#RPG #ART – Zelart Scholarship 2018-2019

DONATE, SHARE, ENTER!

Many artists are struggling. The gig economy, the degree of competition, university or college fees, it all adds up to be a massive discouragement to many artists and for those who make their living from their art, life can be extremely precarious. The Zelart Scholarship seeks to redress this for those who have the biggest challenges ahead of them, young or disadvantaged genre artists. For several years we’ve been doing all we can to help.

The Zelart Scholarship

Hi, my name is James ‘Grim’ Desborough. I’m an author and roleplaying game designer from the UK, with my own small press publisher, Postmortem Studios. I run the Zelart Scholarship in memory of my friend and collaborator, ‘Zel’.

Zel was an artist I worked with and helped through his education. We met through friends and formed a strong working relationship together. We made card games together and he provided illustrations for several of my gaming books. I got a great sense of satisfaction from helping a young, budding artist through school and watching his talent blossom.

Sadly, Zel was killed in an accident before I got to see him fully achieve his artistic potential or the success he so richly deserved.

Casting about for something I could do to commemorate him, I remembered how we had met, how the work I gave him had helped him so much and how good it had felt to nurture that talent. The best way to remember Zel, I felt, was to do the same for others.

In my day to day work I do what I can, deliberately seeking out young, marginalised, disabled, unemployed, homeless and other disadvantaged artists to give them a leg up, money and help in getting the attention of the RPG and publishing community to get them into more regular work.

The Zelart scholarship is a natural extension of this. A way to hunt out and promote new talent and to give them a lump sum of cash to smooth their way.

What We Need & What You Get

We sell Zel’s back catalogue of stock art, along with donated artworks and the artwork of past winners to raise funds over the year and supplement that with what we can raise via this fundraiser. This isn’t about selling a product to you, but what you get out of it is more, reasonably priced stock art, a way to nurture new artists and a warm sense of self-satisfaction.

Whatever money we get will go to the scholarship winner, if we raise a great deal over and above our target we may institute second or third tier awards. Whatever we raise will go to artists.

Risks & Challenges

It can be challenging to find people both to sponsor and to enter into this scholarship. Previous years this has proven very challenging. Whatever you can do to spread the word to potential sponsors, donators and entrants is greatly appreciated.

Other Ways You Can Help

Besides a contribution, you can help out in many other ways.

Are you a young artist or an artist suffering from reduced circumstances? Then enter!

Are an artist who is doing OK for themselves and has some spare personal pieces they don’t mind being sold to support this enterprise? You can donate art!

Do you know a young artist or an artist who needs the money due to disability, unemployment or other issues? Tell them about it!

Rules for Entry

Entries to try and win the scholarship award should meet the following requirements:

  1. At least A6 at 300 dpi and able to be delivered digitally.
  2. It is preferred that you have a Paypal account for ease of payment.
  3. You must be either a student, or an artist in reduced circumstances, whatever those might be.
  4. Your art must fit into the loose definition of ‘genre art’. That is science fiction, fantasy, horror and similar.
  5. Adult art is permitted, but nothing ‘hardcore’. Consider your limit to be that of ‘burlesque’.
  6. Contact for further clarifications and entires is grim AT postmort DOT demon DOT co DOT uk.

#RPG #Art #Cosplay – ZelArt Scholarship Commissions

000564-Free-logomaker-Pencil-Tree-Logo-01The ZelArt Scholarship fundraiser has paid out and combined with the private donations there’s about $600 to play with. As I’ve covered, this year we’ve done things a little differently. To increase the sustainability of the project and the scholarship, this year the money will be going to as many art commissions as possible to be sold as stock art to support the scholarship into the future.

To that end, I am now looking for artists to commission.

I would prefer, still, to hire artists who are at school, college or university or who need the money due to some hardship or necessity. I’d still like to help people, even doing things this way around, as much as possible.

