Anson Maddocks...let there be art.

©Anson Maddocks: 
 Anson Maddocks art

Let there be art. So be it. And then I discovered Anson Maddocks' art when I was 14 and bought my first Magic the gathering deck and a booster with my brother. It was the 3rd revised edition and an expansion booster....fallen empires. We shared it to be able to play one against the other;  didn't have money for more at that time. Spent hours playing and watching the art on its cards.

And now, the master who created the sengir vampire, hurloon minotaur, fallen angel or llanowar elves, joins the tribute to Moebius with a collaboration and an interview. I can only say I woudn't believe it, it certainly is a dream come true.

Anson, as Drew Tucker (who also joined this blog tribute), is one of the original 25 artist that began Magic the Gathering along with Richard Garfield under Wizards of the Coast. 

Born and raised in Alaska, moved later to Seattle where he attended the Cornish College of Arts for a year and a half, after he decided to go freelance, and finally took part in the born of what became a worldwide card game, magic the gathering. Now is a reknown artist, spends his time in proyects, commisioned work, and still appears in mtg events.

You can read the full interview here:

Mario: What were the greatest artistic influences you had at the beginning of your professional life? 

Anson: I left Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle after 1 and ½ semesters in order to work as a freelance illustrator full time. I had to focus on a good balance of quality and expediency in order to accept as much work as possible and offer good prices. I was 22 years old in 1992 and just starting to feel like I was going to be able to make a living entirely on whatever visual art commissions I was able to find. I had grown up with a strong interest in fantasy, science-fiction and horror themes dominating my artwork. When I considered the range of subject matter I was likely to be working on as a professional illustrator, I predicted conservative and likely uninteresting work in my future. My introduction and work with Wizards of the Coast turned my focus right back onto fantasy art, so the transition between my childhood influences and my professional influences is something I don’t recall being particularly aware of. Other artists have always given me confidence in the possibility of taking the raw materials of reality and modifying them to be somehow familiar yet very unusual. Ultra Realism is technically impressive, but an artist with great Ideas is able to win my vote over a photo-real depiction of….a photograph. There are many artists that I could mention that were very influential on me, but as I have done so many times in the past, I will default to giving most of my respect and admiration to my an artist that I have known since elementary school. Mark Tedin and I were, in my opinion, very lucky to have been able to grow up together. As one of us started to advance in skill, the other would take note and make an effort to take up the slack. We would complete something that was better than anything we had previously created, and hold it up in front of each other, just to watch a face melt with the threat of being outdone. I realize this is not a phenomenon unique to Mark and I, but it was so important to me, that I can easily say that it was the most important accelerant in my development as an artist.

©Anson Maddocks: Hurloon minotaur.

Mario: Which artists do you respect the most?   

Anson: The artists I respect the most are the ones who spend more time creating art than they spend talking about it, and I will always respect artists who look out for the well being of other artists and those who support the arts.  I respect Brenda Howell, who takes valuable time away from her own artistic expression in order to help me make a more significant connection with those interested in my artwork.  There are so many note worthy artists who are also truly exceptional human beings, it’s hard to remember the ones who missed the boat.

Mario: With whom would you like to work?  

Anson: Always and forever, Mark Tedin. We grew up together, learned to draw together and both became illustrators working for Wizards of the Coast on Magic the Gathering together. There is actually no one with whom I have collaborated in the past whom I would not look forward to working with again. With collaboration comes a certain set of limitations and challenges which I find especially rewarding to overcome and in the end it has always been a positive experience with results which I found to be satisfying.

Mark tedin "vs" Anson Maddocks (on the right)
©Anson Maddocks & Mark Tedin

Mario: What is your relationship with Spain? Do you like our country? Are you planning to come to Spain/Europe to promote?  

Anson: I actually have never been to Spain – but would really like to! Spain has contributed some of the best artists in history. I would love to experience and learn more about Spain, the perspectives of it’s people and what has inspired so many of it’s best artists.

Mario: What are you working on and what are your upcoming projects/events? 

Anson: Lately Anson Maddocks Art has been working on expanding into more merchandising aspects of existing artworks with the goal of making my art more accessible to all. We recently began a partnership with Livingstone Life Counters to produce high quality, poison of life counters which are the same dimensions of MtG cards.

We only have two public appearances planned for 2017. GP Las Vegas, next month, June 14th -18th and then GP Atlanta in September.