Sunday, June 10, 2018

Quick Shot on Choose Your Own: Sci-Fi Stock Art

Hi all, I have a quick shot with James E. Shields today! James' project, Choose Your Own: Sci-Fi Stock Art, is currently in its last days on Kickstarter and he's just answered a few quick questions for me below. 


Choose Your Own: Sci-Fi Stock Art is a project that lets creators mix and match sci-fi stock art to create instant masterpieces for their tabletop roleplaying game.

A retro styled frame like that of a choose your own adventure book with images of science fiction characters, three people in power armor, saying "you're the star of the series! choose from all possible combinations!"
I love the "choose your own..." style of the art for the Kickstarter and all - I was a big fan of such books growing up.
What is Choose Your Own: Sci-Fi Stock Art, both as a product and as your vision?

As a product, it is hundreds of individual sci-fi art assets that can be mixed, flipped, rearranged and more to create custom images for roleplaying games.

As my vision, it is a continued effort to help independent RPG publishers bridge the gap between pure commissioned art and stock art. It's my way of giving back to a community that has given so much to me.

How did you develop and decide on the various art assets that you've put together for the purposes of the Kickstarter?

I will be using a mix of existing assets as well as creating all new illustrations from ideas that backers submit. I'll read through the pool of ideas and take those that inspire me. It's going to be exciting because it will be the first time in a long time that I get to create a bunch of art based purely on inspiration instead of assigned ideas. It's also really cool because I can have ideas that I think are good, but then I get submissions and it will blow my mind that I get paid to illustrate ideas like that.

A collection of game and product covers laid over each other.
A collection of covers.
What has been the best part of running the Kickstarter, and what have you learned for future projects?
The best part? Without a doubt, hands down, absolutely, it has been the response from the independent publishing community. I couldn't ask for better support from the RPG community. The gratitude they express for creating this project is unparalleled. Every day for probably the first week, I'd have another voluntary offer to include their product as a reward for backing my project.

The amount of complimentary awards is so high that it is actually MORE than the value of my Kickstarter pledge levels!

I have learned, by accident, the value of symbiotic relationship in the RPG community. I began creating custom stock art as a way to express my thanks for publishers who have given me the best hobby ever. That act began friendships. I don't have to try to sell a product to any of them. I just create something that my friends benefit from. Connecting through the shared experience of roleplaying games is what we should all strive for.

You listen and communicate with friends.

That is what will drive my next project.

A gif showing a static image of an alien with rotating backgrounds of a cantina and other settings.
I love the modular art! Very cool!

Thanks so much, James, for the quick interview! I hope everyone will stop by the Choose Your Own: Sci-Fi Stock Art Kickstarter to see if something will meet their needs today!

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