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Featured Artists: Mates Laurentiu

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 & 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.
mates queen lines

It’s great fun to be on the receiving end of these amazing works of art as they roll into my email each day.
mates queen flats

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.

mates queen finished

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 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!

mates castle

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Featured Artists: Jacob Blackmon

aaw-website many-handed jakk - jacob blackmonWe’ve shone the spotlight onto designers before, but artists are just as important here at 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]

Spoony Jaws - Trectoyri [Jacob Blackmon] (reduced)If you’re one of the AaWBlog’s devoted followers, you’ve seen Jacob’s work before. He’s one of our premier up and comers, and the illustrator behind Underworld Classes and Underworld Races, which are a fantastic example of his range and continually developing artistic talent.

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.

Veranthea Codex cover [Jacob Blackmon]
Veranthea Codex cover art
Quorron Dwarf Smith (from Rise of the Drow)
Quorron Dwarf Smith (from Rise of the Drow)
Stark City Cosmic Battle


You can follow Jacob on Deviant Art (, Twitter (, Facebook (, and support him on Patreon (!


Check out Jacob’s extensive line of stock art from Rogue Genius Games!


Lovers of Comics
Jacob Blackmon’s got another ace up his sleeve—a comic, The Path Less Traveled! You can read it in the free Pathways e-zine from Rite Publishing.
Issue 1: Pathways #36, Issue 2: Pathways #37, Issue 3: Pathways #38, Issue 4: Pathways #39, Issue 5: Pathways #40, Issue 6: Pathways #41, Issue 7: Pathways #42, Issue 8: Pathways #43