  • Obviously, the cheaper people can provide work the better, as we can get more work to sell. That said here’s what we’re looking for…
  • Original content – you can provide suggestions or we can.
  • Fantasy, science fiction, horror, post apocalypse, steampunk, modern cop/spy/soldier, occult and other genre material.
  • Characters, weapons, ships, vehicles, anything that fits. Spot-art for pages would also be good, several smaller pieces (like spot art) on a page would also be acceptable.
  • Quarter, half or full page at 300-600 dpi, colour or black and white (B&W sells better).
  • We’re opening up to cosplayers too, the same sorts of requirements apply and your content must be original. There isn’t the money to commission costumes or shoots, but you would be helping a good cause and making a little bit of cash!

Commissioned art will be paid on completion and your contact details and portfolio link will be included as part of the stock license. This means that any company or individual using your art will be given your information and must include it in any products that they produce. ‘Exposure’ has a bad rep, with good reason, but on top of being paid it can’t hurt!

If any artists want to DONATE art, they can also do that and it would be greatly appreciated. We’re open to that all year round.

Contact HERE for more details or to put yourself forward.

#RPG #Art Darkzel Scholarship 2014

zel

The IndieGoGo section of this scholarship fundraiser can be found HERE.

Introduction

Last year I discovered that my good friend, Zachary Harris – better known to you as Darkzel – had been killed. He was in Korea, teaching English, when he was struck by a bus while crossing the road and was killed. A tragic, pointless waste of the life of a talented artist who – I believe – would have had a grand future ahead of him.

I have struggled to think of a useful and respectful way in which to honour Zel’s memory and to continue his legacy. In many ways our relationship was defined by the fact that the work I gave him helped pay him through his schooling and that we became friends as I watched him grow as an artist and a person.

Life is tough for students as a whole and art students, perhaps, in particular. All that work, often without the support of friends and family, chasing a dream that may, ultimately, never work out and never pay. Fantasy artists are being crunched quite a bit as well, work is scarce and pay hasn’t really increased – at least in analog gaming – for some ten years or so.

If in some, small way, I can help other art students to get through their schooling, even if it’s just to make sure they’re kept in ramen noodles, that strikes me as a good way to remember Zel and to continue to help others in the same situation.

The Scholarship
Every year, every December, I will announce the opening of the Darkzel Scholarship for applications. This will consist of the previous year’s takings in terms of stock art sales from Zel’s work and sales of the previous winner’s art. This will help keep the project relevant, continue to add material and continue to increase the scholarship fund and material year by year to keep it relevant.

This year’s scholarship amount will be somewhere over $150 US, which isn’t enough so I hope to raise more. Please scroll down to the bottom to see details on that. I may also crowdfund to add to the amount.

The Details

  • You will submit a piece of art at least A6 in size and at least 300 dpi, by email to grim@postmort.demon.co.uk
  • You grant permission, should you win, for this piece of art to be sold as stock art on RPGNOW.com. Money raised from these sales will go to next year’s scholarship.
  • You will include the name you wish to be credited by. The terms of use of the stockart license requires the users to credit you.
  • You will include a link to your online portfolio, deviantart page or similar.
  • You must be able to accept payment via Paypal.

FAQ
Q: Does it have to be adult art?
A: 
It doesn’t have to be adult art. Zel worked on adult projects like Hentacle and Cthentacle but he also produced stock art that wasn’t suggestive (as well as some that was). Zel also did science fiction, fantasy and horror work for me and elsewhere he did comics, adult and not, furry and not, LGBT and not. Zel did a huge amount of different stuff and you can do what you want too. Do what you love. Equally, don’t feel you have to hold back on what you draw. I prefer stuff with a bit of edge and sexiness, so that may give you an advantage.

Q: Does it have to be B&W or colour?
A: 
It doesn’t matter. Do what you prefer. Colour is more work and more impressive – often – but it is also less useful in many cases as stock art. There’s pluses and minuses to both. It’s up to you.

Q: Does it have to be anime style?
A:
Zel started out with a much more typical anime style and I think a lot of people have gotten their start this way in the last 10-20 years in the way my generation got a lot out of copying the style of superhero and sci-fi comics. His style developed over time and he’d really begun to find his own artistic voice towards the end, away from those roots. So no, you do not have to stick to a comic/anime or any other particular style. The only thing it really has to be is genre based. That is science-fiction, fantasy, horror, pulp, superhero etc.

