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World of Warcraft Tribute Art Book submission deadline Jan. 15

World of Warcraft Tribute Art Book submission deadline Jan 15
Do you love creating Warcraft art? UDON Entertainment is teaming up with Blizzard to create what may be their biggest Tribute collection yet, featuring art paying homage to World of Warcraft. Both Blizzard and UDON have called on artists from around the world to submit their original World of Warcraft-inspired artwork for consideration. However, the deadline for submissions is fast approaching. If you'd like your work to be considered for this incredible collection, you'll need to submit it by January 15.

This is a worldwide collection, so anyone in any country may submit their art. However, you'll need to be 18+ to submit. Selected artists for the Tribute collection will have their work included and credited in the book, which was announced at NYCC last year, and should make its first appearance at San Diego Comic-Con 2013 as a special, limited-edition hardcover.

If you're an artist and you'd like to see your Warcraft-inspired work make its way into print, this is an opportunity you don't want to miss. For more information, including rules, guidelines, and submission information, head to the official World of Warcraft Tribute website.


Filed under: Blizzard, News items, Arts and Crafts

Detail-oriented artist shows Blizzard how it's done

Detailoriented artist shows Blizzard how it's done
Marie Lazar got the chance to step into the shoes of a Blizzard Entertainment intern last summer -- and there's still a chance that you could, too. The deadline for this year's Blizzard student art contest is next week. If you're an aspiring 3D artist, get your portfolios in by Jan. 15 for a shot at a three-month mentorship at Blizzard under the wing of a member of the WoW art team, plus a one-year subscription to WoW and some delicious WoW memorabilia and goodies.

You'd best be up for a stiff challenge, though, because this is no mere fan art contest. You'll face artists the likes of last year's winners Jessica Dinh, Peter K. Lee -- and the subject of this week's interview, the detail-oriented Marie Lazar.

"It's all about the details," said WoW lead environment artist Gary Platner of Marie's work. "When we create art for WoW, we have to follow some rules. Pieces must have hand painted textures that match our unique art style and they must tell a story. Marie's work does this very well! And, if you look close enough, some great details come through. It's a library of the afterlife floating on an island in the sky! There are book references everywhere, books lying around, book grave stones, even the roof is made to look like an open book. All of us could look at this piece and come up with a great story."

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Filed under: Interviews, 15 Minutes of Fame

Interview: Fantasy art legend Michael Whelan relates his vision of Deathwing

Fantasy art legend Michael Whelan's vision of Deathwing
Sometimes we're so busy geeking out over the ways Blizzard inspires us with World of Warcraft that we forget that behind the curtain, the folks at Blizzard are busy geeking out over the people and things that inspire them. So when we learned that Blizzard had commissioned fantasy art legend Michael Whelan to create a painting of Deathwing for Blizzard's headquarters, we knew we had to bring you the inside story of how this singular vision of the iconic dragon came to fruition.

The most honored artist in science fiction, Whelan has created book and album covers for authors and musicians like Isaac Asimov, Stephen King, Ray Bradbury, the Jacksons and Meat Loaf. He was inducted into the Science Fiction Hall of Fame in 2009, the first living artist to join such luminaries as H.G. Wells, Steven Spielberg, and Ursula K. Le Guin.

While Whelan actually executed the commission for Blizzard early last year, his enthusiasm for the project remains undimmed. The world-renowned painter of imaginative realism chatted with us about his rueful discovery of Deathwing's unique draconic qualities, his admiration for Blizzard's art team, and the special project he's working on now in memory of "Dragonriders of Pern" author Anne McCaffrey.

WoW Insider: Your artwork is such a part of the fantasy world that we need to go back a bit to get the full perspective of what you've done here, the long view you bring to an upstart like Deathwing.

Michael Whelan: It's been a little ways ... (laughs) I've been working at this for what, 35 years?

We have a Pern fan on staff who's curious about how you reconcile the stylistic differences between the art for Pern and art like what you've just done with Deathwing for Blizzard. Now that you're focusing more on fine art than illustration, was it odd to switch back to working on a commission with someone else's vision?

