Welcome back to our interview series There's No Magic Without Art!
This week we talked with artist Jason Kang, who is recently started working on Magic, and painted 18 cards so far.
Here's what Jason told us.
Tell us a little about how you got into art, and Magic more specifically.
I grew up doing art as a hobby, and would do a lot of fanart of my favorite comic books characters. When I was in high school, I found out you can actually have a career doing art and not starve, so I attended Art Center College of Design where I learned a lot of the important foundational art skills.
While in school I put up some personal work online and was contacted by Wizards, they wanted to know if I wanted to do some work for them so of course I said yes!
Were you familiar with the game before?
I was familiar with mostly the art work, but not too much experience with the game. I did see a lot of peers playing the game growing up though.
Give us a brief description of your painting process for Magic cards.
I like to start by gathering as much reference material as I can, this helps build a visual library that can help better tackle the painting task. Once I have enough reference I will start sketching different ideas, and because composition is so important for Magic cards as the images need to read well at a small size, I will start with pushing around my values first to establish the lighting and composition. I will submit three of these sketches and once I am approved to move forward with one, I will add color and keep refining until its finished.
What makes for a great art description?
I love art descriptions that are descriptive enough that I can visualize it in my head, but at the same time open ended enough that I have room to explore and experiment with different ideas.
You painted all these giant creatures that look really cool. Is painting big monsters something you're particularly fond of?
Painting monsters is one of my favorite subject matters, I think it all started from my fascination with dinosaurs and Pokemon as a child.
To follow up on that, how do you deal with the scale issue, considering the small card frame?
I like to illustrate the scale of a creature by adding something to the painting that is relatable in size to the viewer, perhaps a human or birds for example.
What was the most challenging card to paint?
The most challenging one for me would have to be Reverse Engineer , so many little parts to paint!
Of the art you made for Magic, can you name some favorites?
Where can our readers find more about your work?
I am most active on my instagram at www.instagram.com/jasonkangart, or you can find me at www.artstation.com/jasonkang.