Q: Can I make more than one submission?
A:
You can submit as many pieces of art as you want to. They will be considered as a single entry however.

Q: When will I be paid?
A:
Submissions will be accepted through December to Jamuary each year and I will try to make a decision and pay by the end of February.

Q: Do I have to be a student?
A: 
Yes. The Darkzel Scholarship is meant to help up and coming artists of the future. To give them a paying gig, help them get through school/college, soften some of the monetary pain day to day and to give them genuine exposure and the chance to have their art appear in real products and pay-it forward to others in following years. You can be an adult student though, the problems are no less when you’re juggling family, ‘real’ work and learning. People who are not students can ask for consideration on the basis of hardship, unemployment, needing money for art supplies/fear etc but the primary focus is students.

Q: Can I donate my submission for sale without winning?
A: 
Absolutely! If you want your submission to go up for sale anyway, even if you don’t win, please say so. The more art we have, the more we can earn for the next year’s scholarship. When you make your entry, please say so!

Q: How will you be judging the winner?
A: 
What I’m looking for is an ineffable quality. It is hard to define. I’m just looking for something that excites and engages, that stands out as a usable and great piece of illustration.

Q: I can’t enter, how can I help?
A:
Spread the word, tell students that you know that this is available. Talk about it on forums, tweet, facebook, G+, youtube, whatever you can do to pass it on. You can also Paypal me donations to add to the fund should you so wish. If you want to donate art anyway, to the ZelArt fund, you can do that too. Just contact me and show me the piece you want to offer and money raised from sales of that art will be added to the pot for upcoming years.

Q: Can I submit art I’ve already done or does it have to be new?
A:
I would prefer you make a piece for this, but I appreciate December can be busy what with Christmas etc. So long as the submitted piece was created and completed within the year of the competition (2014 this year) that would be OK.

Q: What happens with the image rights?
A: Anyone who wins or allows their art to be sold to aid the scholarship allows that art to be used in projects by anyone who buys the stock. Otherwise you retain all rights. You can sell prints, make T-shirts, use it in your galleries and portfolios, sell it to somebody else. Whatever you want.

Q: Zel was very supportive of his LGBT friends and community. How does that figure into this?
A: If you want to do LGBT themed art to submit, you’re more than welcome. It won’t impact at all on your chances and would be fitting.

#RPG – Forever Summer – Choclaterreur!

Here’s the session of Forever Summer I just ran online for the Gamergate Toys for Tots stream.

Please to be donating mucho dinero in a good cause.

Love

Grimsterino

x

Sophie Lancaster Foundation Update

logo

Last month we made a pledge to make a donation to the Sophie Lancaster Foundation on the back of people’s poor reactions to Privilege Check and as it was World Goth Day at the time.

I am pleased to announce that after royalties, prior commitments and other costs, we were able to donate $200 (US) to the Sophie Lancaster Foundation.

Visions and ideas about combating intolerance and bigotry may vary, ideas of what constitutes appropriate humour may vary, but hopefully we can all agree that working against these things is a good idea. I encourage you to donate further.

Our ongoing charitable effort is a memorial to DarkZel, a long time artistic associate of Postmortem Studios and a friend who is sorely missed. If you would like to help us further with our charitable efforts, the DarkZel Scholarship is intended to help young art students pay their way through college and you can help with donations of art to be sold to raise funds for the scholarship, or with explicit monetary donations – contact me for details.

Quiet Riot

I’ve never lived in London but I’ve spent a massive amount of time there and have plenty of friends there as well as the other cities affected by the unrest that we’re experiencing in this country. I’m not the kind of person to shy away from talking about things or exploring them just because they’re ‘close’ but I am finding it hard to do some of my work as it relates to London in the wake of unrest and destruction and seeing it happen for real and how ineffective the forces of law and order are in protecting people really brings it all home.

