Here at OMA, we promote the entire spectrum of art from Magic the Gathering but give special attention to the traditionally created pieces.
While digital illustration can also create astonishing art, being able to hang a unique piece of Magic’s history on the wall is an irreplaceable feeling for many, players and collectors alike.
With the release of each set, more opportunities are provided for Magic art aficionados to expand their collections and for newcomers to the hobby to begin their adventure by capturing these scenes from a brand new world.
Traditional Art Gallery
While the amount of traditional art has certainly declined over time, there are still a good number being produced with each new set.
Dragons of Tarkir is no different with over 50 paintings uncovered so far, along with several more created in mixed media or by artists that create traditional recreations of their digital work.
After a bit of investigation, and with the help of some extremely cooperative artists, I was able to track down most of those traditional works and have shared large scale images and details below.
In addition to these pieces, there are several other artists that work traditionally that I was unable to get a response from in time for this article.
Here is a brief run down of the other originals that, as far as I know, are still available but not listed above:
- Necromaster Dragon
- Thunderbreak Regent – Will be sold on eBay
- Descent of the Dragons
- Dragonlord’s Servant
In addition, Nils Hamm and Karl Kopinski both work variably in traditional and digital media. I was not able to determine which, if any, of their work for Dragons of Tarkir was done traditionally, but there is a chance that paintings may exist for any of their images.
Anyone interested in any of these paintings can send an offer directly to the artists through OMA. Good luck, there is some amazing art still available.
Going, Going, Gone
After following the original art market for the last few years, it’s amazing to see how fast some of this artwork is being snatched up during spoiler season. Just two years ago, you could wait for more than a month to pick up originals from a new set, but that has all changed.
Below are the paintings from Dragons of Tarkir that have already found new homes, some purchased just minutes after being spoiled by Wizards.
In the first article of this series, I noted that new art is moving quickly and that trend appears to only be accelerating. Many of the artists I contacted had either already sold all of their originals or were in the process of doing so. As a proponent of collecting Magic art, that is quite heartening to see.
Not only has the interest level increased, but the base is gradually widening. The number of people sharing their first piece or expressing interest in obtaining original Magic art grows daily and this is reflected in the increased velocity of sales of originals from Dragons of Tarkir.
While the number of originals being produced is growing, accounting for almost 20% of Dragons of Tarkir, the popularity appears to be increasing even faster as prices continue to generally rise.
Have some claimed we are entering Bubble territory? Sure.
Do I think we are in a Bubble? No.
I think that the market for Original Magic Art is growing and some are justifiably concerned at the pace we have seen recently. The game is over 20 years old now. More players, and especially older, financially secure players, are recognizing the unique nature of Magic art and responding with their increased buying power.
Is the market applying a strong premium to new art and do I think that anything that doesn’t sell after the initial rush may sit for a while? Yes, definitely, but I don’t see that as a problem.
Most often I see these new pieces going into collections and staying there. Were we to see rampant flipping of newly acquired art or an increased dependence on the greater fool, I would be more concerned.
These paintings represent unique memories, experiences and personal histories in a way that the cards will never be able to match. The fact that people are rushing to pick up the new images that capture their imagination and holding on to them can only be viewed as a good thing.
Not Done Yet
In the process of gathering all of the details for this article, I lined up the next few articles for the Art in Focus series. Every Thursday, Magic artists go over their creative process and share details about their illustrations. Check out the series, if you haven’t already.
If you enjoyed this article or are considering adding a few of these pieces to your collection, please let me know in the comments.
Until next time!