Mates Laurentiu was born in a small Romanian town not far from the Carpathian mountains. Self trained and dedicated to the life of an artist at a very young age, Mates has worked on a wide array of products from personal portraits for individuals to cover art appearing on many popular roleplaying game books. Most recently he was recruited by AAW Games & Adventureaweek.com as the lead artist on both the epic Rise of the Drow tome and the fantastical tale of Snow White.
Mates shows his work here moving from sketch to basic colors and finally layered colors with details and shading.
It’s great fun to be on the receiving end of these amazing works of art as they roll into my email each day.
I think my favorite part of writing and working on a roleplaying game book is seeing the art and especially the artist’s interpretation of our art requests. Sometimes we have to request changes but when it comes to Mates he’s usually spot on with his creative intuition and we’re able to use his final draft straight out of the gates.
The work Mates did on the Pure Steam campaign setting (for ICOSA Entertainment) was also very high quality and reminded me how versatile he is, moving from medieval landscapes and architecture into futuristic or advanced technology with ease. In 2015 we plan on expanding the Aventyr Campaign Setting and releasing many new adventures—Mates will be the lead artist and cover artist on many of these products so keep your eyes peeled! If you would like to see your favorite RPG character fleshed out YOU can recruit Mates via his website AvatarArt.com to draw your PC (his rates vary depending upon if you want B&W, color, and/or background).
Keep your eye on Mates, I predict that he’ll be moving over to Paizo or another large publisher within the next few years and I wish him the absolute best!
We’ve shone the spotlight onto designers before, but artists are just as important here at AdventureAWeek.com and we wanted to show some love for our illustrators! The first on the list is a personal favorite of mine—Jacob Blackmon! [He’s doing the cover for my world, after all! 😀 -MM]
He is an amazing illustrator and continual delight to work with, his experience as a gamer (and game designer!) giving him an uncanny grip on the subtler elements of visual design that come hand in hand with the peculiarities of game mechanics.
This is of course, however, an artist’s spotlight, and we’ll let Jacob Blackmon’s work speak for itself.
While your typical dungeon owner can’t run out to Ikea and pick up a bunch of wall coverings and knick knacks, along with meatballs, to decorate the dungeon, there are still walls to cover, shelves to fill and tables to adorn. Don’t let an opportunity go to waste; you might as well sprinkle some traps in there, like this one:
A portrait is on the wall. The features of the face are fuzzy and indistinct.
Type: mechanical; Perception DC 34; Disable Device 34
Trigger Visual; Reset None
The viewer sees the portrait changing into his own likeness, then he is imprisoned as the spell. Once imprisoned, the portrait becomes a portrait of the character. Imprisonment (DC 23 Will Save or become imprisoned in the portrait as per the spell)
Of course, you shouldn’t put just one portrait in the room, and you should give the characters a reason for looking at the portraits. Perhaps they have been told that one of the portraits contains a phrase they need to activate an artifact. Maybe one of them has a clue to finding hidden treasure. If you build this up, when the portrait begins to change, they may even think they have stumbled onto the correct painting to help them, even though you’ll know they haven’t.
As a bonus, if they can’t break the spell right away, it would be pretty cool to have a portrait of your character, wouldn’t it?