Part of the reason I create is in order to affect people, to make them think. When I run games I like to examine moral issues. When I create settings I try to think about the plausible political and social implications of those settings an the effects of things like magic, gods, monsters, multiple intelligent species and so on.

When I wrote @ctiv8 I hoped that people would take it on board and think about applying some of the ideas of the heroic adventurer in their real lives and make a genuine difference. Naive? Probably. I took some of the ideas from Warren Ellis’ global frequency but where GF is very much based around a hierarchical structure around Miranda Zero, parallel to more conventional structures @ctiv8 was deliberately more of an anarchistic, self-organising structure, inspired by some of the earliest Anonymous actions and the early use of social media in protest movements. If anything those ideas and speculations have been shown to be inadequate compared to what has happened in just a few, short years.

There’s as much bad as good going on using these communications methods. The rioters are using BlackBerry IMs to organise flying raids and to group up to attack places but equally others have used Twitter to organise cleanups and pictures of rioters and looters have shown up all over social media to be identified through crowd sourcing.

The problems that have lead to these riots are societal and exist top to bottom. There are no excuses but there are reasons. Reasons that are being swept under the carpet by the narrative of ‘lawless scum’ and the PM has already made reference to ‘phony human rights concerns’ which is an appalling thing for a Prime Minister of a free country to say. People are being rushed through the courts, there are going to be miscarriages of justice.

@ctiv8 is a game that’s supposed to be about making a change and a difference in the real world and it’s worth just thinking about how that might be done or what might be done. To that end here’s some adventure seeds and ideas for @ctiv8 based around the problems we’re facing.

During the Riots

  • Vigilantism is rarely a good solution but @ctiv8 members who are part of the security services themselves or have appropriate experience may be able to more effectively counter riots and looting in a direct, physical manner.
  • Police and other forces are behind technologically. They’re even behind uneducated street kids when it comes to social media and are restrained legally and technologically from tapping into their information. A skilled @ctiv8 hacker has no such restrictions.
  • Police are often heavy-handed and evidence gathering can prevent miscarriages of justice. An ad-hoc citizen surveillance network, perhaps run over wireless from a cluster of cheap webcams, could protect people from false accusations and help finger genuine culprits.
  • There’s a big threat that the issues that are the root causes of this civil disobedience and thuggery, the reason that there’s these social problems are going to be forgotten in the mainstream media in the overriding scourge of Daily Mail outrage journalism. An @ctiv8 cell with the right skills could insert messages or get information out there that subverts the main narrative.

After the Riots

  • People  have lost a lot and many of them don’t have insurance or a way to rebuild. Some don’t even have homes. They might have had more than the people that robbed them or burned down their shops but now they have nothing. A ‘Robin Hood’ scheme to steal from those who genuinely have too much to help those who have nothing would seem to be the thing to do. A ‘caper’ against the bankers and politicians who created the crisis to redistribute the wealth.
  • People aren’t going to ‘dob in’ those who did these things. Either through fear or a sense of loyalty. There might be other ways to find them that are available to @ctiv8 members and aren’t available to the Powers That Be.
  • So long as the disconnect between the people involved in the rioting and greater society exists these problems will continue. A more long term solution/campaign might be based around trying to re-engage the community with society, deal with some of its problems, ‘take out’ the problem people, drug dealers etc and create a more stable and invested local structure.

 And, if you want to make a real difference in real life, think about these issues. Think about the ‘why’ without excusing the ‘what’. Find local charities and groups in London and the other affected cities and make the world a better place, one gamer at a time.

Charity Update

I am EVEN happier to report that due to a miscalculation and a bit of negotiation our charitable efforts actually raised $1275 for the Earthquake/Tsunami relief fund for Japan. Even bigger thanks to everyone who donated work or supported the effort, we made a huge amount of money considering the relatively short time it was available and the limited avenues it was available in.

Big love to everyone.

You can continue to donate directly HERE
I am definitely going to look into doing more community-aided charity projects in the future, most likely doing something for Child’s Play or its British equivalent. I hope you’ll all be as helpful and responsive to that in the future!