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Sorcery Artist Interview: Lindsey Crummett

Today we interview Sorcery: Contested Realm Artist, Lindsey Crummett.

Lindsey is a multi-talented artist with an incredible breadth of experience in multiple artistic industries, as you will see in the interview. From sculpting, to digital painting, and traditional painting, she has done it all; and the results are truly impressive. Some of her works for Sorcery are considered one of the more iconic in the game, including some of my personal favorites: Ancient Dragon, Seasoned Sellsword, and Beast of Burden.

It was a pleasure to connect with Lindsey and have the opportunity to introduce her to Sorcery: Contested Realm fans. Thank you for the opportunity, Lindsey!


Mike @ Collector Arthouse: For those who don’t know of your work, tell us a bit about your background. Where are you from? How did you get into artwork as a professional career?

Lindsey Crummett: I’m from Orange County, California originally but have been living in Wellington, New Zealand since 2005. I moved to New Zealand after getting my degree in Fine Art, so that I could pursue my dream of creating art for the film industry. I’ve loved fantasy and sci-fi since I was very young and poured over films like Legend, Never Ending Story, Aliens, Terminator and Star Wars as a kid. Anything that got my imagination going!

While studying at University, the LotR films came out and I was swept away with a love for fantasy all over again. I visited New Zealand in 2003 and was able to get work as an Orc extra on set of The Return of the King - an amazing experience which solidified my dream of working in the arts and film.

Years later after moving country and through much stubborn perseverance, I got work at Weta Workshop. Eventually I worked on The Hobbit Trilogy as well as many other films, games and art installations over my 10+ years there. After becoming a mother in 2018, I moved to freelance work which has been a great experience that lead to amazing projects, especially Sorcery.


Mike @ Collector Arthouse: I noticed that you are multi-talented artistically, with experience in props making, sculpting (traditional and digital?), and painting. Outside of Sorcery, are there a few pieces you could share that perhaps you are most proud of or you would consider representative of your breadth of work and ability?

Lindsey Crummett:

Thranduil on Elk This was one of my last Collectibles sculpted at Weta, and I’m particularly fond of it. I love the regal, arrogant attitude. It was digitally sculpted using Z-Brush, as were all of the Collectibles I’ve done.

Azog On Warg

This was the first large scale Collectible I sculpted, and it was a real challenge to find a pose that would be dynamic, engaging, and somehow make the large size slightly more compact. I was really proud of the movement achieved in the end!

When I was Four I Could See Faeries

This was an illustration for a short story by the same name. It was printed in a wonderful Anthology of short fantasy stories written by Caitlin Spice entitled, The Silver Path. The illustration was drawn digitally with the intention to retain a pencil drawn feel.

Orc Prosthetic This was during my time in the (traditional) sculpting department at Weta. I learned so much from the amazing, experienced sculptors there, and this was a prosthetic mask I sculpted that I was pretty proud of. The chin piece that went with it isn’t pictured here sadly.

District 9 Prop Gun & Transformation Prosthetic

I worked in props very early on at Weta and was able to model -make, mould, and cast this gun from District 9. When I moved to the sculpting department I worked in a small team sculpting the transformation prosthetic for the lead character.


Mike @ Collector Arthouse: Who are some of your art influences who have shaped your artistic style?

Lindsey Crummett: There are many, but to name a few; Alan Lee, John Howe, Brian Froud, and Wayne Barlowe. I’ve had the honour to have worked with Alan, John and Wayne during my time at Weta which was a dream. Frank Frazetta’s book covers for the Martian Chronicles also really had an affect on me. My style can be quite varied, so my artistic influences are too! My husband Andrew Baker has most certainly influenced my work as well since he introduced me to Digital Sculpting, and we have endless dialogues about art and storytelling.


Mike @ Collector Arthouse: How were you discovered and approached to work on Sorcery? I’m curious, did Erik articulate a certain “fit” that he saw in your skillset and portfolio that he thought would work well for Sorcery’s theme?

Lindsey Crummett: I had done some digital sculpting for Erik on Path of Exile, and when looking for artists he had a look through my Artstation Portfolio. He came across the one oil painting among mostly digital work, which was eventually used for the card “Seasoned Sellsword”. Based on that piece he thought my oil painting style would work well for the game and gave me the opportunity to do “Ancient Dragon” to start off. From there we were rolling!


Mike @ Collector Arthouse: “Ancient Dragon” is an amazing piece, and one of the first that really stood out to me and appealed to me with Sorcery. I imagine for this one especially, your digital sculpting, creature development, and character posing design experience really played into this one. Can you describe the artistic direction you received for this one, and your process for developing the final concept?

