#RPG #Art – ZelArt Scholarship 2017-2018

YOU CAN DONATE MONEY HERE 

IF YOU WANT TO DONATE ART, SCROLL TO THE BOTTOM

Let me sum up…

Hi. I’m James ‘Grim’ Desborough, owner of Postmortem Studios. We’re an independent RPG game and fiction publisher with a large portfolio of genre stock art. I’ve been working in the RPG industry for nearly 20 years and have worked with a lot of great artists and publishers.

For many years I worked with a young, promising artists known as ‘DarkZel’, until he was tragically killed in an accident. In his memory I have run a scholarship fund for several years as a competition, helping out young or struggling artists with money for supplies or just to help them through school. I want to help them, in the same way, I helped Zel.

This year we’re doing something a little different. My ill health will not allow me to run a full crowdfunder and competition as I have in the past, and it has also become apparent that we do not have a large enough stockpile of stock art – yet – to make the scholarship self-sustaining. To that end, this year, I intend to solicit donated art and to use the money raised here to commission art pieces from young and struggling artists, all of which will be sold as stock art to help the viability of the scholarship long term.

By helping here, you’ll be contributing to aid for young artists for years to come.

What We Need

The money raised from the last year’s sales of the scholarship stock art will be combined with whatever is raised here to commission pieces from young and struggling artists. $500 will allow us to commission a number of pieces which will then be sold on sites like RPGNOW into the games design and writing community.

‘Exposure’ has a bad rap when it comes to creative work – I’m a writer, believe me, I know – but artists who donate art or get commissioned will get exposure to a large, potential pool of clients and their contact information will be disseminated to anyone who buys their art. I will also promote them on my blogs, social media and Youtube channels. Those commissioned will, of course, also be paid!

If we don’t reach the full goal, whatever amount is raised will go on commissioning art. Similarly, if we exceed our goal, all the money raised will go on commissioning art.

What do you get? You get to help create a legacy and to make young and struggling artist’s lives a little easier.

Other Ways You Can Help

If you can’t donate, what you can do is share the campaign and encourage others to do so. You can make people aware of the existing Scholarship stock art and encourage them to buy it and use it in their own projects. If you’re an artist, you can donate work and the details for that can be found on the Postmortem Studios blog.

DONATING ART

If you’re an artist you can donate art to the stock-art stockpile to help raise money in the future – and even if you can’t donate art, please let other artists know. Art you donate will be sold as stock art to other RPG companies and publishers with the requirement that you be credited and linked. ‘Exposure’ is bullshit, as any creative person knows, but you will get some of that in addition to helping other artists.

  • Art can be of any genre. Fantasy typically sells best, then science fiction, then horror and then the rest.
  • Art can be of any style. Realistic, stylised, anime/manga, traditional fantasy, painted, sketched or any other.
  • Art can be B&W or colour.
  • Art must be submitted digitally at 300-600 dpi and preferably at approximately A4, A5 or A6 international sizes.
  • Art may be existing art, provided you have the rights it has not already been licensed to anyone else.
  • Suggestive or nude art is permissible, but not ‘full on hardcore’.
  • Violent art is permissible.
  • Art can be donated year round, but this push will run until the end of January.
  • Please mail grim@postmort.demon.co.uk your entry (or a link to a download site) and include your portfolio web address and contact email for new customers.

 

#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!

#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.

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.

Pork Dungeons

Balthazar Brokenbell: Why do female Dragonborn have boobs?

It is a question that has puzzled thaumo-anthropologists for any number years. Given that Dragonkin are lizard-like and are related to dragons, why in the seven hells do they have breasts? It’s not as if they’re mammals, it’s not like they breast feed their young so what is the point of these appendages?

Needless to say, flat out asking two-hundred pounds plus of angry, fire-breathing dragonkin about their sexual characteristics is a dangerous enterprise and people of any race can be quite reticent to talk about such things.

There were several theories about why female dragonkin were as shapely as they are prior to my investigations. Some thought that, as a magically created race, the wizard who brought them into being allowed his own desires to shape the transformative magicks that brought them into being and, being ‘typically’ male – as the Amazons would have it, could not help but give them mammalian characteristics that he found… appealing.

Some content that they were not magically created but rather were created by the gods as they are, and we should not question the will of the gods. Others that – like some life – they naturally evolved and are some sort of half-breed between lizards and mammals with the characteristics of both, somewhat like the egg-laying duck-bills of the antipodean landmass.

Given my particular ‘affliction’ and my detached viewpoint on humanoid and monstrous sexuality I was able to befriend a rather charming and friendly dragonkin by the name of Piri who, after a rapport had been set up, intimated to me the genuine nature of the dragonkin bosom.

The dragonkin bosom is a result of both convergent evolution and sexual dimorphism. The female dragonkin ‘breasts’ are, in fact, pockets in their armoured flesh, soft-lined and spacious and capable of cradling dragonkin eggs, keeping them safe and warm without the need for a nest while the female dragonkin is mobile and able to move from place to place without being tied to one place or as weighed down as a pregnant mammal. Needless to say, a nice pair of ‘egg pockets’ are attractive to dragonkin males.

The larger chest is also an aspect of sexual dimorphism in the dragonkin. The large, conic blasts of breath that we come to expect from the dragonkin are actually more of a female characteristic. Their larger chests and lungs enable them to spray their breath over a considerable area while the males tend to be able to concentrate their breath upon a smaller, more accurate area to greater effect.

A fascinating revelation for us all, I am sure.

Your servant,

Balthazar Brokenbell, Gnomish Scholar

Rules: Female dragonbreath remains the same and male dragonkin can elect to breath like that, though it’s considered effeminate. Male dragonkin can alter their breath to:

Encounter * Acid, cold, fire, lightning or poison
Minor Action Ranged Attack
Targets: One creature
Attack: Str/Con or Dex +2 Vs Reflex
Hit: 2d6+Con modifier damage. Increase to +4 bonus and 3d6 + Con modifier at 11th level, +6 and 4d6 + cons modifier at 21st level.
Special: At character generation select the ability type used and the damage type used. These remain the same for the duration of your character’s existence.