Friday, 21 September 2012

The Big Break - Formula Waaargh!

The notion of 'The Big Break' can be very alluring. During a career it is tempting to think that one life-changing event will occur after which all will be right with the world. Of course key moments and opportunites do arise, but these are built upon all the hard work that has gone before, and afterwards more hard work still needs to be done to maintain momentum.

I write that with hindsight, and with the knowledge that I have been guilty of thinking one project alone would be the lottery winner. 'Formula Waaargh!' was one such project. It was '99 and I was already working for Games Workshop's Black Library, producing illustrated stories for 'Inferno!' magazine, when Jake Thornton set up an offshoot division to produce board games. One of their first products was to be an orc racing game. I was commissioned to produce all the artwork, central to which was the board.

The board was a mammoth undertaking; I created it at 200% print size, and it measures 31" x 56". The track was relatively straightforward, the epic part was the spectators. Trackside I painted hordes of orcs, goblins and squigs brandishing their team colours and up to all manner of mischief.

I can't even recollect how many weeks it took to paint, but weeks it did, and that wasn't even accounting for the cards designs I also created. It felt like the accumulation of my entire career up to that moment.

It never got published.

Higher ups decided on a change of direction for the company, and the project was shelved.

This work never got seen by anyone outside of the company, until now.

Formula Waaargh!
Acrylic on board. Approx 56" x 31"
Copyright Games Workshop
Original artwork for sale: $5000
Here are some close-ups of the action.

Da Booze

Nobz Hut and Da Cup



Rat On A Stick

Run Away

Dr Hook

The Odds Just Lengthened


Da Pitz
I was so pleased to finish I signed my name in full!

If you want to impart some sort of moral onto this tale feel free; I did a job I was proud of, got paid and learnt a lot, from which I continued to build my career. I guess I can now tick the last box, which that people get to see it.

Oh, and even after all my work I managed to miss out painting one part. It was the first thing the AD commented on when I took the final into his office - can you spot it?

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