Today we interview Sorcery: Contested Realm Artist, Vincent Pompetti.
Vincent's illustrations are in water color medium and bring a very unique and interesting element to Sorcery: Contested Realm as compared to the medium, styles, and techniques across the diverse variety of other artists.
A lot of inspiration draws from Vincent's experience doing comic book style artwork. Throughout the interview he provides several references to books he has done, and a link is included at the end for where you can purchase these. If you are a fan of Vincent's artwork for Sorcery, you will surely love his prior works as well!
Art Fan Pro Tip: This is an 'immersive' interview. Take the time to click the links to discover more information about references throughout the piece!
Mike @ Collector Arthouse: Tell us a bit about your background. Where you are from, and how you got into art for a career.
Vincent Pompetti: I'm Italian but I have lived in France for many years, and I studied in a fine art school in Belgium, the country where I was born. I followed illustration and comic book options, and started doing comics in the early 2000s.
Mike @ Collector Arthouse: What work have you done outside of Sorcery? Have you done work for Trading Card Games (TCGs) before, and how do you like it compared to other projects?
Vincent Pompetti: I have worked for many years now in roleplay games. The latest are "Nephilim -le Souffle du Dragon" and an upcoming work for a flemish game named "Mythe". I'm also working on a Dungeon & Dragons extension, but Sorcery is my first trading card game. It is particularly enjoyable because all these themes are what I like, and I felt free to create big pieces with specific atmospheres. Every picture tells a story, and it is completely different from a comic book or even a RPG, with current characters or landscapes.
Mike @ Collector Arthouse: Who are your influences as an artist?
Vincent Pompetti: A part of my inspiration comes from the first half of the century, especially the American illustrators or comic book creator as Alex Raymond or Harold Foster. I also like a lot the "golden era" of Creepy and Eeries, with such talented drawers as Berni Wrightson, Al Williamson or Jeffrey Catherine Jones. Of course I have a deep respect for Frank Frazetta, it is a never-ending inspiration, and it was an incredible surprise to discover recently that some of his art will be inside the game ! I remember we discussed with Erik about him and his influence through my work, but I never thought to be associated in the same game !!
Frank Frazetta Artwork Announced for Sorcery
Other inspiration are architecture, art nouveau, and of course Italy, under all aspect : color, themes, looks. I'm quite focused on 1900-1970's era.
Mike @ Collector Arthouse: In several of your pieces it looks like you may have used real world locations or historical references. Is this true, and if so can you point out some examples?
Vincent Pompetti: Yes, for "Highway" I create a kind of roman aqueduct. The first version of the illustration was quite realistic.
On "Assassin" the clothes and atmosphere are quite similar to Italian renaissance style artwork
For "Hanging Garden" I worked first on perspectives, I wanted to give depth and the inspiration was of course babylonian ruins. But Erik had a very different idea, more focused on the magical mood; the fact to be submerged by a gathering of flowers, characters overwhelmed by birds, and paradise sounds. So at the end you have a brand new picture, with only some basic reference for a babylonian touch. This is a good example of collaboration, because without Erik's view, this picture would never have existed. It allows you to work on a fresher way. Sometimes a word is enough to completely change an idea.
Mike @ Collector Arthouse: I have seen Dodge Roll used quite a bit by players, and with the fairly generic card title I am curious what art direction you received for this one and how you came up with the art concept that you settled on.
Vincent Pompetti: This one was described by Erik, if I remember correctly, about a guy who avoids a kind of giant or an animal. It was not precise, as you can see in the first sketch. So I thought of a kind of elephant, because it showed the character able to anticipate, rolling aside, which was the subject of the card. I don't remember well, but I thought that the elephant was a bit too easy, and putting a giant with a sledgehammer gave more violence. It was a pleasure to do this one. I especially like the action and movement in the scene; this is pure heroic fantasy, and not so easy, because the quick move of the character must be comprehensible. This one allowed me to create a deep and violent impact. I remember also Erik asked me to darken a bit of the picture on the right.
Mike @ Collector Arthouse: Can you select a few pieces that may have an interesting back story and tell us about the art direction you received and the concept or meaning behind the final product?
Vincent Pompetti: I've released many years ago a "pirate" comic books ("The Corsair") , and I had drawn of course a lot of ships, sailors and sea landscapes.
So when Erik commissioned me to release four "pirate" pieces, I already had experience ready to serve. The ghost ship was a big piece to do, but thanks to my book and my last exhibitions on this theme, I was ready for that. Because to build a ship is not so easy , you have to set a minimum of things on the right place, as ropes, sails, wood pieces,etc. And since many years ago, I did exhibitions in my country in Italy, with sea paintings, sun rising from the horizon, so all these themes were familiar to me.
The best record for that is "albatross", certainly the most narrative picture I did, close to a comic book page, because you have the look of every character who leads you to the bird. It creates a little movie, a frightening atmosphere.
The" storm" piece is also an alternate version of some adrift boats I had drawn before, as a picture out of a comic page.
Mike @ Collector Arthouse: Do you have a favorite or few favorites with which you are particularly pleased with how they came out?
Vincent Pompetti: Quite tough question! I answered a bit on another question above. "Pirate ship" came out very well. I like "Shield maiden" for the female warrior theme and composition. Maybe also because the main character is inspired by Onys, one of my character from my scifi/fantasy graphic novel.
"Sanctuary" is also a favorite one, I like a lot the conan-esque landscapes like this. For the action cards, "Crushing Blow" with the duel and its uncertain outcome.
I'm also happy with "Rain of arrows", both colored and tragic. A part of the pleasure to work on this project, is that usually, I'm pretty close to historical constraints, even when I create a sci-fi story, and heroic fantasy gives you the opportunity to feel completely free, to change medieval or antique references into something new; thanks Erik for that. His direction was both precise and gives you a lot of space, always with the possibility to discuss.
Mike @ Collector Arthouse: One of my personal favorites is Highland Princess. Can you provide some insight on the art direction for this one and if there is a specific reference used or story behind your vision for this one?
Vincent Pompetti: This one was certainly one of the fastest painting I did, for a lot of reasons; the art direction was very clear and gave me the possibility to create an "art nouveau" piece, which I like a lot. And another main character from my graphic novel ("Ancient Astronauts") is a red female. So it was both a current theme and also fresh, because I decided to give a very personal look and face; so I had no doubt on the direction to do.
Mike @ Collector Arthouse: Is there anything else about you or your work (sorcery or beyond) that I haven’t asked and you would like to share with fans?
Vincent Pompetti: Yes, if you like comic books, you can discover some of my releases in english, thanks to the Canadian publisher Black Panel Press; "Ancient Astronauts, Constellation" are two graphic novel of fantasy/SF and this is my personal universe. Also "Conquest; gallic war", an adaptation of the Julius Caesar campaign, and also "The Corsair". Last two books written by french scriptwriter Tarek.
Mike Servati @ Collector Arthouse and Collector Arthouse on Facebook, signing off...