Art & Cookies

Valve Concept Push – Artifact

I just returned from spending two weeks at Valve as part of a concept team for their upcoming card game, Artifact. I was joined by Tyler Jacobson and Lake Hurwitz.
This is only the second studio I've worked in-house on a contract basis. I've worked as a full-time employee at other game studios, but working in-house as a freelance artist isn't as common. I think things are shifting in the industry and more freelancers are working on-site for a couple of weeks at a time to flesh out the game.
Ramping up and down is common in game studios, so it […]

Hour of Devastation

Diabolic Edict © Wizards of the Coast
Hello everyone! It's time for another Magic: The Gathering art dump for Hour of Devastation, which was just released yesterday.
I didn't have as many illustrations in Hour of Devastation and I wasn't completely happy with the illustrations I produced. I was on a concept push when I worked on these illustrations, so maybe that's why I didn't get as many. There are some sets that just turn out better than others for some reason. Maybe it was the content or maybe it was the amount of time or stress I had going on with […]

Hall of Heroes – Concept Push

Me, Jonas De Ro, Anna Steinbauer, Titus Lunter, Min Yum
Wizards of the Coast has become my second home. I just returned from another three-week concept push at WotC in Renton, WA. I think this marks my fifteenth concept push, although, three of them were for Dungeons & Dragons. One time I did an emergency concept push that only lasted for two days, but I'm not counting that one.
This time I was joined by Jonas De Ro, Anna Steinbauer, Titus Lunter, and Min Yum. Min Yum you say? Yes I know, Min Yum is like a unicorn. I think […]

Video Review – Wacom 27QHD Touch

Here is my video review of the Wacom 27QHD Touch. You can find the written review here. The written review contains some additional information and links. Please take a look!
I’m giving the 27QHD a 9 out of 10 due to touch not working as well as it should. If touch worked as well as the Companion, it would be pretty near perfect.
Overall: 9 out of 10

Wacom Cintiq 27QHD Touch – A Second Look

Wacom Cintiq 27QHD attached to MacBook Pro
I finally decided to take the plunge and purchased a 27QHD. I know for many, myself included, the high price tag is very intimidating. I think that was the only reason it took me so long to purchase one. Luckily Wacom now offers financing options, which can put the 27QHD in your hands without spending your life savings.
Sure you have to spend a little more in the long run due to interest, but there is no way I would be able to drop more than $3,000 at one time to purchase the […]


Horror of the Broken Lands © Wizards of the Coast
With the prerelease just around the corner, all of my Amonkhet cards have now been previewed. I have a total of seven cards (eight illustrations) in the set, although technically Gideon, Martial Paragon is part of the Planeswalker Deck and not the main set. You can take a look at Gideon, Martial Paragon and Grasping Dunes in my previous blog post, Amonkhet Preview Season.
In my previous post I mentioned that I also created 10 story illustrations for the Amonkhet block. These were pivotal moments in the story that needed […]

Amonkhet Preview Season

Gideon from the Planeswalker Decks of Amonkhet
Preview season for Amonkhet is upon us! So far two of my illustrations for Amonkhet have been previewed. For the latest previews, take a look at
Gideon, Martial Paragon
The first is Gideon, Martial Paragon. From my understanding, he will only be in the Planeswalker Deck and not in the main set.
When the first preview appeared, some people freaked out about the green armor. The reason the armor looks green in the preview image is because they posted a picture of the foil card, so at certain angles the armor will […]

Abyssal Specter

Abyssal Specter - Modern Masters 2017
Daarken here with some new art. I believe I only have one new painting in Modern Masters 2017, which is funny because I wasn't even aware that I was creating an illustration for it.
How can that be? Sometimes art is used for other sets or sometimes an art description might be lumped together with another assignment.
I actually received the commission for Abyssal Specter in the same email with Arcbound Ravager and the Aether Revolt story illustration. Since I grew up playing Magic, I knew Abyssal Specter was an existing card (I remember it […]

Everyone is a Critic

The digital age has given way to opinions and criticism from virtually everyone, many of which are either unsolicited or malicious. The internet has given people a veil of anonymity through which they don't have to look the person in the eye or deal with the consequences. Like mob mentality, the glowing computer screen has bolstered their bravado.
Regardless of your profession, you are going to meet criticism at every turn. How you deal with that criticism can either break or make you. I'm probably not the best person to give advice concerning trolls since I tend disregard my own advice, […]

Volo’s Guide to Monsters – Concepts

Draegloth concept
A few months ago I posted some of my Yuan-ti concepts I created for Volo's Guide to Monsters. We were given permission to post the rest of the concepts we created during the 3-week long concept push where I was joined by Chris Rahn and Tyler Jacobson. I guess you could refer to us as "Team Academy" since all three of us graduated from the Academy of Art University in San Francisco.
D&D concept pushes are always a little more relaxed than Magic: The Gathering pushes. The needs are easier to meet since you don't have to hit specific goals […]