Metaphor in Planar Chaos Spell Art

Posted in Arcana on February 28, 2007

By Wizards of the Coast

Jeremy Jarvis became Magic art director partway through Time Spiral Block. One of Jeremy's goals when he took over the job was to push for "spell" art that was less literal and more abstract and metaphorical. Creature cards basically have to depict the creatures they represent, but spells (meaning instants, sorceries, and sometimes enchantments in this context) can be less directly representational while still maintaining visual impact and drama.

You can see the results of his philosophy in these four Planar Chaos spells. In each one, note how the visuals give a metaphorical impression of the spell effect rather than literally showing what's happening in the duel between planeswalkers.


Temporal Extortion art by Steven Belledin


Mana Tithe art by Martina Pilcerova


Treacherous Urge art by Steven Belledin


Retether art by Dan Scott

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