Every One Counts

-By Jesper Ejsing

This article is almost like a pep-talk to myself. One that I pull forth once in a while to beat myself into submission and productivity. You might as well listen in while I tell myself these handfuls of uneasy truths.

One of the magic card illustrations that came together and really made me think: "This is where I am going"

I make some 50 paintings a year.

to be more precise I do around a cover a month, 2 card art illustration and some extra concept art or interior illustrations. Lets say I do 5 paintings a month. I deduct about a month a year to make up for vacation and christmas and what not. That leaves me with 55 paintings a year. Give and take.

In my part of the world, namely Denmark I am expected to live until I am 77 years old. That is if I do not drink myself to death or drive like a madman. Well I don't.

The total amount of paintings I got left is 2035...

This brings me to what I am about to say. If my next painting is number 2034 I better well have to make it a good one. Every painting that doesn't succeed is one wasted number in a fast eroding line of artwork. Another way to say it is: Out of the 55 paintings a year I usually hit goal around 3 to 4 times a year. I have 4 that I really like and that makes me proud. 4 pieces where I wouldn't wanna change a thing or where I cannot find it in me to correct anything. These paintings I hang on my wall to have a stearing point of where I am going and to remind me of what is working and what I did right.

So what about the rest? Most of them are good or okay, but just not raising above average.

but are they wasted? They better not be. I try to make every mistake count in some way too. If I am about to finish a painting and I get the feeling that this one is not a homerun I analyse what went wrong. Is it the composition, the figure drawing, the story, the lack of story, the design or colors? I pause and take a good long look at it. It is like watching your face in the mirror looking for pimples. I note down to myself what I could have done better, what is wrong and make damn well sure I imply it to number 2033.

“Jesper; learn from your mistakes, and make every painting count!”

These are some of the paintings that I like. Not necessarily the best ones but definitely the ones where I had the feeling of going a step up the ladder.

Cover for Dragon Magazine

Magic the Gathering

Magic the Gathering

Dungeon Quest, Fantasy Flight Games

Sea of Blood. Fantasy Flight Games

Magic the Gathering