Yeah, it's really hard. Try as I might, there's always a period of adjustment between working on a commission piece and doing something for the gallery, where I'm just trying to satisfy my own aesthetic and intellectual sensibilities. It's funny; it can take me days, even, to switch gears and go from one mindset to the other.

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Filed under: Interviews, 15 Minutes of Fame

The Art of Blizzard covers Blizzard's artistic history

The Art of Blizzard covers Blizzard's artistic history
If you like the art that Blizzard creates for its games (and really, how can you not?), then you should get yourself a copy of The Art of Blizzard, a new hardcover that surveys the past 20 years of Blizzard's development in art. Covering the origin of the studio and its development with more than 800 illustrations and commentary from Nick Carpenter (vice president of art and cinematic development), Samwise Didier (senior art director) and Chris Metzen (senior vice president of story and franchise development -- and you seriously should probably know this guy already), it promises to have something for the dedicated fan or the fan of art and illustration. As Blizzard themselves put it:
This epic volume of art and behind-the-scenes insights celebrates the company's genesis, granting readers access to the inception and development of Blizzard's blockbusters and offering a never-before-seen look into some of Blizzard's unpublished projects.

I'm definitely looking forward to this one. I can't draw worth beans, but I love me some art.
World of Warcraft: Cataclysm has destroyed Azeroth as we know it; nothing is the same! In WoW Insider's Guide to Cataclysm, you can find out everything you need to know about WoW's third expansion, from leveling up a new goblin or worgen to breaking news and strategies on endgame play.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, News items

The bounty of Cataclysm

The Bounty of Cataclysm
I wasn't fond of Cataclysm when it launched. Not because of its zones or its story, both of which I probably like more than almost anyone. My major problem on Cataclysm's launch was that I was generally solo, having to use Dungeon Finder for my dungeon runs. The rest of the folks I was guilded with weren't on at the same time I was, and that meant I had to try and tank the new dungeons (with their emphasis on CC that no one wanted to remember how to do) and then the new dungeons on heroic, with all sorts of instant-kill mechanics that were completely avoidable and which no one wanted to avoid.

Pugging these dungeons as a tank in groups full of people conditioned by Wrath heroics was like placing my genitalia in a garbage disposal, except you can generally only do that once. I ran these dungeons repeatedly. It was not pleasant. By the time I was geared enough to tank the new raids, I was so bitter and hated Cataclysm as an expansion so much that my friends and colleagues (many of whom were lucky enough to have dedicated groups running these dungeons, not being forced to pug as I was) thought I'd gone frothing, barking-mad insane. I tanked in tier 11, but I had no desire to do so; I merely did it out of obligation.

What this meant was that I missed out on getting to enjoy those dungeons. The difficulty of getting groups to avoid Corborus' burrowing, the inevitable fallout of blaming and group disintegration cost me several months when I could have been admiring how well laid-out these dungeons were, looking over their art and enjoying the mechanics on a technical level. There were a lot of cool fights I spent my time gritting my teeth through, a lot of dungeons I endured due to their tuning. It's one of the reasons I like going back and tanking them now.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Lore, Cataclysm

Breakfast Topic: What are the telling details you love in the game?

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I wasn't sold on the Bilgewater Goblins initially. When they and the worgen were announced in the run-up to Cataclysm, I had to wonder if there was any compelling reason to play what felt like a green gnome over a badass werewolf. (Yes, I was young and foolish in those days.) That changed quickly when I hit the beta and found them to be a hopelessly endearing race despite (or perhaps because of) their fairly amoral approach to life. I loved the little details in their towns, from the empty Chinese take-out boxes scattered around their inns to the little dinghies that fly underpants in place of flags.

Credit where credit's due -- most of this is the work of the Blizzard props team. These folks are also the reasons that Gilneas is so magnificently creepy, with its creaky windows, flapping sheets, and papers drifting across lonely towns. What little details do you particularly enjoy about the race you play as a main?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Breakfast Topic: Who is that guy in the tapestry?

