I would like to introduce you all Michael Prescott, he's an RPG artist that runs the I'll See It When I Believe It blog and Trilemma Adventures. He self publishes one, two and three page system agnostic adventures that he beautifully illustrates himself. His style is clean and sharp and he has a fantastic sense of perspective. He runs a Patreon campaign here: Michael Prescott is creating adventures! Head on over and support him for as little as $1.00 per adventure! I really appreciate Michael doing this interview, to learn more about him read on after the break!
- When did you first discover your creative talents?
- How would you describe your style and where do you draw your inspiration from? Do you have a favorite piece you have created?
There's something visceral for me about the way a map is a doorway to adventure. Sometimes it's just a skeletal reminder of the real place (like a cathedral map), and sometimes it's much more, as in the case of my treasured survey map of Sutton Park, or the cloth maps from the early Ultima games. These are like fractal invitations to a whole world of discovery. It sounds so trite, but it totally lights me up. There's a few children's books that capture this magic, books like Who's Got the Apple, Where's Waldo, and Nora's Castle. If you look carefully, there are a whole bunch of little narratives woven into the art, so you can really sink into them and explore what's going on. What is that little worm doing? When you spot the connections, it's so delightful.
These days I have to work incrementally, on a time budget, but one day I hope to make something like that myself. I haven't managed so far. In the meantime, my favorite piece is a toss-up between Limestone Curtain and the Tomb of the Timeless Master. Both of these were drawn as commissions, which tend to bring me out of my comfort zone and push me to do things I wouldn't normally do. What I love about the curtain is the shadows on the ceiling, and the way it shows the complexity and difficulty of maneuvering around natural caverns. While I was doing it, I was thinking of the amazing interiors from Roger LeLoup's Yoko Tsuno comics, hoping to capture some of that sense of greebly detail. (I had a French copy when I was little, and only half understood what the hell was going on.) http://www.deviantart.com/art/
- Who is your favorite artist? What draws you towards his or her artwork?
- Is art a full time occupation for you?
- What projects are you currently working on?
- You've created art for a number of gaming products, are you yourself a gamer and if so what are your favorite games?
- Tell the readers about your Patreon campaign. Do you have any advise for others that are interested in setting up crowd-funded campaigns?
I haven't done any Kickstarters, but I've thought a fair bit about the business of Patreons. The main bit of advice I'd offer is to keep the patron in mind. Nevermind your personal origin story about starting to game when you were seven, everyone has that. Get to the point immediately. Every paragraph in your intro before you get to the point will cost you half your readers. Drop it. Are you making maps? Say that you're making maps and show some maps. Secondly, Patreon has this unfortunate vibe that your patrons are supporting you personally. This might work if you're a hawt twenty-something vocalist, but I'd much rather people give me money because they like the content and want me to keep making it, not because they like me as a person. I've seen this lead a few campaigns astray. The creator winds up talking mostly about who they are and what the money means to them (a new computer, new pens, new whatever), rather than what the patron is getting.
Thirdly, post regularly. Everything you post (as long as you're not spamming duplicate content everywhere) is a little landing mat that people can use to find their way back to your campaign. WIP work is a great way to do this. People seem to love a glimpse behind the curtain, especially if they're dabblers themselves. My most plussed/liked/shared posts have universally been the ones where you can still see the blue lines. Fourth, pace yourself. When the campaign starts to pick up and you feel like Sally Fields at the Oscars, resist the temptation to respond by doubling your efforts. Your stretch goals or rewards should be things that are (much) easier to produce than your main content. If your campaign takes off Success feels awesome, but dollars don't translate into more time very smoothly. It's important to avoid burning yourself out to produce a few tchotchkes that only give you a tiny bit of extra revenue. (Kickstarter campaigns regularly fall into this trap, with stretch goals that are expensive, logistically complicated, rely on third parties, are outside of the creator's expertise, or all four.)
- Who is your favorite musical artist and why?
- What was the last book you read?
- Where can the readers go to see your art?
- Lastly, any words of advice for aspiring artists?
Thanks so much to Michael for taking the time to answer do this interview!
You can find Michaels blog here: http://blog.trilemma.com/
His Patreon campaign is here: https://www.patreon.com/adventures/posts
Follow him on Google+ here: https://plus.google.com/+MichaelPrescott
His DeviantArt page is here: http://michaelprescott.deviantart.com/