Giants of Dragonlance Art NexusCon Transcript
Friday, July 21, 2006
This is a transcript of the Giants of Dragonlance Art NexusCon chat featuring Todd Lockwood, Jennifer Meyer, and Jeff Easley.
Sephzero Greetings Bnaa.
Bnaa Hello everyone
Bnaa I'm glad it worked, Jeff. Thanks for bearing with us
Sephzero Greetings JMeyer.
Kalonsor whats the @ next to your guy's mnames mean?
Ravenmantle Secdon, this room will be moderated. That means that only the artists, us mods, Nexus staff, and the person asking the question can talk.
Bnaa Hello Ms Meyer
JMeyer HI everyone!
Ravenmantle Hey there :)
Ravenmantle First, this is the main chat room. There is another chat room but that's for the fans to ask question which we'll then approve. Then they will ask the question in this room for you artists to answer.
Ravenmantle Second, this room will be moderated. That means that only the artists, us mods, Nexus staff, and the person asking the question can talk.
nincompoop yo, jeff easley
nincompoop and jmeyer
jeffeasley yo back atcha!
Kalonsor hello jeff
SarinLorebow hey ya'll!
JMeyer wow, we are getting a nice group. :)
Sephzero Bring them in now.
jeffeasley O.K. 'fess up...how many relatives of deceased Nigerian businessmen are there here?
JMeyer not me....
Sephzero At least they are not related to the Prince.
Ravenmantle Not me either. B'naa is weird so he might :)
Sephzero Greetings Lockwood.
Archangel21 Welcome lockwood
Lockwood Todd Lockwood, signing on...
Kalonsor hello Todd
jeffeasley Hi Todd..shouldn't you be painting?
Lockwood Hello back. Got my tunes up loud, and ready to rock!
Lockwood Of course ishould be painting!
Ravenmantle Jeff, it's called multitasking :)
Lockwood Just shot some Drizzt roughs off to the art director at WotC
Lockwood What about you, Jeff? Shouldn't you be painting too?
Lockwood How the he.. heck are you anyway?
jeffeasley I've opted for chips and salsa...
Ravenmantle Alright, now that we're all here we might as well get this show on the road :)
Lockwood Oh... good idea ...
Ravenmantle First of all, I'd like to thank you guys so much for joining this NexusCon chat session! This is the first time we try organizing an event like the NexusCon and we're overwhelmed by the willingness of the people behind the Dragonlance world to come and chat with us.
Lockwood The pleasure is all yours. Um MINE, I mean. ;o)
JMeyer happy to be here
Ravenmantle Hehe, well before we open the floor to questions, would you mind saying a few words about yourselves?
Lockwood Hello to everyone here and abou to be here
JMeyer im about 5foot, 5 inches. brown hair..
Lockwood I'm Todd Lockwood, I started at TSR in 1996, (and Jeff was already legend) and have been working in the industry since. I like corn.
jeffeasley I was with TSR/WOTC for 20+ years,and am the world's slowest typist...
JMeyer Im Jennifer Meyer, Ive been doing interior art for the current DL books.
Lockwood Where are you now, Jeff? Freelancing or still at What'sit'sname?
Lockwood Hi, Jennifer! Nice to virtually meet you!
jeffeasley I'm freelancing at this point...You thinking of Raven?
JMeyer Its great to meet you too! Its been a while since I've met you in person.
Lockwood Yes, Raven.
Lockwood Where did we meet? Refresh my lame memory...
JMeyer We met at origins and gen con about 5 years ago. I was the odd girl that asked all the questions and smiled alot
JMeyer Lockwood, I like your collum in Imagine FX
Ravenmantle Alright, I think nincompoop has a question for you guys. nincompoop?
Lockwood Oh THAT girl! Wait... which that girl...? ;o)
nincompoop all three: Where do you find references for the locales, like the beautiful castles, scenery, taverns etc.?
Lockwood I have a secret land behind the water heater in my basement. I go there and take pictures, bring them back abnd trace them
nincompoop aah! hehe
jeffeasley I just avoid doing beautiful castles,scenery,and taverns...