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I was doing my weekly blast through Karazhan for transmog purposes when I noticed that tapestry in the screenshot. Who is that guy? Is that guy Medivh? The same tapestry is hanging in Medivh's bedchamber if you go up and check it out, so it would kind of make sense, but I don't recall Medivh rocking the bare-chested look.

Seriously, all that guy needs is a big gold medallion and a panel van.

There are actually quite a few such portraits of various people in various places in WoW. I recall paintings in BRD, a portrait or two in Stratholme, various and sundry in Stormwind ... It makes me wonder who these portraits are of and who makes all of them. I kind of wish I could get a game portrait of my characters -- but of course, since I don't have any place to put it, that would be kind of meaningless. Then again, with the amount of time I spend in Karazhan, I could almost say I live there.

What about you? Seen any strange or interesting art lately in game?

World of Warcraft: Cataclysm has destroyed Azeroth as we know it; nothing is the same! In WoW Insider's Guide to Cataclysm, you can find out everything you need to know about WoW's third expansion, from leveling up a new goblin or worgen to breaking news and strategies on endgame play.

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Breakfast Topic: What's your favorite Blizzard art?

Blizzard hires some of the finest artists in the land to do its designs, concept art, world building, and settings. It's no surprise, then, that I adore the World of Warcraft concept art and am always delighted to see just how close in substance and style that the art team got in translating an image into a finished product. Suffice to say, Blizzard concept art is some of the best in the business.

One of my favorite art pieces from the original World of Warcraft was a crashed zeppelin image that just always stuck with me. While my art book isn't next to me, I remember cracking open the book or at least a website and seeing that shot, analyzing it, looking at that little scale dude at the bottom. I have no idea what about the image is awesome to me. Maybe because the image eventually came back in spirit in the Cataclysm cinematic when that zeppelin over Orgrimmar hits one of the central buildings.

That being said, we have not seen the concept art for the newest mount to hit the pet store, the Heart of the Aspects. I'm willing to bet it's pretty cool, and I want to see it. Which pieces of Blizzard concept art are your favorites? Let's show off our favorite Blizzard art pieces.

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Blizzard wants you to Ask the Artists this BlizzCon

BlizzCon thunders towards us like some great thundering thing. This year, BlzzCon will include a chance for you to ask questions on the forums and have them answered at the convention.

BlizzCon: Ask the Artists - Zarhym
At this year's BlizzCon we have a stage dedicated to featuring Blizzard artists of all disciplines and styles, from Glenn Rane (Digital Painting, Creative Development) to Samwise Didier (Traditional Drawing, StarCraft II). Whether you're attending the event or watching from home, we're giving you the opportunity to ask a question of the artists in this thread. All you have to do is list the discipline and/or category below which best fits your art-related question and ask away. If selected, your inquiry will be read and answered live from the Artist Stage at BlizzCon!

Head over
to the BlizzCon forums for a list of disciplines and categories including 3D modeling, trading card art, Cinematic Matte Painting and my personal favorite, Environment Concepts. I'd love to hear about the design process for WoW zones or the new Diablo III.


Turn to WoW Insider for all your BlizzCon 2011 news and information. Get ready to kick off the weekend with the WoW Insider Reader Meetup cohosted by Wowhead, and look for our liveblogs of the convention panels, interviews with WoW celebrities -- and of course, lots of pictures of people in costumes. It's all here at WoW Insider!

Filed under: Events, News items, BlizzCon

Around Azeroth: Remove the water at the bottom of the ocean!

With notably rare exceptions, encounters between seafaring vessels and giant octopi always end well. Sparcle of The Seekers of Truth on Farstriders (US-A) managed to get stuck out on the deck of a gnomish submarine right before it impacted with an angry cephalopod. The most important question here is, "Why does a submarine manned by gnomes have a door-opening wheel 10 feet above the deck?"

Want to see your own screenshot here? Send it to aroundazeroth@wowinsider.com. We strongly prefer full-sized pictures with no UI or names showing. Please include "Azeroth" in the subject line so your email doesn't get marked as spam, and include your name, guild and server if you want to be credited.

