundraising at IndieGoGo’s Generosity Platform and money raised over the last year from legacy sales of Zel’s art and those of previous winners.

Emily is a keen and enthusiastic member of the gaming community, known and loved by many. She’s also a brilliant artist with an Art Nouveau quality to much of her work, mostly accomplished via traditional media and techniques.

Emily says:

Inspired by gaming and mythology since I first overheard my brother play Dungeons & Dragons as a child, I’ve been drawing fantastical characters and creatures to help others bring their creations to life and for my own personal art therapy for many years now. I received an Art Education degree in college and did my best to instill that same joy in others through teaching art to young children for five years in Ohio, but unfortunately had to give that career up in order to help support my husband who has since become disabled. Now I work in the insurance industry but I still haven’t given up on the joy that art brings to me and others as I do freelance illustration and fantasy portraiture by commission. 

Em3thumblAnd I do suggest you give this lovely lady some commissions. I’m loathe to put her contact details up here, but if you contact me privately I can pass them on so that you can commission from her.

Emily also – very generously – offered seven pieces of art for sale as stock art and these will be going on on RPGNOW over the next few days. All art sold from the Zelart section goes on to support the scholarship in the future.

Scholarship Report for 2016/17

Weirdly, running the scholarship seems to get harder every year. I’ve stepped up publicity as much as I can, my social reach has increased (thanks to Youtube and maxing out followership on Facebook) but in spite of this and expanding publicity to directly emailing the art and design departments of every university and every college in the UK it has still proven very hard to get entries.

If anyone would like to volunteer to help publicise in the future, that would be greatly appreciated.

syreeneportraitI also received a lot of promises of support from various people that never materialised. Only Ben Rodriguez who promised a piece of donation art to help support the scholarship delivered. If you are a fantasy artist who wants to donate work to support the scholarship, you can donate at any time. Not just when we’re fundraising. Just let me know.

We’ve also suffered, again, from attempted sabotage. Because my name is attached to the project and because of my stances on free expression, along with various other issues, some people have taken it upon themselves to ‘warn’ people not to get involved or not to support. While I hope plugging away and continuing to confound the scuttlebutt will disarm these attempts it does cause damage and interferes with fundraising and getting entries. Why someone would seek to prevent hard-up artists getting aid in this way… I don’t know, but it happens.

Whatever the case, running the scholarship has become increasingly stressful and difficult and I think I will need to recruit help next year if I am to keep running it.

Watch this space.

#Art #RPG – Last call for Darkzel Scholarship Entries

finger-painting-with-textureAll entries for the Darkzel Art Scholarship must be submitted (to grim@postmort.demon.co.uk) by Midnight UK time tomorrow.

This is your last chance to enter, it can be a pre-existing piece or a new piece, you qualify if you’re in education or in reduced circumstances.

We’ve had very few entries this year, so you’re really in with a chance if you can submit anything half decent.

Good luck!

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 grim@postmort.demon.co.uk
  • 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 grim@postmort.demon.co.uk
Thank you!

James ‘Grim’ Desborough

Postmortem Studios
For the Darkzel Art Scholarship

#Art #RPG Fantasy Art Scholarship Update

b2c2f7d4325388f7e104b5194a2d7b23We’re up over $300 but still need at least $200 more to hit the goal of $500.
We’re also still need donated art that can be sold as stock art to support the scholarship fund and we still need applications from artists FOR the scholarship!

You can donate and find more details HERE

Please, please consider donating even a dollar, 5 dollars, any amount for the scholarship so that we can help support and foster new sci-fi, fantasy and horror artists to work in games and other publications in the future as well as helping out artists who might be in reduced circumstances due to unemployment, disability or other issues.

Please pass on this information wherever and however you can in forums, social media sites and elsewhere and let’s make this a success again.

#Art #RPG Darkzel Scholarship Livestream

morbo_by_shnekI’ll be doing a livestream to try and drum up some more donations for the Darkzel Scholarship this Saturday. Would love to have some games people and artists on to help raise money, talk about games and artwork, and lay down some game advice and chat.

Contact me ahead of time if you’d like to be on and keep an eye on my Youtube channel and social media (Twitter and Facebook) for the time etc, though I’ll be aiming for 8pm UK time on Saturday to start.

Bring some money to help pay for the scholarship, or if you’d like to apply it’s a good chance to ask some questions.