JMeyer Ive been doing more landscapes lately. I keep a large reference file.
Lockwood No, seriously, every artist has several sorts of swipe files thhat they go to: Ihhave a collection of magazine pictures that I collected years ago, f everything from people to animals to places, landscapes etc. Then there is what you internalize all your ife as an artists, looking at other people's work and the world around you. And now there is also Google. Plenty of places to find inspiration.
JMeyer Much luv for google!
jeffeasley I need to write this stuff down...
nincompoop alright, :)
JMeyer The travel chanel is great
Bnaa There'll be a transcript on the nexus sometime tomorrow :)
Lockwood Oh, yeah. Dig it. And I like to watch the fashion channels, especially if they're having one of those French Haut Cotier shows with the outlandish costumes. Great reference for magic garb and such.
nincompoop kewl, thanks
JMeyer Theres a fashion channel???
Lockwood In fact, I ought to Google up some fashion designers and start another swipe file.
Ravenmantle Carteeg has the next question
Carteeg [Question] How long does it usually take for an image to go from concept to final form?
JMeyer wow that can vary. It depends on the level of detail, and how fast you get approval.
Lockwood That depends on the image. A cover painting can take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks.
jeffeasley A couple weeks or so,using oils...
Ravenmantle Alright, next question comes from Kalonsor.
Kalonsor [question] Todd, when will you update your site again?
Lockwood When I can whip my web guy's a$$ hard enough. He's working on an update to the cards section as we speak. I hope to have a bunch of new stuff up by November first, so that folks can take advantage of it for the Holidays
Kalonsor ok, thanks
jeffeasley Wow,Todd's web guy has an A$$...cool!
Ravenmantle Todd Lockwood (again), What's your role in the Plotus products released by Malhavoc Press? I believe you did the cover art for the boxed set but are you involved with the project in other ways?
Lockwood Nope. Just the cover art.
Ravenmantle (From Khirsah) All three, How detailed are the picture renderings before you decide to paint them, like do you do the entire picture, shadows and highlights and all in pencil before you paint or do you just paint all that in?
Lockwood Sue and Monty are great folks to work with though. Good products, very open to ideas
JMeyer Usually I do a tight pencil and then decide on the computer.
jeffeasley I do a final line drawing and do the shading as I go.
Lockwood I used to do fairly tight pencil drawings, then copy them to watercolor paper (process on my website, in the FAQ), but as I became more confident I faked it more and more. Jeff is the master of faking it. You should watch him paint sometime. These days, working digitally, the rawing IS the painting in a sense, so the question is moot.
Lockwood Jeff would sit and stare at this blank board for , like, three hours, and I'd be thinking what the heck is he up to? Then I'd come back an hour later and his painting would be half done. Amazingly fast.
Ravenmantle The next question comes from Carteeg.
jeffeasley half done or half baked?
Lockwood Me? Now? Half baked.
Carteeg [Question] Of each of your own Dragonlance works, which is your favorite and which is your... least favorite?
Lockwood That's ike asking me which of my children I value most. All have qualities that I like or dislike, things I think could be improved; some that are still ahnging around the house and some I wish I hadn't sold. The same is true of my paintings. :o)
jeffeasley I like the earlier calendar pieces....
Lockwood I suppose I would have to admit that the Dragonlance Chronicles cover has a special place in my heart ...
JMeyer Not sure.. I like the fire archer and bloody monk from the current Knight book. And I loved designing feal-thas.
Ravenmantle Next up is AA21.
Archangel21 [Question] How hard is it for you to go from authors descriptions of charecters to actually painting them?
JMeyer not hard, unless I get the wrong description.
Lockwood Not too hard, usually. Bob Salvatore (not Dragonlance, I know, sorry) uses such spare descriptions that it's really kind of a joy. I can do almost whatever I like.
jeffeasley I'd rather go from a written description,than reproduce a character that has already been designed.
Lockwood Amen to that, Jeff!
