I've long wanted to have some of my artwork on CCGs like L5R. On many of the podcasts and art blogs I frequent, they advise aspiring artists to create work that suits a specific property and only show that specific work. The argument is that an art director will not want to waste time wondering if you'll be a fit for their property, so if you can show it to them beforehand with some ready-made work, it'll make it that easier for them to decide to hire you. This is the first of what will eventually become a set of L5R card art that I'm looking to present to the art directors at Alderac.
For this piece, I was inspired by the Daibutsu, or Great (ie Large) Buddhas of Japan, since neither of the previous versions of the "Introspection" card featured any kind of statue. Since the butsu or Buddha doesn't actually exist in Rokugan, I figured I'd make the statue a representation of Shinsei, the wise monk of Rokugan who was advisor to the kami. To be honest I don't know enough about Rokugan yet to know if there are such statues put up to honor him, but it doesn't seem like a stretch to imagine that there are such statues in place. One interesting thing about Shinsei is that according to legend he has a crow as a permanent companion. Instead of including the crow in the statue, I though that having a live crow perched on the statue's shoulder would be more interesting, sort of alluding that crows have an affinity for the statue, while at the same time giving the viewer an additional sense of the scale of the statue. I've pasted my piece on top of the original, while also showing the original to the right for comparison.
This is the first of what will be five (I thought it was apt) pieces that I will complete over the next few months then submit to Alderac entertainment. I'll be working on them on and off in between my current projects so I don't really have a deadline for them, but hopefully I'll have them done before the middle of next year. Not sure what the next card will be, but if anyone has any requests I'd be happy to hear them.