#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.

Genre Freelancer Available

lnfmxb4ev8nitrxsma2kI AM AVAILABLE FOR FREELANCE WORK:

Currently, my 2017 plate is fairly clear and free for freelancing and consultancy (I do have a project the next couple of weeks). I’m reliable and can offer fast turnaround. I can, perhaps uniquely, provide detail and grounding to scenarios – even dungeons – to humanise them and give them a bit of depth.

Give me a try, see what I can do for your projects.

I am a 17+ year veteran of the tabletop game publishing world with lots of experience in freelancing and self-publishing.

I’ve worked for Wizards of the Coast, Steve Jackson Games, Nightfall, Cubicle Seven Entertainment and more. I have also written fiction and worked on social media computer games, packing a lot of meaning and character into short pieces of text.

As a self-publisher, I have overseen every step of the publication process from concept through to publication including writing, editing, layout and modification.

I also produce Youtube material and have begun producing audiobooks. If you need some narration for a video project or an audiobook reading, I can help.

Here’s some of the services I can offer, and the minimum prices offered – though anything is negotiable up or down depending on the client. I will work pseudonymously if that is a concern for you.

You can also book me now through Fiverr or Peopleperhour.

  • New game writing (raw text): $0.03c/word (minimum)
  • Fiction/Flavour Text/Copy Writing to Order: $0.03c/word (minimum)
  • Proofreading/Light Editing/Commentary: $0.01c/word (second and third deeper passes are possible).
  • ePublishing/RPG Publishing consultation. Skype/Hangout/Call: $20/hour.
  • Consultation on your game project: $20/hour.
  • Layout (InDesign): $11 an hour.
  • Stock Art Shopfront: Postmortem studios have a huge stock art catalogue from multiple artists and we’d love to add you to that storefront. If you’re an artist who wants to sell your stock art but doesn’t want to deal with the accounts and uploads etc with your own storefront (which would be my first recommendation) then I can do that for you for 50% (I round up your payouts). Even if you don’t want to do this through me I recommend doing it anyway for all artists and can consult on best practice if you need advice.
  • Game Project Completion: Got a game project or text that isn’t quite ready for production? Want someone else to project manage and get it up and ready for sale – and sold? 50/50 split.
  • Voice Work: If you find my dulcet tones to your liking, I’m available for voice over work and narration, recording audiobooks and more. Rates negotiable, starting at $11 per hour.
  • Promotion/Interview: Free. If you have a product you want to pimp out or would like to just talk game design and culture you’re welcome to talk to me and appear on my Youtube channel.

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

navvywithabeardDONATE

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.

DONATE

#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,

Grim

x

#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).

***

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.

***

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.

#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.