Artist Interview: Steve Prescott

Steve Prescott is an extremely talented artist. You may recognize his work on cards ranging from Fauna Shaman to the San Diego Comic Con 2013 Planeswalker exclusive box set. With over 150 cards to his name, it is my honor to feature Mr. Prescott in StrictlyAverage’s first (hopefully regular) artist interview.


Q: How long have you been an artist and did you always want to be an artist?

A: I have been a professional artist since about 1995. But I’ve been making art since I was probably 1 or 2! And not consciously, no. As a kid I naively went through the gamut of seemingly adventurous occupations like archeologist (because of Raiders of the Lost Ark) or fighter pilot (because jets!) or Lego set designer (because Legos!). Not until high school did I start to realize that I was destined for a career in art. And even then, I wasn’t sure what kind of art.


Q: What is your preferred medium?

A: Depends on my mood at the moment! I guess if I could do all my projects and jobs in one medium, I pick pencil. But I do enjoy painting in acrylic and doing pen and ink work occasionally. And I enjoy mixing digital with my pencil work, too


Q: What was your first commissioned piece?

A: It was a piece for White Wolf Games Inc for a book called “Outcasts”. I did 6 or 7 images for that book I think but the one piece I did first was a pen and ink goth vampire girl with a bandaged stump arm.


Q: How long have you been doing work for Wizards?

A: Since 2003 I believe? My first gig was on concept designing the world of Eberron [Dungeons & Dragons].


Q: If you could have any super power, what would it be?

A: I don’t know if this is a super power, but I’d like to be able to zoom into any point in the history of Earth and just watch what is going on – not change the past, just check stuff out. Like a time-traveling fly on the wall. It’d be cool to just toggle back into the Triassic era and just observe the flora and fauna – or see how the battle of Thermopylae actually went down – or even just lingering as an invisible spectator in the pre-human Rocky Mountains.


Q: What is your favorite piece you have done for Magic?

A: Good question – and one that gets asked frequently. Hard to say, really. I like different paintings for different reasons. I like Silver Knight because I just like the brushwork a lot. I like my Hydra token and Leonin Iconoclast a lot because of the colors. And Rowdy Crew is my favorite painting as far as a multi-figure scene full of fun characters – and good lighting in that one, too. I guess my newest favorite is the Goblin Explosioneers contraptions – a ton of work went into that and it’s just a big ball of chaotic, goofy fun.


Q: What is your favorite food/drink?

A: Gah! Too many to pick a fave! In general, I love Indian food, specifically vegetable curry. I also like toasted coconut anything – and a perfectly ripe mango! Favorite drink is a tie between ginseng tea and Great Lakes Brewing Company’s Burning River Pale Ale (served with a hearty dinner!)

Q: Do you play Magic and if so, what format(s)?

A: I don’t! Not that I don’t appreciate the nuance and awesomeness of the game. It’s that strategy games are just not my thing. I like word games like Bananagrams, Scrabble, Balderdash, etc.

Q: What is your favorite type of card to do the art for?

A: Any card that gives me the freedom to design my own thing – or my own version of a thing. Doesn’t matter if it’s red, blue, black or if it’s a creature or warrior or whatever.

Q: How much direction do you prefer is given to you for a card’s art?

A: I don’t mind a little direction at all. I’ve worked with many great Art Director’s on Magic and they all do a very good job of guiding and directing just enough. More often it is the initial description of the art that might be a little heavy handed but that is rare

A big thank you again to Steve Prescott for taking the time for this interview. Please take the time to check out Steve’s website:

On his site you can find a gallery of his work, his store, and contact information. He even has original art available for sale. Feel free to comment if you enjoyed this interview, your favorite piece done by Steve, or any other musings and mumblings!

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