Ixalan is a world that brings everything you loved from your childhood to Magic: pirates, dinosaurs, and vampires. Bringing pirates and dinosaurs to Magic was both fun and challenging. I think the hardest part about it was finding a way to stay true to what people love about them. Would our Magic spin be accepted by the public, or would we ruin their childhood?
Interestingly enough, I had just finished doing some concepts for Tomb of Annihilation right before the Ixalan concept push, which also features dinosaurs. I didn’t want to rehash my ideas from Tomb of Annihilation, so I let the other artists handle most of the dinosaurs. Looking back, I wish I had concepted more of the dinosaurs.
The only “dinosaurs” I concepted were some of the pterosaurs. I say “dinosaurs” because pterosaurs aren’t technically dinosaurs. Most people probably don’t realize there is a difference, but it just makes it easier for the creature type text.
I should be able to show some of my concepts once the entire block has been released. Until then, I can show the cards that have been previewed.
Mike Linnemann wrote a great article about Bloodcrazed Paladin over at Gathering Magic. Go check it out!