Fantasy Artist Interviews

image by Veronica V. Jones

Six Answers from Jeremy McHugh

The ghastly visage of Jeremy McHugh.

You would be hard pressed to find an artist with more irons in the fire than Jeremy McHugh. He’s a full-time RPG illustrator, podcast co-host, and tireless participant in sketch groups and art competitions. Sleep for Mr. McHugh seems a mathematical impossibility!

What was one of your earliest fantasy experiences?

Hmm…does the time I was sucked up into a space ship count? Actually, I can remember being two years old in the back of the family station wagon at the drive-in theater. A huge gray slice of pizza was crossing the screen…and that was my first impression of Star Wars in the opening moments of the film.

How did you become a professional artist?

It was something I chose to work towards when I realized that there are people who make a living drawing silly pictures! I put together a small portfolio and began contacting people. I suppose my first published work (that I was paid for) came from Ron Edwards over at Adept Press on his Sorcerer RPG. In my mind that would mark the true beginning of my career as a professional artist.

Where do you find inspiration for your work?

I think I find it where most working pros do (based on those I’ve spoken to). Books, film, other artists, music, being outside. Basically anything that gets my imagination going. A pretty standard answer I guess.

Is there a single message that you find yourself most drawn to?

I like the theme of the ordinary person facing and overcoming extraordinary circumstances often by blessedly good luck and an adherence to principles and common sense. My favorite heroes fall into this theme snugly.

What has been your most challenging project?

Hmmm…I suppose it was one time when I was contracted to do a large batch of card illustrations and learned half-way through it (quite by accident), that I would not be hired for the next set because the owner of the intellectual property did not like my work for some reason.

I really had to dig deep to be a professional. In addition, the feedback from the intellectual property’s owner was often insulting and contradictory to the reference I was provided. Still, professionalism won out and I finished my assignments with the quality I was known for at the time. Hard to type when I am patting myself on the back… LOL.

What are you working on now?

Currently, I am working on a book cover for an RPG publisher. I am quite proud of the work so far. I feel it is among the best I’ve done to date so I am pretty excited to eventually see it in print. I’m also working on a small 4-page comic story which has been good fun so far. 🙂

Follow the frenetic pace of Jeremy’s career on his blog: McHugh’s Basement.

Written by in March of 2009. Last edited September 2014.

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