#Art #RPG – FREE MONEY FOR ARTISTS! The Darkzel Art Scholarship

Watch this:



Then apply, help, donate, do something to aid this project!

#RPG #Art Darkzel Art Scholarship – A Message from Zel’s Mum

Main Fundraiser: https://www.generosity.com/education-fundraising/darkzel-art-scholarship-2016-17/x/586741

Paypal Donations & Submissions to grim@postmort.demon.co.uk

Entrants must be art students or artists in reduced circumstances.

Submissions need to be in print resolution (300-600 dpi) and 1/4 page (A6) or larger.

Submissions can be in black and white, or colour.

Submissions will be sold as stock art to both promote the artist and to support the scholarship in following years.

Payout will be at the end of January or the beginning of February.

#RPG #Art Darkzel Art Scholarship – How to Enter

Donations & Submissions to grim@postmort.demon.co.uk

Entrants must be art students or artists in reduced circumstances.

Submissions need to be in print resolution (300-600 dpi) and 1/4 page (A6) or larger.

Submissions can be in black and white, or colour.

Submissions will be sold as stock art to both promote the artist and to support the scholarship in following years.

Payout will be at the end of January or the beginning of February.

#RPG #Art Darkzel Art Scholarship 2016-17 Open for Donations


Darkzel (Zachary) was an artist who worked for me over a number of years, providing art for Hentacle, Cthentacle, Blood! and a number of other projects as well as working with me on a comic project and discussing work on other, potential multimedia projects in the future.

Zel provided me with art and in return I got to see a young, talented and very promising artist grow in confidence, flexibility and skill. I got to help pay his way through his education and I got to become his friend in the process, as well as paying for some wonderful art along the way.

Zel was tragically killed while working as an English teacher in Korea, cutting short a life and a very promising career.

I’ve always enjoyed being able to help young artists by offering them work, and after what happened with Zel I decided that the best thing to do in order to honour his memory and our friendship was to set up a scholarship fund for other promising young artists.

Young fantasy, comic, anime and science fiction artists face an uphill struggle. The artistic establishment is often not equipped to understand and encourage them and art is often seen as a wasted education by parents and others. Art supplies are expensive and support can also be hard to find.

My intention is to help provide for these students, or other artists in need of help, and to create a self-perpetuating scholarship fund that builds over time.

Each year I invite donations to the fund. These donations go on top of the existing money raised over the past year from ongoing sales of Zel’s art, and of sales of donated art to support the fundraising effort as well as art from those who win the scholarship each year. Over time this will create a collection of art by talented young artists and kind donors, providing them with exposure and money, and contributing to the fund for artists in the following years.

You can help by donating money here, donating art, and by spreading the word to budding young artists in school, college or university, or artists who are in need for other reasons – unemployment, disability, mental health etc.


#RPG #Art Darkzel Scholarship 2016-17 Commencing Soon

The Darkzel Scholarship for 2016-17 will be starting fundraising soon.

This will be the fourth annual fundraiser in memory of my long-time art collaborator ‘Zel’ Harris, cruelly taken from us in a terrible accident, putting paid to what I always thought was a very promising career in art. In his memory and given working for me helped him through his education, I have set up an annual scholarship to aid genre artists working their way through college or in reduced circumstances such as disability, long term unemployment, mental health crises and other hardships.

The fundraising part will run through the month of December and we’ll be accepting entries through December and January before awarding the scholarship by the end of February.

We already have a fund of $100 from this year’s art sales, I’ll be seeking to raise another $500 on top of that for a total of at least $600 as a scholarship.

The aim is still to make the scholarship self funding and it has become apparent that a much stronger effort is going to be needed to make this happen. As such I’m doing a big push this year for donation art. As well as supporting with financial contributions, sharing on social media etc I will be hitting up artists for contributions that can be sold to help support the scholarship in the coming years.

More information will be coming soon, but for now if you’re an artist or know artists and are willing to help, please contact me about submitting a piece for sale (as stock art) to help continue to fund the scholarship. Your work will be sold electronically and will be used – with credit – by multiple role-playing and publishing companies as well as contributing via the sales to the fund.

These pieces should be genre fiction (science fiction, fantasy, horror, superheroes or similar) and 300-600dpi. Old pieces or concept pieces you haven’t otherwise sold are perfectly acceptable.

I think you, in advance, for your aid, whether in donating art or helping with the publicity and fundraising in the near future!

Love and bunnies,