Filed under: Around Azeroth

Blizzard updates Cataclysm and leaders art galleries

Blizzard has updated the Cataclysm and leaders art galleries with a few new shots featuring an awesome picture of Genn Greymane all wolfed out, a moody shot of Gilneas, and a familiar shot of goblins taking on a worgen.

The galleries are always a source of awesome art, and it's nice to see them getting updates more and more these days, even from expansions past. Most recently, Blizzard updated the Wrath of the Lich King art gallery with some cool shots.

WoW Patch 4.1 is on the PTR, and WoW Insider has all the latest news for you -- from previews of the revamped Zul'Aman and Zul'Gurub to new valor point mechanics and new archaeology items.

Filed under: Cataclysm

Golden State Pops Orchestra exhibits art of World of Warcraft

If you're going to be around the San Pedro, California, area between April 7-9, the Golden State Pops Orchestra is proud to announce the Art of World of Warcraft, a showing of WoW artwork provided by Blizzard. The show will be open during the San Pedro First Thursday Walk as well as Saturday the 9th. WoW art exhibits are really awesome, especially when you get to see the high-quality prints of the game's concept art. It's a lot of fun.

Check out all of the details on the Golden State Pops Orchestra website.

Filed under: Blizzard

Blizzard updates Wrath art gallery with familiar vistas

The Wrath of the Lich King art gallery has been updated with six awesome shots of clean artwork that features familiar locales and loading screens. Art from the Pit of Saron, Eye of Eternity, Forge of Souls, Wintergrasp, and Trial of the Crusader are available for ocular enjoyment.

The art for Wrath of the Lich King has always been some of my favorite concept art because of how easily the look and feel of the pieces convey what the entire expansion and Northrend itself was supposed to be. Success, indeed. Check out the gallery here.

WoW Patch 4.1 is on the PTR, and WoW Insider has all the latest news for you -- from previews of the revamped Zul'Aman and Zul'Gurub to new valor point mechanics and new archaeology items.

Filed under: Blizzard

New art available for viewing at Blizzard's website

Hey, you! Yes, you -- dude sitting on the stained couch watching Family Feud and eating Cheetos. Need a little bit of high culture in your life? (And no, rewatching Once More, With Feeling doesn't count.)

WoW Insider may not be able to send you to the Louvre, and I'm not sure our legal department is okay with us reprinting the works of Maya Angelou. What we can do, however, is forward you along to some great new art just released at the Blizzard website. Specifically, there are three new pieces from the Wrath of the Lich King expansion: the Wrath box art, a piece called "Boneyard," and a piece called "Winter Tauren." They all show off the incredible level of talent of Blizzard's art department.

While you're there, be sure to page through the gallery and enjoy all the pieces of older concept art, too. They provide some great insight into how ideas transition from mere thoughts in an artist's head to a miserable, frustrating 5-man instance like The Oculus.

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Filed under: News items

Breakfast Topic: Does WoW light your creative fires?

This Breakfast Topic has been brought to you by Seed, the Aol guest writer program that brings your words to WoW Insider's pages.

On this fine snowy morning of -12 degrees, I find myself writing an article for WoW Insider. If you had asked me a year or two before, I would have told you that's preposterous: I didn't think I had much in common with other players, and I certainly didn't have the confidence to put anything in front of the masses. I was learning the ropes, leveling, asking questions, not sure what I was supposed to do when the game was "over." I didn't utilize sites such as this; back then, I didn't venture much further than Thottbot.

Yet here I am today, with a few high-level characters, raiding, and I am writing this article. I've dabbled in a few other games since first playing WoW, and each of them has sparked my imagination and opened various creative passage ways. I found myself wanting to start a fan-fiction, which then grew into something even bigger. I always loved writing but never thought I would go anywhere with it. I guess I just needed the right inspiration.

There is a whole feature on WoW Insider (World of WarCrafts) about people who have been inspired by WoW to do great things. How about you? Have you started writing a comic strip, fan-fiction, a novel, created videos, or furthered another hobby? Have you done something you never thought possible because you were inspired by WoW or another game?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Guest Posts

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