Lindsey Crummett: Erik was never overly descriptive with his briefs as I know he wanted to leave the artist a lot of room to play, which I really appreciated. I believe the brief was something along the lines of; a huge, old dragon perched atop a mountain. My process consisted of starting off finding a lot of animal reference. This is why I love dragons, I find that they’re an amalgamation of so many different animals! I researched iguanas, horses, bats and birds of all kinds and used them as inspiration and anatomical reference. I then did a sculpture in Z-brush as I’m very comfortable sculpting, and then I can really play with the best angle that would make you feel the size of the dragon. From there I used the sculpture to create a Photoshop digital painting. I didn’t get too detailed as I knew this would be mainly for lighting and tone reference for the final oil painting.


Mike @ Collector Arthouse: “Beast of Burden” is another of my personal favorites. The color composition immediately grabs your attention in a similar way as Melissa Benson’s “Screaming Skull”. Can you give us some background on the art direction and your vision for this card design?

The card reads “The beast may carry an ally as it moves” and in an early version of the card design it was noted as having “Iron Skin”; so I wonder if/how these elements factored into your design choices.

Lindsey Crummett: Frustratingly I don’t actually have the original briefs any more but again I do remember them being… well, brief! I believe it was something along the lines of a large quadruped beast of burden that could carry a large amount on its back, being led by a master. The couple paintings I had done at that stage were a very blue palette so I decided I wanted to go really warm with this one and envisioned somewhat of a desert environment. I wanted the creature to be not too dissimilar to beasts of burden you find in our world, but wanted to give it really outlandish horns to bring it more into the fantasy realm. I also really wanted the creature's expression to show on the “burden” of the work that it’s always made to undertake.


Mike @ Collector Arthouse: In “Occult Ritual” there is an interesting flavor text quote on

the card:

“Ygbaiih ygnaiih thflthkh’ngha… Yog-Sothoth…Y’bthnk h’ehye-n’grkdl’lh!”

It is cited as a quote from HP Lovecraft. Are you familiar with the quote?

Was this provided in the initial art

description and did it factor into your design? Is there anything else you would like to share with regard to the design concept?

How does it feel to hear that there is going to be a Frank Frazettal alternate art card for Occult Ritual?

Lindsey Crummett: I didn’t know the HP Lovecraft quote would be there til I saw the card! It’s from the Dunwich Horror and is very apt since rituals and invisible monsters are involved! I believe the brief was along the lines of, a mysterious group of hooded figures summoning a dark force under the night sky. I really had fun creating the demonic face forming from the smoke swirling up from their fire! When they announced the alternate card as a Frazetta piece, I was overwhelmed! At first it felt as though, “oh god don’t put mine directly next to his!!” But I feel honoured to be put in the same sentence, so I am nothing but humbled.

[Further details on Lindsey's development process for her Occult Ritual illustration can be seen in the Behind the Art feature, and in Lindsey's free Patreon post]


Mike @ Collector Arthouse: “Seasoned Sellsword” is another favorite of mine. The card reads “An Elite Mortal under contract to protect”. Given the fairly generic description, I imagine you had a lot of creative freedom on this design. What inspired the concept that you settled on?

Lindsey Crummett: As I said earlier, this was actually a personal piece that Erik asked if I would be happy to use in the game. Originally titled, “Fight Like a Girl”, I was inspired by female athletes. Often in images depicted of female warriors, they have a very aesthetically pleasing expression on their face, as if they’re posing. In contrast, I wanted to reference photos of female Olympic Athletes with expressions of extreme concentration on their face. I was stoked Erik wanted to use it for “Seasoned Sellsword.”


Mike @ Collector Arthouse: How can artists support you, and purchase original paintings, sketches, prints, artist proofs, or other merchandise?

Lindsey Crummett: Yes absolutely, purchasing originals (when they next become available), Artist proofs, and supporting my Patreon is a biggy. I’m relatively new to Patreon, but am doing regular posts with full behind the scenes process, videos and reference images. For the next painting I’ve actually done a full Timelapse video of the oil painting that will be exclusive to patrons. I’ll also announce the availability of artist proofs, originals, and eventually limited edition signed prints on my Patreon first before announcing on other platforms. But supporting on that site allows me to keep creating for my personal projects as well! I’ll also share sculptures and illustrations with excerpts of my fantasy/folklore stories if you’re into that kind of thing!


Mike @ Collector Arthouse: Is there anything else that I haven’t asked that you would like to share with fans?

Lindsey Crummett: Just that I’m over the moon to be apart of this project with such amazing fellow artists and under Erik’s brilliant direction. The Sorcery fans have just been the coolest.


Mike Servati @ Collector Arthouse and Collector Arthouse on Facebook, signing off...


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