Sergio Camarena - Moshi Ira - Ira I had a pretty clear idea on what I wanted to see for her. It just seemed to me as though someone with such a relationship with storms would just relax in the chaos of a storm, sitting calmly on a basalt pillar in the sea.
Aurlien Hubert - Yoritomo Hofu
Shen Fei - Yoritomo Naoto
Sergio Camarena- Kunji - The literal fire bird, for well, the nicknamed fire birds. Kunji is a favorite of ours with its artistic pyromania. Sergio was given Kunji’s prior art and told to make him more fiery and glorious. We think he more than succeeded.
Sergio Camarena - The Mystical Merchant - The nod for inspiration of the character really has to go to James Hong and the characters he plays, also his voice. Our description to Sergio for this was basically ” This is the guy who sells mystical trinkets that no sane person should ever actually want because it inevitably gets them into trouble.” There is even a bottle labeled as L5R if you look close.
Sergio Camarena - Crushing Strength
We wanted to show why it’s a bad idea to fight the Phoenix on their home turf with this image. Really think it’s a gorgeous piece of work, hope you do to.
Sergio Camarena - Daidoji Kitahime.
Daidoji Kitahime galloping into battle, bow in hand. During the designing stages, we jokingly called her Rekai jr and used the original Rekai as a large source of inspiration. Sergio’s style lent itself to this wonderfully. I personally love the small touches, the flap of the fringe on the horse, the kicking up of the dust, her arm outstretched bow in hand ready to draw in a flicker.
Sergio Camarena - Hiruma Sawai
The odd thing with scouts is they should be scouting. But that implies looking at other things. But we also like to see characters faces. So scouts can be tricky. I asked Sergio for a scout doing some recon of a mine from uptop and we got this cool armored scout and landscape. A fine trade off at times for a bit of story traded for characterization. It’s a little bit of a balancing act.
Elephant Caravan - Jason Behnke
I Cast Two Shadows - Sergio Camarena
Overcome Adversity - Wen Juinn
Venquisher’s Blades - Jason Juta
Yamazaki - Bob Stevlic - Yamazaki shows of his angry do it now or I kill you mentality. Bob brings a grittiness to his work that is hard to find and we so rarely get to use him he was getting an Exp character no matter what, and Yamazaki asked nicely to be drawn by him.
Goju Bunoro - Sergio Camerena - The first of a sequence of cards Bunoro will star in. In the final proof reading Bunoro and Shosuro Nobu shared the same name of Nobu, I pointed it out to the team saying ” I love that they have the same name, it’s a sort of displacer shadow clone weird karmic link thing right?” Sadly the answer was ” Oh, oops messed up on that, fix it!” To which I looked sad and said doh. But it would have been cool I think.
Daigotsu Rafu - Troy Graham - We wanted Rafu to just be off his rocker crazy looking, Troy did a splendid job of capturing this manic crazed heavy breathing just beat someone to death vibe.
Daigotsu Arakan - Jim Pavlec- Jim is good at dark and moody. Arakan was seen in our designs as a descendant of a Lion Lost who took his place at Daigotsu’s side and taught his descendants to just loath and hate the Lion Clan. Originally he had an actual mammal lion’s head on his shoulder, we took it make a notch and went with the claws and teeth you see on his shoulder now mostly because the proportions looked odd.
Kenta - Storn Cook - The weapon was the star of this one. We’d found a website that had strange martial weapons in it and this three part chain staff jumped out as needing to be shown off. A couple of people have asked if Kenta is a man or a woman and my answer is I have no idea, it was never established. Could go either way.
M’rika - Mario Wibisono - At the start of TSE Mario asked for a few different types of characters and one was a creepy beautiful girl. I think he got what he wanted. M’rika shows us what a body hag can do and why its so dangerous. We also get to see it’s person suit before it’s totally finished, the seams are still in place and she is slipping on her hand/glove. Creepy stuff.
Cowed and Defeated - Adam Schumpert - I’m not sure I can say enough good about our newcomer Adam. This was one of four sketches he sent, all were awesome, all would have made great cards and this was his final we had no revisions for him. He used the style guide perfectly and gave us what I think is an epic looking card.
Captured Convict - Steve Argyle - The final piece showing off Kanahashi in her bounty hunter role, she’s convinced the guy to surrender and is dragging his butt back to town. I love how annoyed she looks at having to drag him back. Maybe she hoped he’d fight back more?
Lookout - Dan Masso - A spotter for a ninja in the shadows she marks the target and he gives them an accidental dart in the neck. The guy munching away unexpectantly is great.
Scorn the Weak - Felipe Gaona - The idea here was an ally or guarded individual turning and running when he yojimbo or friend took one on the head. Weak indeed.
Subtle Games - I wanted someone getting caught in a weird situation due to a Scorpions mechanics. Poor lady, I think it’s his wife.
Bayushi Misaki - Mario Wibisono - A Nine tail fox in human form, Mario brings his absurdly detailed style to her elegant look. I’m hoping for some fun story time out of this one.
Bayushi Waru - Chris Pritchard - Waru is a really stern cold individual, his ability felt like that of an intimidating yojimbo so we displayed his skill in use at Rokugans other battle field the courts of the empire.
Bayushi Tarou - Matthew Armstrong - I had a really clear idea of what I wanted to see out of this scene and Matthew captured it really well, an aggressive weapon and martial attack. Knee coming up weapon coming down in a devastating combo.
Shosuro Keirei - Drew Baker - I asked Drew to make him this ancient looking assasin gymnast blow gun master. The results speak for themselves he looks like an old hitman getting ready for one more job.
Shosuro Ryoken - Mike Rabee - A man who loves fire Ryoken was imagined as a man who enjoys his work in making others lives miserable.
Shosuro Nobu - Sergio Camerana - Nobu turned into a fun project. He is showing up in maybe 6 cards over the next 4 sets, in an epic struggle with the Goju. Who will win? I have no idea but it’s been hilarious to watch it progress.
Moshi Rukia - Sergio Camarena - Rukia is a fine example of Sergio’s style, loose and flowing, wild and raw she was a powerful thunder shungeja from the start and we wanted her coiled with power charged up for a blast.
Tsuruchi Kosoko - Mario Wibisono I told Mario Kosoko was Saya’s granddaughter who has just won a wasp style archery tournament. We were sure to get those black and yellow colors in on her arrows and bow.
Yoritomo Kanahashi - Steve Argyle - Kanahashi is in three cards this set, she comes off as playfully ruthless I think. The pyro on the building was to reflect an original holdings control mechanic she had so I designed her as a bit extreme in her methods.
Kitsune Kichi - Alain Viecsa - I met Alain at Gen Con last year, he came to dinner with Steve, myself and some friends. Had a lot of fun and we got him on board for some work. Kichi and her giant honey badger are a pretty cool combo and they just don’t care.
Yoritomo Ebumi - William O’Conner - Jungle scout. We had originally tried for sort of a covered in mud Arnie in Predator vibe but it wasn’t working so instead a sort of gaze out of the jungle as he roams the edges looking for enemy incursions evolved.
Yoritomo Tsang - Matthew Armstrong - When we saw that the Mantis got a kensei, we knew duel kama were how this was going to go down. Plus Matt had expressed an interest in doing some work and the match was made.