An Interview With Ron Spencer
Ron Spencer has been a Magic artist from the beginning, illustrating Alpha cards. Since then, he's gone on to illustrate some of the most popular Timmy cards - Sliver Queen, Angelic Chorus - and the Johnny cards like Hammer of Bogardan and Yawgmoth's Will. He was doing a signing at Detroit, and we had a request in our forums for art interviews, so we had a few words with him...
Q: What's it like being at a Grand Prix?
A: Fun! I mean, it's busy, but it's fun seeing people and fun seeing what they're playing.
Q: What's your favorite piece of artwork that you've done?
A: Terror. First one I ever did and it took me about an hour. It just caught the idea better than anything I've ever done after it.
Q: Do you think you could have improved that piece?
A: I used a large pen and it was pretty rough and ragged, so I don't think it could be improved. If I went in with fine detail work, it would really take away from the piece. It's crude, but it very much works.
Q: What's your favorite piece of artwork another artist did?
A: The one that always comes the mind is Seize the Day by Greg Staples. But I mean, there's tons of them that are really awesome.
Q: Sure there isn't anything else you could name?
A: Gosh. That just opens it up; there's hundreds of 'em. I'm into Vikings, and that was kinda barbarians and stuff, so I really enjoyed that. I don't know; there's nothing else that specifically comes to mind. But I can think of hundreds of great images.
Q: What's your least favorite piece of artwork that you did?
A: Water Wurm, from The Dark; it's old stuff. I did it in about ten minutes and it's just uninspired; I didn't click with it. Oh yeah, I'd go back and improve that! *laughs*. But if I improve the art, they have to make it a better card.
Q: How long does your art usually take you?
A: About a day and a half. Terror and Water Wurm were pretty unusual, I did those way back when I was still pretty much teaching myself how to work with color.
Q: Did you go to an art school?
A: No. So I'm pretty much entirely self-taught.
Q: What do you feel is the fan favorite of all the pieces you've done?
A: That's hard to say. I mean I sell lots of prints of quite a few different ones. Everyone likes the squirrels, the Hammer of Bogardan, the Lightning Dragon... It's hard for me to say.
Q: How do you feel about your artwork when it's on a foil card?
A: I think it's all right. It makes them pretty. I like how foils look, they look real nice overall.
Q: Is there a specific creature type that you enjoy doing?
A: No, I'll do any of 'em! I love doing barbarians, but it's mostly whatever; I don't have a favorite. It all plays the same and I love doing it.
Q: How often do you get Ron Spears cards in front of you?
A: About one in fifty is one that Mister Spears has done. I like everything he's done; he's a really cool artist, but I don't get to see too much of the other artists' work. I couldn't say for sure, but he's dang good. I've never met him, but I've spoken with him on the phone. We mutually agreed it would be fun to do an event together, mess everybody up!
Q: Do you have a website?
A: Yes. It's at www.pen-paper.net/gallery.php?artist=Ron_Spencer.