Zazzle’s Spotlight contributor
Nightmareartist: July 4, 2005
You may never have heard her name, but we’re willing to bet you’ve seen her work. Zazzle Contributor Nightmareartist (Melissa A. Benson) was one of the original artists for the cards in the popular card game Magic: The Gathering. At Zazzle, Nightmareartist specializes in fantasy art that is colorful, creative and of high quality. She recently took a few moments to answer questions about her art, her work, and what we can expect from her next.
Zazzle: Where do you get your inspiration?
Nightmareartist: The phone bill. Knowing I have to pay it can be very inspiring! (Laughs) Seriously though, mostly through reading and nature.
Z: How did you get started in art?
N: I assume you mean professionally …. I went to college (Paier College of Art in Hamden, Connecticut, then went to the city (New York, of course), then mailed a lot of query letters. Through the years, I’ve worked in a variety of different roles within different industries: several graphics & marketing firms, Titan Sports (WWF), book publishers, a fashion manufacturer/designer, and even a theatrical make-up artist/ wig/ costume designer out of NYC.
I’m probably best known for my artwork in the gaming card industry, though—in fact my Zazzle Contributor name pays homage to one of the most popular cards I worked on, Magic: The Gathering’s Nightmare.
Z: How long does it take you to create one of your images?
N: That’s really hard to say, as I usually have several pieces of art going at once. I do all the sketches, then all the masking, all the backgrounds and so forth. I don’t do one from start to finish and then do the next one start to finish and so on.
Z: What can we expect from you in the future?
N: Probably images from several sets of tarot cards, more decorative arts and crafts type things.
Z: Any advice for fellow Zazzle Contributors?
N: Keep your eye on the ball.
Z: Which Zazzle Contributors’ work do you like?
N: I especially like lobo971’s ‘Mermaid’, Anry’s Spring Wizard, and Peter Sharpe’s The Warrior.