We were lucky enough to catch up with the two Magic artists at GP Sydney, R.K. Post and Stephen Belledin. Post has painted iconic images like Avatar of Woe, Morphling and Lightning Angel, while Stephen's arresting artwork include Duress and the wince-inducing M12 Deathmark. Our chat found it's way onto the topic of the depiction of women in fantasy art.
"Really, it's up to the artist's interpretation," said Post. "We have to walk a fine line between what the Art Director wants to see, what do you want to see as the artist, and what the audience wants. 'Sexy' sells, but the art direction in Magic is not to be disrespectful to women. The pressure away from that is definitely coming from Art Direction. I do like to make armour that would work, not chainmail bikinis."
RK Post mugs for the camera while signing cards. Stephen Belledin unfortunately obscured by a fan, but I'm sure he would have mugged, too.
"I'm not a fan of what people are defining as 'chesty armour'", or scantily clad women who are supposed to be warriors" said Belledin. "I think they should be treated the same as men. There is a place for that, and there's no shortage of it, but it feels dated and it's not realistic. Fantasy works best when you can believe in it.
"I don't typically get the attractive female commissions," confessed Belledin, "I find most of the artwork I get is black or green. They seem to want to give me more moody, disturbing images. I'm trying to diversify, but I'm more than happy to take on any challenge they give me. It forces me to expand my repertoire."