World Championships Artist: Seishirou Ookubo

Posted in Feature on August 23, 2004

By Wizards of the Coast

A resident of Nagoya, Japan, Seishirou Ookubo is known throughout both the Japanese Magic playing community as well as the artist community for his spectacular 3D card art, which has to be seen to be believed. Taking 5-6 cards, Seishirou turns a flat piece of cardboard into a breathtaking layered piece of art. When asked how he started making them, he had this to say:

"I first encountered Magic at Wonder Festival, a hobby modeling event in Japan. This was before Revised was being imported into Japan. I remember thinking it was odd for something like that to be sold at the event. Looking back on it, I wish I had purchased some.

"I first started playing Magic after 4th Edition began to be sold in Japan. That was before there were translated rules, so my friends and I kind of made up the rules we couldn't understand as we went along. Once the Japanese edition of 4th Edition came out, I started buying a lot of Magic—so much, in fact, that the cards started to take over my room!

"It was around this time that I noticed I had lots of duplicates of many cards. Since I'm a bit of a pack rat, and just can't throw away anything—especially something I've spent a lot of money and time on collected—I was at a loss for what to do. One night, I was looking at the Praedish Gypsy card, and for some reason I thought about some 3D art I had seen as a child, where multiple copies of the same illustration had been layered and cut out to create a 3D effect. I decided that's how I would solve my multiple card problem—by turning them into 3D art.

"In the beginning, I didn't have anything to work off of, so there were many failed attempts. At that time, it took me a couple of weeks to finish one card, so every time I did it was a cause for celebration. What really got me motivated was Brian Snoddy's reaction when I gave him one of my cards as a present at Grand Prix—Kyoto 98. That's when I realized that other people were as interested in this art as I was.

"It's been over eight years since I started making these cards, and there are still a lot of cards that I want to make into 3D art, while at the same time Wizards of the Coast keeps making more. I may never catch up!"

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