Lockwood Or at least leave me leeway to personalize the design a little. As Brom is fond of saying, "they have to change clothes occasionally, right?"
Ravenmantle Hehe, I suppose they do :)
Ravenmantle Jeff Easley, You did artwork for Dragonlance in the same period as Larry Elmore and Keith Parkinson. How was it working with those two (and the rest of the guys at TSR for that matter)? Were you a full time TSR staff member at the time?
jeffeasley Yes,we all worked in one room at TSR.It was great...I was young and so much in love....
Lockwood You promised Larry you wouldn't talk about that ...
jeffeasley It was very motivational trying to keep up with the other guys...a little friendly rivalry.
Lockwood Still is, in a way. But I do miss working in a pool with other artists. Talent pool, not swimming pool.
jeffeasley If it can be talked about,Larry has talked about it.
Ravenmantle Tracy Hickman told some anecdotes about that time on his and Margaret's book tour. Are there any incidents of that time you remember particularly well?
jeffeasley Is this for me?
Ravenmantle Yes, sorry :)
jeffeasley I never went on any book tours....
Ravenmantle No, I mean anecdotes about the time at TSR :D
Lockwood Man, if Jeff typed every great story he has about those days, we
Lockwood d be here until forever ...
Ravenmantle Hehe, we'd better move on then :)
Kalonsor [question] All three: what's your most recent peice of artwork?
JMeyer Fey for the Fariey book by Firefly games.
jeffeasley I recall when TSR was doing poorly and couldn't put us up for GenCon,so the artist's stayed in a tent at a campground.Elmore snores...
Lockwood I just finished a cover for the Legends of Drizzt Comic Book omnibus. It's Drizzt and Guenhhyvarr
Lockwood Or however you spell that impossible name ...
Lockwood And a magic card
jeffeasley I did a werewolf for a book from whitesilver publishing....
Lockwood Next up: More Legends of Drizzt recovers, a Tor cover, a couple of private covers, White Wolf ...
Ravenmantle Archangel21 is up next.
Archangel21 [Question] Do you prefer to paint charecters, creatures, or landscapes and why
Lockwood Yes, because without those three elements, there isn't much else.
jeffeasley I agree....
JMeyer good point
Lockwood I prefer the critters and characters to the landscapes, though, I guess.
JMeyer i prefer characters and landscapes. Ive been getting into skys lately.
Lockwood Critters let you cut loose the most. And I agree on skies. One of my favorite things.
Lockwood In fact, I prefer to paint landscapes that are mostly sky.
Ravenmantle Seph, you have a question?
Sephzero [Question] Fantasy art tends to have its share of odd critters to it. Were there any that you found particularly difficult to draw?
JMeyer Icky looking preagnet women with bugs. passed on that one.
jeffeasley Not difficult....some have just been annoying and pointless.
Lockwood When I did the illustration for the Invisible Stalker, the brief said that it looks like a vague swirling shape. So that's what I painted, using pillars behind a character (about to be attacked) to reveal the distortion. When the R&D guys saw it, they said "but we can't see the monster!" Well... yeah. he's an invisible stalker. Emphasis on Invisible. They said "Well, then we want to see what he looks like if you're using True Sight"
JMeyer *bonks head on computer keyboard*
Lockwood Line from Time Bandits: "So THAT'S what an invisible barrier looks like!"
Sephzero I remember the original 2nd edition Monster Manual art for that monster.
Lockwood You talking about the blank frame? Classic.
Ravenmantle Jennifer Meyer, One of your pieces of artwork for the latest Dragonlance sourcebook, Knightly Orders of Ansalon, depicts a very statuesque archer, a blood oath archer. How did that image come about? I mean, it's a very unusual and very refreshing way to depict an archer in the heat of battle.
Lockwood An archer in heat?
JMeyer I remember I wanted to have the bird under the lady, so I had to raise her up alot (hence the collum). She had to be wearing robes but the top needed to be tight since shes an archer and I figured her hair should be up as well. I kept the thorn motif to the hair. I added the fire plumes off to the side to show shes been busy
Ravenmantle Not quite Lockwood :D
JMeyer The model will blush when I tell her that.
