Years ago, I received a fan letter from an inmate imprisoned in London, Ohio. Jack Kinney simply wanted to express his appreciation for work he’d seen on a book given him from outside, and to ask for a few art pointers.
Jack confessed that he was involved in a violent crime when he was 19. He didn’t say what, but he did express his remorse meaningfully. He’s 41 now, but looks sixty. “All these years show up in my face,” he says.
I’m always happy to share what I know, but through the mail with an inmate is tricky. Their email is limited or nonexistent, obviously, and every letter they receive is opened and pre-read. They’re not allowed prints larger than 8.5 x 11 (which I learned only after I tried to send him something larger). I did send him a how-to tutorial art book one Christmas. After that he started to send me his drawings and paintings, very poorly copied on the prison’s xerox machine. Are they professional? Hopw could they be? But they’re not terrible either. It makes one wonder what might have been had he stayed home one night.
I never quite know how to react. When I was 19, I got into trouble, and might have ended up behind prison bars but for the times and the compassion of strangers. I sympathize with these persons whose lives have been put completely on hold—deserved or not— with only a keyhole view of the outside world passing them by.
Jack shared a number of his images, but this is the one he’s most proud of. He says, “Made it up myself. Did not copy anyone. It’s one of a kind.” He’s not selling it, because the only means he has of selling his works is to trust someone on the outside to manage it for him. He’s only had his artwork stolen.
What kind of miserable cuss would do something like that? It makes me sad, and I feel for his loneliness. The one thing inmates most want is contact. So I’m going to share Jack’s snail-mail address here, in hopes that some of my artist and non-artist friends will type or write up a quick letter and put a few moments’ joy into a stranger’s day, just because we’re all human, and there but for the grace of God and all that… Send him your own tutorials, prints of your work, just words of greeting. Tell him I sent you.
Next, I’m going to set up a Facebook page where folks might post letters of others who aspire to some beauty behind bars, and could use encouragement and engagement.
Thanks for reading and considering…
UPDATE: Here is the Facebook Page. Please have a look and consider what you might do. Thanks!
Posted by Todd in Blog Home at 12:49 PM PDT
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Cover art for “Grudgebearer,” by J.F. Lewis. I love working with Lou Anders; he always gives me dragons. ;o)
Coming from Pyr in September 2014, and already up for preorder on Amazon.
“Grudgebearer” has been accepted for inclusion in Spectrum 21.
Posted by Todd in Art!, Blog Home at 7:17 PM PDT
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Finally, the Cruel Ultimatum:
Posted by Todd in Art!, Blog Home at 5:04 PM PDT
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Next up, a pair of Nymphs. The first is the Observant Alseid, and the second is the Spearpoint Oread:
Posted by Todd in Art!, Blog Home at 4:57 PM PDT
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Four new pieces of Magic: the Gathering art released recently. I just found out, so they’ve probably been out for a good month already.
First off: Prossh, Skyraider of Kher:
Posted by Todd in Art!, Blog Home at 4:44 PM PDT
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Enrollment is open for Spring Sessions at the SmART School! There are many different ways to take advantage—Have a look:
SAS Faculty: Donato Giancola . Greg Manchess . Dan DosSantos . Todd Lockwood . Rebecca Guay
Posted by Todd in Blog Home at 12:52 PM PDT
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New prints available on my website:
Posted by Todd in Art!, Blog Home at 4:08 PM PDT
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My buddy John Picacio has launched a kIckstarter. Give it a look:
Posted by Todd in Art!, Blog Home at 10:02 AM PDT
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Do you like Conan the Barbarian?
Then check this Kickstarter campaign for a new campaign setting. When it funds, I will provide the cover art. :o)
Founded by long-time industry veterans Rich Baker, David Noonan, and Stephen Schubert, Sasquatch Game Studio is creating Primeval Thule, a savage, intense campaign setting.
Inspired by the literary traditions of sword-and-sorcery adventure, lost worlds, and fantastic horror, the land of Primeval Thule is a savage, intense campaign setting. This is a world of barbarian freebooters and dark magic, star-spawned monstrosities and elder gods, fabulous treasures and mind-blasting terror. Hunt saber-tooth tigers in steaming jungles—explore ancient cities buried in the relentless ice—battle dark cults and bloody-handed tyrants in decadent city-states. A world of glory and riches is yours to seize!
Thule’s influences are classic pulp fantasy stories such as Robert E. Howard’s Conan stories, H.P. Lovecraft’s Cthulhu mythos, and Edgar Rice Burrough’s tales of savage worlds, as brought to life by the unforgettable illustrations of artists such as Frank Frazetta and Roy Krenkel. These lurid stories and images of brawling action and cosmic horror are the bones, blood, and sinews of the Primeval Thule campaign—and it’s fantasy adventure the way it was meant to be played.
For a broader introduction to the land of Thule, please visit:
And, while you’re there, make sure you check out our concept art gallery!
Posted by Todd in Blog Home at 9:42 AM PDT
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I’ll be in Atlanta for Dragon Con again at the end of August.
last week I got a call from the Art Show Director, John Parise, who’d found himself in a pickle. The convention had somehow neglected to secure artwork for the T-Shirts and other collateral. Could I help?
I owe John a favor (or two or three) from all the years I’ve been late with my paperwork. I blame Comic Con . . . and I’m not kidding. So I planned to bang something out. Instead I spent several days and made the piece of art below.
I’ll have prints of it at Comic Con and Dragon Con, and an oversized print at Dragon Con as well. Once those two shows are behind me, I’ll make it available on my website too.
Posted by Todd in Art!, Blog Home, Shows at 2:00 PM PDT
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