In case you had not heard, we lost Magic artist Quinton Hoover on Friday, April 19. His contributions were foundational to my interest in art and the images he created brought many into the game of Magic.
Sadly, I never got the chance to meet Quinton in person. I was lucky enough to have friended him on Facebook and, while I only had a few interactions with him, I enjoyed every image he shared with his fans and every insight he gave into his process. He was generous and fascinating and it is to my regret that I was never able to get to know him better. While I followed his updates regarding his illness, I always held out hope that he would be able to make it through.
What follows are some of my favorite images done by Quinton and a few words on how much impact he had on me, simply through his work.
I played alot of Shandalar. Like alot alot. I didn’t even own any Magic cards at the time, but I played that Microprose game day in and day out.
Regeneration got me through the early levels of Shandalar and Quinton’s regrowing arm will be forever etched into my brain.
Whether it be enchanting a Thicket Basilisk or a Cockatrice, I can’t count the number of times that I was able to make it through the early portion of the game on the back of this great art. This is Regeneration to me. With the strong line work and colorful palate that typified his style, I will never be able to think about this effect or my early time with the game without seeing this image in my head.
So, I have a horrible secret to admit. For many years, I didn’t know that Elder Land Wurm was a dragon under some sand. Before someone showed me the dragon’s head, I thought it was some sort of giant desert Starfish. Either way, I was loved the art.
This was one of my favorite cards from 4th edition as it was huge, white and had amazing art. Quinton only did two dragons for Magic and this piece gives us a hint of how his unique style could bring out the best in such a recognizable fantasy creature. While I still look at it and see a bit of desert echinoderm, it never fails to bring a smile to my face and some joy to my heart.
What can I say about Quinton’s Wrath of God that has not already been said?
Not only was this one of the most powerful cards when I started playing, but it was the yardstick against which I measured all of the other art from the game. To be able to translate the idea of the wrath of an angry god so effectively in such a small space yet implying an act on such large scale is something that I still marvel at. When asked recently what my favorite art Quinton ever did was, I named his Wrath without a doubt. Not only did I get to enjoy the art on the card back in the day, but even as I look at it now, I still can’t believe how much work he put into this piece.
I just saw the rabbit!
Once I started collecting Magic cards I made sure to get get a full set of Illusions of Grandeur both for the power of the card and the quality of the art. Though they were rare, Quinton’s Dragons were some of my favorite images. His bold outlines and inventive use of color made his work stand out from the crowd and it appears I missed out on the details of this piece, that just speaks to Quinton’s ability to make his images work on multiple levels.
Around Time Spiral block is when I decided Magic was going to be my main hobby and for me Time Spiral block was all about Vesuvan Shapeshifter. Whether it be a pickles lock with Brine Elemental or simply a recurring clone, there was seldom a time I played a deck with out this morphing fanatic. The work that Quinton did on this piece recalled his work on Doppleganger but represented his growth as an artist with a more complex image. I will never be able to separate this art from the times I played and for that I am thankful to Quinton.
To check out all of the cards Quinton Hoover did for Magic the Gathering, check here.
Every artist that has done work for Magic the Gathering has an effect on those that play the game and collect the cards. Whether consciously or unconsciously, the art of the game impacts our experience and flavors our memories. With the images he created, Quinton was able to bring his unique perspective to millions and his talents and contributions will never be forgotten. I will always remember and cherish Quinton’s impact on my life through his art.