Cubeamajigs Series 2: May Update + Artist Spotlight: Joe Slucher

We’ve got some new images and a production update to share with you, as well as an Artist Spotlight from Joe Slucher! Take a look!

Rewards Progress

  • Cubeamajigs - Prototyping is expected to be complete in about a week!
  • Podamajigs - Prototyping is complete! Mass production is in progress. 

  • Tokens - Prototyping is complete! Mass production is in progress. 

  • Playmats - Since playmats will be produced in the states and go through the process pretty quickly, they’ll begin production once the Cubeamajigs and Podamajigs are complete and on their way to us via freight.

Artist Spotlight - Joe Slucher

You can find more art from Joe Slucher on his website,Twitter, orInstagram!

This project began with an open question about what I would like to illustrate on the cover of this box for HPP and it's just incredibly rare that I get any say over the content of my artwork. At the time, I was creating the slug and insect token for the Magic's latest Innistrad sets and was loving it. Most of the art I do is seen at a size that fits in the palm of your hand so this project presented a great opportunity to flood a huge image with tons of details. So I pitched doing some sort of insect or arachnid horde illustration. I'm incredibly grateful that Brian steered me towards doing a demon instead! Demons are far more interesting with their vast portrayals across all media and their history within Magic the Gathering. It was subject matter that was more likely to set me up for success and I appreciated it. I jumped into sketching on this evil lawyer/nerd with a lot of pressure taken off of me thanks to the subject change.

I begin most of my projects with sketches that are little more than chicken scratch but they get my mind envisioning various outcomes. So at that stage I'm making two or three marks for a head which cause me to be able to visualize what the rest of the head would look like and then I move on to the next couple lines. It's not about creating any sort of visual for anybody else at that time.

In some of those early half-finished doodles, I kept trying to pursue this concept of the demon having a crown of horns that circled its head. It wasn't until I felt I was honing in on a pleasing arrangement that I realized that essentially I had made a red Night King from Game of Thrones with the horns turned up to 11. Nooo! Into the trash with those.

Initial directions were just about the visuals and weren't digging deeper into any other concepts or connections. It was then that I struck upon the connection in stories between missing eyes/blindness and wisdom or divination. A demonic tutor could be portrayed as a seer or oracle which I found intriguing. From there I developed my first real sketch where the horns came down the forehead and into the eyes. Afterwards I created a 3D sculpt of the head in Zbrush and Blender and made a new sketch. In retrospect I can see how the bat-like nose was far too weird but it seemed to come out naturally when thinking of the character as blind.

I'm really into Dungeons and Dragons so I had begun to think of this character as more of a devil and combined with being inspired by Demonic Tutor, I knew I had to get some documents in there. Whether these were contracts for the souls of mortals beholden to them (D&D), secrets of the planes (MtG), or scripture didn't need to be explicit. I wanted to push that with the body descending into these papers and the wings could be like paper in the way that they crumpled and created creases. So I purposefully made the folds and ridges on the wing membrane much more hard-edged and geometric.

I was averse to showing this character with rippling abs and chest muscles as strength wasn't the point of this character. They're evil, twisted, conniving and disturbing creatures and mundane clothing like robes to hide their physique spoke of a modesty that didn't make sense to me. So instead I made them lumpy with nodules, wrinkles, and worming black veins. Eventually even lips seemed too human of a trait so I removed them. The image was going to be mostly red so I tried to tone down the red in the flesh around the centers of attention but I made the most reddish part the hands as an allusion to guilt or "being caught red-handed".

Probably my favorite part of the image was the decision to have the broken halo plunged into their own chest to pin some of the writings in place. Perhaps it wards against other devils taking that bit of information? Or perhaps it's a proud declaration of evil deeds?

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