#RPG – Stock Art

We produce a butt-ton of stock art for people to use, so make sure you check it out. THIS is the Zelart section, which sells stock in memorium of Darkzel and to raise money for our scholarship scheme. Going up from today will be artwork by Geahk Burchill.

Be sure and check his site to get a better idea of his current level of skill, as many of these donated pieces are quite old!

#RPG Zelart Scholarship – More New Art For Sale

Another artist’s work added to the Zelart Scholarship section of our stock art collection. Giedrius has created two full colour pieces of art for science fiction work. You can use these pieces for personal or professional projects – subject to the attached licence – after purchase HERE. 

#RPG Clipart Critters Megabundle RELEASED

CAClabelBuy it HERE

Brad McDevitt is an industry veteran who has worked for a huge number of different companies and for many years now has been providing stock art through Postmortem Studios under the ‘Clipart Critters’ label. Brad has just hit the amazing achievement of offering a grand total of 400 pieces of stock art, covering all the genres, colour, black and white, spot and full size illustrations.

If you’re a small publisher – new or old – or a Games Master who likes making classy hand-outs, or even if you’re an independent fiction publishers you should be able to find something – many things – amongst his work that would suit your efforts. This bundle is essentially a publisher start-up pack, with enough art to – potentially – keep you going for years. It’s a FANTASTIC deal!

It may not be the absolute end-all-and-be-all of “Deals of the Century,” but the Clip Art Critter Mega-Bundle may be all a small publisher will ever need to fill his art needs! For two hundred dollars, you can purchase all four hundred images published to date… an 87% savings over the normal price! And it gets better, since a few of those are bundled collections of head-shots, so you are actually getting something like 412 individual images for the prices of four-to-eight images at normal market prices.

Image sizes range from spot illos that can be placed anywhere to help fill up a page to illustrations large enough to be used as full-pagers or even covers, in black-and-white, grayscale, and color, covering every topic of artwork from manga, to science fiction, horror, fantasy, and even some just plain art pieces. Some images are lightly NSFW, though none are pornogrpahic.

And if you have bought Clip Art Critters in the past, there is no double-buying needed: you only get those images you have not purchased int he past, and the price is reduced accordingly, so you are not wasting money out of your art budget!

This special sale runs from now until September 1st, 2016.

Zelart Scholarship Winner 2015-2016

176195This year’s winner is Erika Markkinen, a talented young artist and tattooist from Finland.

Erika is heading back into full-time education to train in digital media and has had some recent setbacks including a nasty car accident and some broken equipment, and so best fit the criteria for the award (supporting young genre artists in education).

Erika’s piece is available for sale HERE and she is available for commissions and, if you’re in Finland, tattoos.

(Full disclosure: Erika has worked for me before on FLICKPIG, where she did outstanding work drawing an adventuring party of humanoid pigs. I consulted with several people to avoid positive discrimination on my part).

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176194The runner up, who kindly donated their submission to support the scholarship was Inna Vjuzhanina.

Inna is a brilliant colour artist with some outstanding work who is, nonetheless, struggling at the moment to find commissions. If you look at her work this is somewhat hard to believe. Here portfolio contains many outstanding pieces of work, which can be viewed here. She also sells prints of her work which can be found here.

Her donated piece can be purchased and downloaded HERE.

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The scholarship faced a lot of challenges this year. It was extremely hard to get entries for reasons that aren’t 100% clear, but we did – even – face active sabotage with an apparently obsessive troll trying to ‘warn people off’ from applying and casting various aspersions. This is an enormous shame and a horrible thing to do as it only ends up hurting the very bright, young artists we’re seeking to help.

I hope we can up our game next year, perhaps by contacting colleges, schools and universities more directly, and earlier, to encourage both donations and applications.

Advice welcome.

The Last Zelart

Today I put up the last piece of art from Zel, which was a bit of an emotional experience. Now there’s not going to be any more.

Zel worked with me on a lot of things. Hentacle, Final Straw, Origins of the Specious/Sex, Dice & Gamer Chicks, stock art, even a game I made as a personal present for my friends.  He helped me make a comic – something I always wanted to do.

We’re going to use the residual income from his stock art to make a sort of ‘micro scholarship’. I’m still working out all the details. It’ll be used to help out, even if its just in some minor way, an art student somewhere in the world, once per year. Probably helping those more into the illustration, comic, anime, etc style who can sometimes suffer from academic indifference and disrespect.

Please Stop Selling Bad Art

Wait. I’m the bad guy?

You’re not good enough yet.

Really, you’re not.

I know that people are always out for cheap art to illustrate their RPG projects and that not everybody’s presentation is professional or even semi-professional. I tend to go for fairly simple, minimalist layouts for that reason but please…

Stop selling your bad art.

Any schmuck can put together wooden looking poser dolls and anyone can trace an outline. You’ll get better with practice but that horrible scratching you’re selling for a buck a throw? It’s doing everyone harm, including you.

How is it doing harm?

1. You’re giving yourself a bad reputation – Get a rep for shitty art and people will stop looking and checking.

2. You’re pushing product off the front page of sites like RPGNOW – If you’re throwing up shitty sketches twice a day you’re contributing to product churn and pushing worthy product off the front page. The front page is important advertising for people with new product. Books that take months to put together are being knocked out of view by your napkin doodles. Stop it.

3. You’re depressing the acceptable price of stock art and flooding the market with crud. – That makes it hard to search through and find the good stuff and the price of stock art is already low, very low, compared to direct commissioning.

Now, what constitutes crap art is very subjective. I’m not saying everything has to be perfect and the ‘dodgy doodle’ can even be a stylistic choice for some games trying to capture to old-skool feel. There’s a few things you can do though, even if you can’t stop:

Being Less Crap:

1. Find honest people to give you honest, critical feedback.

2. Consolidate your releases. Don’t release ten, individual, shitty pieces of art for a buck each. Put them together in a collection and sell them. The good pieces will stand out, you won’t flood the front page so much and you’re providing value and giving yourself space to practice.

3. Do spot illustrations. Spot illustrations don’t have to be as good, typically and if they’re a little rough they just recall classics like Fighting Fantasy books or old adventure modules.

4. If you can’t do spot illustrations, do graphical elements, textures, things like that are always useful and you don’t need to be OMFGBRILLIANT to make something useful.

Now, I’ve also become aware of rumours about a disturbing trend amongst other small RPG companies. Reselling artist’s work as stock art.

This is a ‘Dick Move'(tm). Don’t do it. Let’s be honest here, most of us cannot afford what the work of these artists is worth. Allowing them to retain right of resale and reuse of their art or allowing the rights to revert after 3/6/12 months is a way we can help compensate for being cheapskates.

The stock art that I sell is commissioned AS stock art from the artists involved and includes highly detailed and highly stylised art depending on the artist. If I’m selling stock art money is going to the artists and I’m providing a central clearing house with, what I hope, is a good reputation for decent art. I’m not taking advantage as I fear some companies and individuals may be.

Don’t treat artists like crap and if you are an RPG artist I think you should be asking for these rights and finding places to sell your art – after rights revert – to help you squeeze a living out of a tough business. At this point, honestly, this should be standard procedure for small press.

TLDR: Don’t sell shit, don’t be a dick, re-sell your art yourself.

RavenArt: Steampunk RELEASED

Cheaply priced stock-art useful for your Steampunk, alt-historical or even planetary romance games.

Get it HERE