Ravenmantle Next up is Kalonsor
Kalonsor [question] Todd, did you paint the new cover for Bob Salvatore's book Starless Night, and the cover of his new book, Road of the Patriarch?
Lockwood Yep! Working on Seige of Darkness as we speak. (I accidentally typed Seige of Dorkness at first ...)
Kalonsor They look awesome.
Weldon [question] Icky looking pregnant women with bugs???? okay. I'm curious, do you remember who requested that from you?
Lockwood Thanks! Road of the Patriarch was especially fun. Riding Nightmares. That flaming mane had to be dealt with before they could sit comfortabley ...
Weldon for JMeyer.
JMeyer Oh goodness. I had two request for icky pregnant women. I think one was from a comic book company and the other an out of business gaming company
Ravenmantle I wonder why they're out of business...
Weldon Wow. not surprised it's out of business
Ravenmantle Next up is nincompoop
nincompoop All three: What artists do you like besides yourselves?
JMeyer Well thats true, I do like Lockwood and Easley
jeffeasley Always been a Frazetta fan...and anyone else who paints better than me.Shall I start with the"A's"?
JMeyer Waterhouse, Mucha, a couple of manga artist I cant remember off hand..
JMeyer its a long list of artists. :)
jeffeasley Thanks,Jennifer!I like you too.
JMeyer aw! :)
Lockwood You make a huge assumption there! LOL. Perhaps we don't like ourselves .. artists can be their own worst critics, you know. Jeff and Larry and Keith really whetted my appetite for better work. I was in advertising, and hating it, when those guys elevated D&D art to a new level. I was playing the game on weekends to preserve my insanity, so they all get nods. Also Michael Whelan, Frank Frazetta. There are a ton of talented newcomers
Lockwood Waterhouse! OH yeah. And NC Wyeth was a real story teller.
JMeyer OH Yes! I love his work!
jeffeasley I must say I don't think anyone is doing better work than Todd....
Ravenmantle Alright, since we're running short on time (unless you guys wanna stick around for a bit :) ), I'll let Khirsah ask the next question. Khirsah?
Lockwood Plenty of people are doing better work thatn Todd, but I appreciate it, Jeff. :o)
Khirsah Do any of you have tips for aspiring artists?
JMeyer Lockwood, do you still have the FAQ on your site?
Lockwood Lots. Read the FAQ on my website. The bottom line, though, is get started. Get busy. Draw draw draw. Draw from life wheil you're aspiring, too. If you only ever draw out of your head, you're probably just repeating the same flawed routines over and over. Only a very few, like jeff and Rick Berry, can get away with it because they have really good routines, and they know their anatomy. Your job as an artist is to keep learning!
JMeyer Very true.
jeffeasley Aspiring artists should of course,practice
Khirsah cool, thanks!
Ravenmantle I had a couple of questions left, unfortunately we've now reached the one hour mark which means that we're out of time. I'd like to once again thank you guys for joining us here at the NexusCon! It's been fun!
Lockwood This was fun! Jeff: it was great to chat with you again, if only sorta. And Jennifer: I hope we get to meet again soon. I'm going to be doing a Paiter Demo at Dragon Con, if any one is going to be in the area ...
Lockwood Painter demo, that shoulds said... for Corel, in their booth;
jeffeasley Same to you ,Todd.And you,Jennifer.
JMeyer I will be at gen con indy. I hope we meet again soon too Lockwood!
Bnaa Yes, thanks for coming, it was great having you all here.
Ravenmantle Of course, you guys are welcome here at the Dragonlance chat anytime!
Lockwood Bye all!
Sephzero Thank you very much.
JMeyer Same to you Easley! Great talking to you all!
jeffeasley My pleasure!G'night!
JMeyer :) night
Lockwood Good night Jeff boy! Goodnight jennifer Girl!
Ravenmantle Bye! :)
Sephzero Good bye then.