With October just a couple of days away, I wanted to take this little series to the dark yet beautiful direction of the Gothic genre of art. There's a handful of artists that I'm familiar with in this particular category but for some reason I decided to settle on an individual that I knew I would get responses of both Yes and No. With the Gothic genre, I knew for a fact that there would be individuals who would be passionate about their art so asking who influenced would always be a matter of walking a thin line so as not to offend them. Not sure why but I thought it was a good idea at the time and just stuck with it, choosing Gerald Brom as my artist in question.
|"Selenia, Desolation Angel" in MTG by Brom|
Many people are probably familiar with Gerald Brom (1965 - ), but for those who aren't he is a Gothic fantasy artist and illustrator. His works have been used in role-playing games along with card games such as Wizards of the Coast's Magic: The Gathering and Last Unicorn Games' Heresy: Kingdom Come. His paintings have also been used for the covers of the War of the Spider Queen book series and has done the concept art for several movies and video games. With such beautiful works, it's surprising to discover that he actually never took any formal art classes and was influenced by Frank Frazetta, N.C. Wyeth and Norman Rockwell which is just an interesting combination in itself.
It took me several look-throughs of other well known artists in this field before I decided to stick with Brom then an even longer time to pick the people I wanted to ask my question to. In all honesty, I picked them out a month or so in advance of me asking them but it took me a good week to go through pieces just to figure out who's work seemed similar. So picking my five artists, I sent forth my question not sure what to expect in my inbox later:
“Looking at the quality and darkness of your pieces makes me curious if you were influenced by the Gothic artist Gerald Brom. Was he any inspiration for you?”
trejoeeee.deviantart.com (Isle of Man)
|"Cronos" by trejoeeee|
A digital artist located out of the Isle of Man, Chris specializes in character concept designs and fantasy environments. His pieces seem to have a balance of fantasy and technology to them, some giving a sense of almost a steam punk quality to them. With a cool and earth tone color pallet, he breathes life into his creations and causes the viewer to wonder what they themselves would do if they ever saw some of the beings he's created in person. When I asked my question, I wasn't prepared for the almost exuberant response from him.
“Sure! He's an amazing artist” ~trejoeeee
|"Embers" by Jeff Simpson|
A talented young man out of Canada, Jeff specializes in digital art. His works are mostly concept pieces of people, strange and intimidating creatures, along with weapons. Cool greys and sepia tones seem to be a staple of the color pallet Jeff works with, with the occasional guest color to bring an unearthy glow to the pieces which draws the viewer in. With his answer, it was as if I was talking to an old friend who I hadn't seen in years and was asking how his day was. There was a lot of insight in his response then what I was expecting.
"Sort of? Not really though, I do like his work but I prefer to be inspired by things that or not speficially created to "look dark" as 90% of the time it comes off as cheesy and forced. I think nature and reality is a much better source of inspiration, looking at the source of our world be it physical or psychological and you'll find much more interested material to play with in your images." ~Jeff Simpson
|"Mercy" by One-Vox|
One-Vox.deviantart.com (United States)
Located here in the United States, Peter Mohrbacher is a digital artist who is probably best known for his Angelarium series but also his pieces for Magic: The Gathering. He seems to favor blues and sepia shades for many of this works but is obviously not going to limit himself on colors when creating his works which are heavily fantasy based. Of all of the answers I received from this group of artists, I don't think I was prepared to come across someone who actually met Brom.
"Yep. I got to meet the guy this last year too. Super nice dude!" ~Peter Mohrbacher
|"Quadratum Mortis" by Ertaç Altınöz|
Located in Turkey, Ertaç Altınöz is a digital artist who works greatly in the fantasy genre. Highly detailed, each piece is a feast for the eyes which might be almost overwhelming for the viewer but he draws his audience in so that they can slowly enjoy the work he put into them. His color pallet of choice seems to be more towards the blues, cool greys and purples which can be seen in many of his pieces in some way.
"Eheh, thank you so much. I didn't think about it, but I can easily say that I'm not a huge fan of Brom. In fact, I prefer Tony DiTerlizzi's style to get some inspiration. But Brom is a true master, no doubt. Have a nice day and thanks for stopping by” ~Ertaç
|""Demon Cult Priest - MtG" by Damascus5|
Damascus5.deviantart.com (United States)
Working in both digital and traditional mediums, Clint Cearley focuses on his digital work and is another artist who does pieces for the Magic: The Gathering. His color pallet of choice seems to change from piece to piece mainly due to the fact that he tries to make sure that each has the unique feeling he is aiming for. Each piece has a beauty to it, no matter the subject matter. His response was probably most interesting to me for the simple fact that it's obvious that he wouldn't mind branching out and experimenting with other genres.
"I've been a fan of Brom's work for years, but not overly so. We both have done work for Magic: The Gathering which explains some of the similarities of "quality and darkness." I probably wouldn't do as much darker subjects if it weren't for the fact that they are the projects I'm assigned." ~Clint